Inappropriate Dance Costumes?

Nearly every time I talk about my daughter being a competitive dancer, I get the same shaming comments and questions.

I would never allow my my child to wear those revealing costumes. You never know what pervert might be in the audience.

Kids should dress like kids.

Why are parents letting their kids wear booty shorts? It’s unnecessary and shameful.

They use words like “sexy” and “twerking”, words I have never heard used in the world of competitive dance.
I even had one man describe how his elementary school age nieces look while leaving the house for dance class, using a word that should never be used when talking about a child.

These commentators and chiders claim to be concerned for dancers, and call for dance teachers and parents to stop objectifying young girls, when in reality, they are guilty of objectifying my daughter and every other young girl by making those comments.

So, what is my typical answer when being shamed with the comment “I would never allow my daughter..blah blah blah “?

Then don’t.
If you feel that booty shorts and tights are inappropriate and sports bras are too revealing, then simply don’t put your child in competitive dance, or find a school that meets your personal views on modesty. There are many alternatives. You have every right to have an opinion and raise your child how you see fit. You are clearly doing what you feel is best and that is exactly what your child needs from you.

But I don’t feel the way you do. I have a completely different opinion on the subject and I don’t deserve to be shamed for wanting my daughter to be proud and unashamed to be a beautiful young dancer. I think she looks perfect. I think her dance friends are equally stunning, in all different, perfect shapes , sizes, skin tones, and personalities. I believe her dance instructors are picking music and costumes in the best interest of my child and her success as a dancer.  It’s okay if you don’t agree. But if I did not ask for your opinion, I have to assume that you shared yours  merely to make you feel better about you, even if you think you found a clever way to chastise without me noticing.  This includes sharing your “Inappropriate dance costumes ” article on Facebook. I read it. I still feel the same.
Can anyone tell me why my daughters belly button is more shameful than their son’s? Why a bathing suit is appropriate at the beach but a leotard and pink tights in ballet class make people blush? And the ever dreaded booty shorts? Sometimes I wonder if people would better accept them if they had just called them “dance shorts”, because that’s exactly what they are. They are designed for the comfort, safety and instruction of a dancer. Do they cause people to look at them sexually? I’ll answer that question with another question.

When you see the middle school football players leaving practice in their football pants without a shirt on, might someone look at them sexually? It’s very possible. But I haven’t seen any articles on the subject. It’s always about the girls, and it begs the question. Why?

The responsibility of creepy gawkers doesn’t lie with children and their clothes, it lies with creepy gawkers. And as scary as it may seem, they are gawking whether it’s dance, soccer, basketball, or just swinging in the park. Clothes, uniforms, and costumes do not encourage nor do they deter predators. Circumstances and opportunities,  do. Again, if you feel differently, then dress your daughter in the clothes in which you feel are appropriate. But please,  do not lecture me, chastise me, inadvertently “educate” me with articles on the biblical principles of women and modesty. I respectfully disagree.


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