Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Modesty Matters ( and so does flattering )

As you may know, Mimi is big into the performing venues. She's involved in theater, and several singing and dancing classes - and she loves it. All of it. I love knowing how much she loves it, because it gives me leverage. And as you may also know, moms are always looking for leverage. Those grades don't just fix themselves.

Anyway, one of the children's groups she participates in is a singing and dancing group. They work hard and have a lot of fun! But the costumes they wear when they perform are - well, let's just say questionable. It's a halter-top-short-skirt-flashy-fabric deal. The first time I saw the costume was when I went in to order it about 3 months after she had joined the class. I balked, but we were only a few weeks away from the whole Christmas performance season, so even though I recognized it as what might be a first step on a very slippery slope, I just did it.

Recently, though, Mimi has been talking about moving from the children's group to the teen group. There are 4 lds girls in the program that are around her age, and 2 of them have recently been asked to move up.

Now I've SEEN the costume for this group and frankly, I'm a little puzzled as to how any mom - lds or not - is OK with this little number.

I mean, even if you're NOT concerned about modesty, you've GOT to be concerned with at least visual appeal.
It looks like a strapless um, silky tube top with a bunch of same color scarves sewn on as a skirt.

- - - hang on and I'll try to find a picture. You need a visual for this - - -

Ok picture this as strapless, and even more disturbing, with the ruching that you see down the front here, going all the way around the dress, not just down the front.
Do you know ANYBODY who looks good in full body ruching?
I don't think even Paris or Britney would dare to be seen in public in this. Well, I can't vouch for Britney after the VMA awards fiasco. But if she were, um, clear-headed I mean.

And frankly, it's just distracting. When I watch this group perform, all I can see is that these costumes are unflattering.

So in talking to the other lds moms, I'm surprised that they seem to be quite complacent with the whole costume thing. I asked them if they were going to say anything. If nothing else, at least register concern so that when the NEXT costume is chosen for the group (they can't keep these same costumes forever, can they?), maybe more modesty would be taken into consideration.

But both the moms who are currently affected are not interested in stirring the pot. They've decided that it's just a costume. Like you'd wear a swim suit to a swim meet, or, ahem, running shorts to a marathon.
I see their point, and I'm not knocking their parenting. Everyone does it differently, and they have some terrific girls that they can be very proud of.

But I've already told Mimi that the little strapless short skirt number will not likely be a part of her wardrobe. And even though she's still at least a year away from being invited to the new team, she's very concerned.

I don't know... I'm not saying that I'm completely ruling it out at this point. I know how important this stuff is to her. But there will at least be some discussion. Some raising of parental concern.
They already think I'm a fanatic down there. Might as well go for the burka.


Scuttle said...

Ok growing up a non member in the performing arts I would not wear something like that. Even as a teenager I didn't want to look like an adult or wear things that adults wore.... Why is it that fashion seems to be making young Girls dress like adults. Or is it that now I am a member and I dress modestly that I am not seeing what "adults" are wearing.

good luck i'm glad i have a boy

Heather said...

Stir the pot- that thing is nasty!

PUT in your two cents! They may change them and if not, you could go the BYU route and sew in the flesh inserts- or the flesh dress as it may be in this case... HA HA.

Crystal said...

Ooo, hey, I can totally understand. I took dance classes for several years, so I've experienced the wacko costumes. I quit when I was about 12, though, so I never had to deal with a tube top or strapless, since I couldn't have held one up. (And I would have been safe for many more years if that was the reason, hee hee.) My mom kept most of our costumes in a big box as dress-up clothes, and made the same distinction the other moms are making. Looking back now, I think the reason she was fine with me quitting dance had more to do with the routines the teachers were heading towards than the costumes. But I agree; what you're describing sounds pretty hoochy. So if you do decide to decline dishing out dough for that doozy of a dress (sorry, couldn't help it), I'm with ya. Let's discourage immodesty, especially if it's not flattering. :)

Yvonne said...

I think you have to voice your opinion. I can't imagine being very comfortable in a strapless/tube top type dress dancing around--hate to have a "wardrobe malfunction".

kristen said...

Great comments thus far. And I totally think you should stir the pot. NO girl should wear that piece of fabric. And honestly, I'm a little shocked (ok not really) that the other LDS mothers aren't concerned. It sucks feeling like the only one with standards, even amongst fellow LDS members. Stick to your guns sista!

That Chick Over There said...


JustRandi said...

Scuttle- I have no idea why we still think it's a good idea for our kids to look like JonBenet.

Heather - oooo, flesh dress - hadn't thought of that! Great plan.

Crystal - I was going to try some witty comment full of alliteration, but I surrender and you win - and PLUS touche on your last sentence. ouch. And you're totally right.

Yvonne - yes another Janet Jackson moment in the making, isn't it?

Kristin - I'd love to be shocked... but no.

Chick - I couldn't have summed it up better myself.

Melissa said...

You know... I've never understood the dancing costumes. And I can see the point those mothers were a way. What if they asked the girls to show up in string bikini's for a swim meet?? Would they still feel the same way? I don't know... I say stir the pot.

Anne Bradshaw said...

I'm a visitor to this blog and have to agree with all these pot stirring thoughts.

I love our youth and want the best for them. This dress is not the best.

Maybe you could hand out a bunch of those "For the Strength of Youth" booklets and highlight the bits you want them to read. Would that help?

madhousewife said...

My tap instructor has our costumes custom-sewn because she finds that there isn't much in the theatre/dancewear catalogues that's suitable for grown-ups--"grown-ups" in this case meaning "people who are uncomfortable showing off their goodies." I'm amazed at some of the costumes they have for little-kid dancers. Not only are they inappropriately adult-looking, but they aren't very functional for people who haven't developed breasts yet. I've seen my share of unfortunate "wardrobe malfunctions" on little girls in recitals--nothing there to really "reveal," of course, but still--totally embarrassing and inappropriate nonetheless.

You should definitely be the crackpot and go for the burqa. I would. Nothing will ever change if people such as yourself (and your daughter?) don't make your opinions known. It's the same reason you can't find "modest" prom dresses at the mall--they won't order them if they don't realize there's a demand.

Also, don't let your daughter leave the house in something that ugly. ;)