A couple of years ago, I made a Meddling Auntie comic about Fashion to help parents explain to daughters why they might not want them wearing tight or revealing clothing. I hoped to provide a progressive alternative to the usual “you’ll send the wrong message” and “you’ll get what’s coming to you.”
Upon reviewing this comic, I see that I failed. The comic included the following problems:
– Using the word “sexy” to describe children’s clothing choices. From a healthy adult POV, a child cannot be sexy. I should not have endorsed this language.
– Making the child responsible for what goes on in other people’s heads. I tried to tiptoe around this idea and soften the blow, but in the end I reinforced this old, bad, destructive idea. No person is responsible for another person’s thoughts or feelings–just as no person is responsible for another person’s actions.
– Dismissing the child’s motives for choosing a particular form of dress. Whatever is motivating the child is non-trivial and should be heard. The parent does not have to agree in order to hear and understand. Opening the door to discussion opens the door to resolution.
There must be rational, progressive reasons for a parent to intervene in a daughter’s clothing choices, but the ideas in this comic ain’t them.
For that reason I’ve taken the comic down. I’m sorry for meddling in an area where I had no business meddling. It was self-centered of me. If there’s any other way I can make amends, please let me know.
Take care, and carry on.