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Yesterday, I went into a young girls' clothing store called "Justice" to return a sweater that I had bought my daughter for Christmas that she was too afraid to tell me she hated and would never wear. The tags were still on it! (What is it about mothers turning into fashion failures after they have kids?)
Anyway, I walked up to the register and standing behind it with a pretty little smile on her face was a 20-something gal looking perky -- and quite seductive in a top cut so low, I could almost see her areolas. Swear to God! I looked around to make sure I hadn't accidentally walked in to a Frederick's of Hollywood, and for a split second thought I should check the sign outside the store to see if it said, "Girls! Girls! Girls!"
I was flabbergasted that a clerk working in a store that sold clothes for young girls between 5 and 12 years old would be dressed like a stripper. Had she no common sense? Doesn't she realize that our young daughters are watching, and learning, from her generation of young women? If they see all these gals walking around baring their breasts like it's a mandatory dress code for that age group, they will think it's OK to dress that way, too; that sexy and slutty are "in," and modesty is SO uncool.
I mean, what are these salesclerks thinking when they get dressed for work? Do they think some really cute guy is going to walk in to a store for little girls, for no apparent reason, see them up at the counter showing their nipples and think, "You are SO hot! I want to whisk you away from this miserable minimum-wage existence to birth my babies!" (Picture Richard Gere in "An Officer and a Gentleman.") These stores aren't bars or nightclubs -- they are WORK places!
So I did what any Mad Mom would do: I asked for the manager. I told her that I was a mother of a tween -- a very impressionable tween -- and that I didn't appreciate shopping in a store for young girls where the salesclerks are dressed like hookers. I suggested that she tell all the Justice employees to cover up -- or at least wear cammies over all that cleavage. I told her it is highly inappropriate to dress like that around our innocent young daughters and that they had an obligation, working in a store like this, to be role models for our children.
In other words, I suggested she mandate a new dress code for her employees of "Less cleavage, more class."
And I'd like to encourage every mother out there who has a young daughter to follow suit. If you walk into a store that sells products aimed at your child, and the salesclerks look like prostitutes, PLEASE go up to the manager and let her know that you're not going to be shopping there any longer if her employees continue to dress like that because it's sending the wrong message to our children, who are oversexualized enough as it is.
If each of us can do this one little thing, we may be able to help our daughters hang on to their innocence a little bit longer.
Better yet, send a complaint to their customer service department. Maybe if they get hit with enough mad-mom e-mails, they might reconsider their employee dress code. Here's the link (and a BIG thank you to Joe at joeprose.typepad.com/my_weblog for suggesting that we attack them digitally!): http://www.shopjustice.com/customerService/Contact_Us