When I worked at a small boutique, the owner befriended a customer who started an after-school program for Catholic school-age girls on dressing modestly.
It was called Pure Fashion.
The culmination of the program was a fashion show and the owner would let the girls borrow clothes from our inventory to model. Twice I was involved when the mothers and their daughters would come in to pick something out, and to say it was awful would be an understatement.
Clearly, the mother who started the program was The Queen Bee and all the other mothers deferred to her for approval on attire for their children. While I was asking the girls, "Do you like this? Does it feel like you?"......their mothers were frantically paging through the handout regarding length (not too short), cleavage (don't even think about it), and sleeves (no bare arms).
Since I have never dressed like a hooker or a cougar and have two daughters of my own, I felt like I was more than capable of finding trendy and age-appropriate outfits for these young teens that reflected their spirit and personality..........that made them feel good about their style.
This was a different beast.
It didn't take long for the girls to be near tears, the moms to become unglued and me wanting to walk out the door. None of this seemed pure of intent, but rather an idea that got hijacked by a control freak who didn't seem to notice that she was making everyone miserable.
By now you have likely read or heard about Mrs. Hall's letter to teenage girls regarding their inappropriate pictures posted on Facebook and how her teenage boys can't just "unsee it." Friends who go down that road even once get kicked off the Pure Hall Island where shaming girls seems to be as ordinary as "pass the salt" at the dinner table every night.
In her blog post gone viral, Mrs. Hall posted numerous pictures of her boys on the beach in their swimsuits flexing their muscles, and isn't that what boys have done for ages to show the girls that they're hot?
And so, Mrs. Hall got busted fast and furious on her flagrant double standard.
Though brought up in a devout Catholic household, my dad always flinched at public proclamations of Christianity. "When you walk out the door of this house people should know who you are by the way you treat them," he used to tell us. "If you have to tell them, you have missed the point."
I always remembered those words of his and so I, too, flinch when someone verbally climbs the cross and asks Jesus to scoot over a bit so they can take a good look at the sins of others from a better vantage point. In the raising of our own kids, neither my husband or I were ever afraid to draw the line on where we stood, or to make them accountable if they crossed that line. In a world that resembled little of our own teen years, it seemed like that was a full-time undertaking as they got older.
That's why I never had the time to tell anybody else how to do it.