Monday, May 27, 2013

Spanish TV offers parents tips about how to dress their kids without being "provocative"

An astonishing program was shown on public TV recently.

Spain's main public television station channel 1 featured a workshop for parents on “how to teach their children to dress appropriately” in its daily afternoon update on May 14, 2013. Although the report was barely a minute and a half long, it featured soundbites such as “it seems we live in an era when everything must be shown” and “the big question: is my daughter dressing provocatively?”

I don't believe there's actually anything wrong with discussing what kids wear in this country.

I just think there are a lot bigger problems such as use of over-technology, bullying, commercialisation of young people or infantalising them.

This TV program raised the question of “provocative” dressing by young girls. There is certainly a de facto summer-time “uniform” of very short jean-pants for teens and some pre-teens and this is generally conformed to by plenty of this age group.

The issue to me is not so much whether this is somehow provocative but whether girls are simply dressing like other girls because they think they should. Following a fashion because others do is sheep-like and dangerous more because it shows a tendency to act without individuality than it is wrong to show bare legs.

It is so much easier to focus on what we can easily see, rather than investigate deeper, more serious problems that are not so apparent to the eye.

(As is so often the case, the commenters on this Global Voices article are also really worth a read.)

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