Would You Let Your 10-Year-Old Daughter Wear this for Halloween?

Photo from Party City.

I took my six and nine-year-old daughters to Party City to pick out their Halloween costumes. We go there because they have the largest selection of Halloween costumes in our area. The kids section is on one wall and the teen and adult section is a few feet away on a different wall. Olivia chose a witch costume and Bella chose the Avatar Neytiri costume. Fine so far, except for this… More

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Pride or Prejudice by Tracie Stern

I love this piece by Tracie because as a woman and a mother, I can relate to all the thoughts and feelings she wrote about–even if for just a few moments. Haven’t we all felt like these characters at some point in our lives?

Here’s Tracie…

You are walking down the grocery store aisle. As a mother of three, you are dressed for comfort and mobility as your list of “To Do” things is long and exhausting. Approaching you from the other end is a woman whose appearance is the kind that makes you take a second look. Her hair is done, not overly but naturally, soft curls pulled back into a half bun, her nails are done and her makeup is natural but enhancing. Her fashion is modern and understated yet as a whole she draws your eye in with an almost sense of admiration because she looks so well put together. At first sight, do you take the stand of pride or prejudice in how this woman is presenting herself?

This situation takes an out-of-body approach. Imagine you are watching the scene unfold as an impartial 3rd party. You see the mom, dressed in a combination of stretchy pants and flats with an over sized sweater. As a description goes, frumpy may come to mind. There is a small child in the cart, eating Cheerios from a plastic bag as mom goes over the list she has written so as to not forget anything. The baggy clothes could be hiding anything–a great figure or in the moms eyes, maybe figure flaws brought on by years of neglect, children, or a forgotten sense of self. No one really knows, as it’s next to impossible to see through it.

When the mom notices the woman approaching from the other end, she will in that instant make a decision. That mom will either judge this woman with a sense of prejudice due to her own self-confidence issues or she will embrace the pride this woman has in herself and give her some mental applause. Which one are you? More

What Are Your Thoughts on Abercrombie Kids Selling Padded Push Up Bikini Tops to 8-Year-Old Girls? Check Out A Better Kids Clothing Option. By Liz Nord

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People have told me that my Barbie vs. Bratz post was either too conservative or not conservative enough. I hope we can all agree here, that selling push up padded bikini tops to eight-year-old girls it completely and utterly over the top and wrong. Please tell me you agree.

Abercrombie Kids is marketing to girls and boys between the ages of 7 and 14. There is no logical reason for a seven-year-old girl to have a padded anything. The use of the word “push up” is unbelievably inappropriate for young girls. A push up bikini top is designed to make your bust look bigger and more accessible to the eye. Why would a second or third or fifth or whatever grader want to do that? This is clear sexualization of girls, and it really bugs me. 

Playing sexy is not appropriate for girls.  Kids should be out catching frogs, playing sports, learning an instrument, dancing, playing hopscotch, etc. Let them be kids! Teaching girls that their looks are their primary value is setting them up for future problems with body image, self-esteem, and feelings of self-worth.

Right now, somewhere in the world, a girl is shopping at Abercrombie Kids. She is getting the message that her chest is not good enough; it needs to be bigger and pushed up and out. No, thank you.

There has been such outrage about the bikini top that Abercrombie Kids has removed the word “push-up” from its online catalogue, but not the item. It’s still for sale and being marketed as padded. It’s just wrong. I will never shop at that store.

On a more positive note, check out Pigtail Pals. I love their Redefine Girly t-shirts for ages six months and up. Their t-shirts have empowering positive messages. No, “I’m a princess” or “I’m spoiled” messages here.

Here is their awesome video. It’s a must see. I love it!

Pigtail Pals say, “Instead of ‘parents beware’, let’s work with ‘parents be educated about your options and empowered in how to talk to your kids’. Let’s focus on the companies who are putting good, healthy, inspiring apparel & products out there for girls.”

UPDATE: Abercrombie Kids took the Ashley padded bikini top off their website. But, there is still another bikini there that has “removable padding”.

Barbie vs. Bratz Dolls ~ The Sexualization of Girls by Liz Nord

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According to the book Forever Barbie by M.G. Lord, if Barbie were human-sized, she would stand 5 feet 6 inches tall, weigh 110 pounds, have a 39-inch bust line, an 18-inch waist, 33-inch hips, and her feet would only fit into high heels. Personally, I think the Bratz dolls are much more offensive. I don’t think of myself as uber conservative, but those dolls are not allowed in our house. I read somewhere that if a Bratz doll was human-sized, her head would weigh 100 pounds, her breasts would be size 40GG, and she would have a 12-inch waist. The measurements of both dolls are so unrealistic. I wish the proportions of dolls were more true to real life, but at the moment, I’m a more concerned about the risqué clothing, make up, pumped up lips, and personas the Bratz Dolls are conveying.

The Bratz dolls are wearing ten pounds of make up and such skimpy clothing that they look like prostitutes. I am confused why these dolls are selling and why parents are allowing their girls to play with them. At least Barbie has an education, career, and has broken glass ceilings. She has been a veterinarian, lawyer, doctor, mom, astronaut, sister, teacher, etc. There is no telling Barbie, “girls can’t do that”, and there are some non-sexual clothing options available for her.

Bratz are catty and gossipy, and their message is quite negative. Some moms say that they use the Bratz dolls as learning opportunities to discuss what is inappropriate. Okay—Do you have to buy one to do that? No, point it out in Target and talk about how promiscuous clothing and loads of make up are not appropriate—don’t feed into the MGA Entertainment money-making machine and sexualization of girls. Buying the dolls sends the message that we, consumers, want more of that kind of product and branding.

Have you viewed the Bratz show? It’s an insult to girls’ intelligence and sends a bad message. Here is a clip of what some young girls are watching today:

Growing up, I wasn’t interested in Barbie dolls. When I received one as a gift, I would cut its hair, cast it aside, and run outside to play. I know some girls love dolls and who am I to say they should not be allowed to have dolls, and that’s not what I’m saying at all. In fact, although my oldest daughter has had no interest in dolls, my youngest daughter LOVES them! What I am saying is lets pick dolls and outfits that are more natural and age appropriate looking. I do like the American Girl Dolls, but unfortunately, they cost $100 each. What I really wish is that there was an affordable line of dolls available, which display a variety of body shapes, ethnicities, and clothes that are not sexed up and that promote positive body image, self-esteem, intelligence, and diversity. Manufacturers’ will make them if enough people stop buying the sexualized dolls.

Sorry if I’ve offended anyone, but I feel passionate about this topic. Every time I see one of those Bratz dolls in Target or see another oversexed outfit, I feel ill. I feel sick because the message they are sending to our very young girls is that if you want to be cool, pretty, successful, and have boys like you, then you need to dress “sexy”, wear a lot of make up, be spiteful, and act unintelligent. This really isn’t about Barbie vs. Bratz. It’s about both the direct and indirect messages we are sending to our young girls with the merchandise that we buy and allow in our homes.

What do you think?

Hello, world! Welcome to the Secrets of Moms Who Dare to Tell All!

Hi, everyone!

This website is for all you parents out there who want to hear the real ins and outs of being a mom. We will discuss the moments, days, feelings, and experiences that most moms don’t usually share with anyone but their closest friends. Almost every mom I’ve met has said that no one ever told her what it’s really like to be a parent. You hear about how wonderful, fun, and lovey everything is (and that’s true), but people don’t tell you about the craziness, unpredictability, and all-encompassing reality of what it’s like to raise kids. I wish I would’ve known the truth sooner, so that I never would’ve felt like a failure for not being perfect. Thankfully, I don’t feel that way anymore–what is perfect, anyway!?! I am perfectly unperfected and so are you. Let’s help all the mom’s out there feel good about themselves and their children, by being real.

This is a place for EVERYONE to have honest, direct dialogue without judgment. Secrets will be told and almost anything goes. We will cover every topic imaginable–the good, the bad, and the funny. Several of my friends will be on-going contributors, and we hope you will comment often. Let yourself be heard! Dads are welcome too. Please share your stories, send us comments and pictures, and tell the truth. As long as you are speaking your truth, you are welcome here. Please be kind to each other, interact, and ask questions.

No nude pictures or completely deviant comments, please.

Liz Nord is the creator of www.secretsofmoms.com. She is a wife and mother of two daughters ages six and nine. She loves family, running, reading, seeking knowledge, baking, laughing, innovating, traveling, in-depth conversations, sunshine, and outdoor adventures. She earned a B.A. in Communications, and completed graduate editing courses at the University of Washington. Liz has published articles in a number of magazines, newspapers, and on numerous websites. She has been a guest on the Leeza Gibbons talk show, Hollywood Confidential, and serves on the Editing Certificate Advisory Board at the University of Washington. She is also the co-creator of Plus-Size Models Unite. She is passionate about promoting healthy self-esteem, positive body image, and confidence.  She believes in cultivating who you are truly meant to be and embracing your unique self.

We are an eclectic, intelligent, fun group of women, who are all here to share our parenting experiences. Introducing the rest of the team: More

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