Welcome to Ask Me Anything. The concept of the series is to help foster and nurture an open and profound bond between father and daughter, that transcends the awkwardness of puberty (I wrote about it in more detail here.) In this week’s instalment, my husband asks why do women wear revealing clothes?
Hubby: For the most part I’m not complaining, but – why do girls wear revealing clothes? Why do some young women put all their wares on display? It usually tones down with age, but the youngsters seem oblivious to the notion of wearing a coat when it drops below 15°c. I say ‘for the most part’, because obviously I want to understand so I can discourage our daughter from this apparent rite of passage…
Me: I make you right, it’s far more classy to leave something to the imagination. I wish it’s a behaviour I could say I’ve never participated in. Ahem…
Of course, I can only speak for myself, but if I had to answer based on my own personal experience – why do women dress provocatively? – I’d say it’s rooted in novelty and self-esteem, or lack thereof.
I’d felt pretty invisible growing up; and then when I turned fifteen or so, I suddenly developed a cleavage which had no decent right to be appended to my frame. The attention came, and naturally I capitalised on it by wearing immodest clothes. This lasted for perhaps a couple of years.
Why Do Women Wear Revealing Clothes?
In hindsight, I’m quite sure that once the novelty of my new womanly figure had worn off, the plunge of my necklines was directly proportional to the degree of interest men showed me:
Basically, the harder I thought I needed to try, the more I exposed my décolletage; conversely, the more attention I received, the more I covered up.
I think this is relatively normal – and thankfully, with maturity, the behaviour tends to move towards classier wardrobe choices. (Usually) the more respectably a young lady conducts herself, the better the class of suitor she attracts; and so the cycle continues and improves. Or so we with daughters hope…
How to Stop Daughter Dressing Provocatively
As I seem to conclude in most of these posts, I think the onus is once again on us to educate; to foster, instil, and promote self-respect; to observe and guide when necessary or appropriate.
Ultimately, it’s our responsibility to ensure our daughters’ sense of dignity and pride flourish sufficiently that they don’t feel a need to look to the opposite sex for validation.