Parenting tip of the day: Don’t slut-shame your daughter — play animal dress-up instead

When my sister was in high school, my dad and stepmom found themselves in a quandary. My sister was a flirtatious, effortlessly cool teen with a hot bod and a penchant for bad boys and slightly older men. Basically, back in the day when we still used paper dictionaries, if you looked in the dictionary under “jailbait”, you’d see a picture of her.

After months of looking on with gritted teeth, my parents reached a breaking point when my sister strode down the stairs in a halter top and jeans so low you could see the start of her happy place, if you know what I mean. A discussion ensued, which evolved into yelling, and, finally, the use of the regrettable phrase, “You look like a slut!”

We all know what a fraught situation something like this can be. On the one hand, parents want to protect their kids from all the danger revealing clothes can bring (and yes, that’s a whole issue unto itself). On the other, it was my sister’s body — and she was damn right to celebrate it!

Luckily, as this Buzzfeed article reports, a parent in Texas seems to have found a better way to show their daughter that they think she might want to cover up a little. And it involves one of the best things in the world: a cat dressed in clothes!

The concerned parent in question posted this awesome review on an Amazon.com page for a crochet bra top (that most other reviewers also claimed was too small):

My 16 y.o. daughter bought this thing. It is ridiculously small and I probably couldn’t legally post a picture of what it looks like if she attempts to wear it. But, so you can see… here is a picture of our cat wearing it. To be fair, it does cover all of the cats nipples, however, she hates the weave. In summary, do not buy this, even for your cat.

The review finishes with this glorious photo:

[Photo originally appeared here.]

Now, I don’t know if the daughter ever read the review, or came home from school to discover her cat glumly dressed in the bra top. But as a parent, I have definitely made note of it. Not only is it a great way to prove a point and defuse conflict: it also makes for a delightful photo for the world to enjoy. Everyone wins! Well, except for the cat. She doesn’t seem happy at all.

Still, bravo, anonymous and wise parent from Texas, from showing us all how to address a prickly issue. And a bonus bravo for managing to get that top on your cat. I don’t think my feline friend Ali would ever permit such a thing.

Views: 175

Comment by Alysa Salzberg on June 11, 2015 at 7:25am

Back from our trip and stressed and a bit sad...this news made my day.  I've missed you guys and will be back soon - can't wait to catch up and read you.  But Julien's nap is almost over...duty calls....

Comment by Arthur James on June 11, 2015 at 7:34am

`

Your first sentence got my full

undecided? undivided attention.

no dress cat in bikini, sheep or

prowling wolf or like some hairy

looking white odd beast who can

look scary in a dark ally with a rat.

`

pop

uff

goof

`

Dress normal.

Look slovenly.

It cool? O hot.

`

I out of style.

I wear tattered

rags in public.

`

O, well...

Comment by Anna Herrington on June 11, 2015 at 9:22am

The cat in halter....I thought that so weird!  ha!  but my 16 year-old daughter in that halter? (I don't have one...daughter or halter) Wow, that would be tough to let her/watch her go out the door in that.

...and while I typed that, I thought of the 70s era when I was a teen and early 20 something - I never wore a top like that, but so many did, just like that one. 'Hotlanta,' Chattahoochee River, skimpy string tops...

It's retro slut look!  

On a sadder note - I've been thinking of you - and worried about you, too, I admit. Such a tough time for you, my friend - I send a big hug !!

Comment by Zanelle on June 11, 2015 at 12:18pm

I actually think the cat looks pretty good in that halter.  My little granddaughter is four and already a "looker".   I loved your first sentence.  I was seductive looking too and being tall I looked older than I was...Lots of trouble ensued.  I think we should raise the granddaughter in the jungle somewhere until she is thirty or forty.  There are no easy solutions....some have "it" and others don't.  I don't think the cat does. 

Comment by Anna Herrington on June 11, 2015 at 1:31pm

To clarify, the cat looks cute  : )  It's the mom deciding this was the answer to the issue that I thought weird!

...but I don't have daughters.....

I'd be the kind who stood there at the door with: "You look wonderful today in your regulation turtleneck and maxi skirt, Daughter."

ha!  cuz that would go over well    : )

Comment by koshersalaami on June 11, 2015 at 1:55pm
I do. Mine's fifteen and she likes to wear less than school likes to see her in. Thank God she has a long distance crush so she ignores local boys.
Comment by Phyllis on June 13, 2015 at 5:23pm

Dressing the cat is way better than humiliating your child, kudos to the parents for being creative. I'm sorry to hear of your troubles, Take care of yourself.

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