Just last week, I was commiserating with other moms of middle-school teenage girls about the lack of appealing clothing available to teenage girls and the appalling state of girl teenage fashion today.
You can find a few decent outfits, (cute but not risque), but they are few and far between. Once a girl outgrows Laura Ashley's offerings, she can find little more from mass merchandisers than clothes that appear to have been designed for young, tacky sex kittens -- clothes that my mother would not have let me wear to college, much less to middle school.
According to Suzy Menkes, who wrote "A Modest Proposal" in the March 19 New York Times Magazine, we might soon have a fashion trend toward modesty.
My prayers (about girls' attire) are being answered.
"A look that suddenly puts 'la moda da puttana' ('hooker chic') right out of vogue," according to Menkes, is now gracing the runway in fashion circles.
Thank goodness! Anyone who watched the Super Bowl halftime show, featuring Beyonce and Destiny's Child, would have seen la moda da puttana on full display. Black, cut-leather leotards, fishnets and black boots were on full display.
"The new protagonist is Valentino and its design duo, whose modest capes, long-sleeved, calf-length dresses and general gentility has wiped out a decade of slut style on the runways," she wrote.
"The word that best describes their clothes is so ancient and out of fashion that it requires a good dust off: modesty. Yet this is not a sackcloth-and-ashes denial of sexuality but rather a fresh take on the female factor. The modern woman is not prudish about her body. She just may not want to put her erogenous zones on display."
If you've recently seen thongs peeking up over jeans, bare midriffs and pants so low you wonder how they stay up, a bit of modesty might be as welcome to you as to me.
Or, you might be asking yourself, why should it make a difference what girls wear, isn't it simply a way to express themselves? According to the "Report of the Task Force of the American Psychology Association on the Sexualization of Girls," which was published in 2010, "If girls purchase (or ask their parents to purchase) products and clothes designed to make them look physically appealing and sexy, and if they style their identities after the sexy celebrities who populate their cultural landscape, they are, in effect, sexualizing themselves."
Does this matter?