In the News: Sexy Clothing and Young Women

In The News: JC Penny pulls inappropriate T-Shirt from stores this week after angry mothers complain. With all the inappropriate shirts I’ve seen available, I could only imagine which one drew national criticism. However, I’m shocked by which one they demanded be pulled from the stores!


The shirt that became the focus of attention this week for the national department store chain is a white, long-sleeve t-shirt that says, “I’m too pretty to do homework, so my brother has to do it for me.” Some moms protested the shirt as being too sexist. The original comments went up Monday, August 29th. Some women’s rights activists began to champion the cause by Monday night. By Tuesday evening, the marketing website,, started an online petition drive and had more than 1,000 signatures by 11:00 a.m. Wednesday. By Wednesday afternoon JC Penny pulled the shirt from stores and issued an apology.

The statement issued by the Plano-based company (Texas), said, in part: “We agree that the ‘Too Pretty’ T-shirt does not deliver an appropriate message, and we have immediately discontinued its sale.”

I’m not a big fan of the shirt. I wouldn’t purchase it for my teenage daughter. BUT, it’s near the bottom of the list of shirts I’ve seen marketed toward children that I personally think should be pulled. Without much effort, I googled a few shirts and found the following.

I'm only a baby, but I'm already telling people my mom is a tramp. I'm sure this will be a healthy parent-child relationship.


Only available in kid's sizes.


Sure, I think this is funny. But, on a kid?

And, honestly, these are probably mild in comparison to some of the worst I’ve seen in kid’s sizes at mall stores and even on kids in public. There are plenty of shirts with profanity or suggestive comments.

I think anyone who has to wear a shirt that says “Sexy” on it, probably isn’t. If you’re an adult who wants to wear it, you likely have some self-esteem issues, or just plain lack receiving appropriate love from your father. (Oh, man, I’m starting to get on my soapbox now.) If moms want to get up in arms about something, how about getting any shirt with sparkly “sexy” removed from stores in kid’s sizes?

Plus, I saw a couple student girls recently who, I assume, are cheerleaders. They had shorts with writing across the butt. This is another one of my pet peeves. What parent finds it appropriate for their child, teen, well, anyone for that matter, to draw attention to their backside with some word plastered on their derrière? Here’s a picture of the shorts. You’ll notice I’m using a picture of the short alone. I’m not about to share a picture of the shorts being worn by someone.

I’m grateful JC Penny is sensitive enough to girls to pull their shirts from the shelves. I’m glad people are upset about inappropriate clothing. But, the reality is those shirts got made in the first place because an entire chain of people didn’t see anything wrong with what they said. And, there are plenty of people buying and wearing this clothing already, or there wouldn’t even be a market for it. Statistics are already showing us the damage it does to our girls to objectify and “sexy” them up at younger and younger ages. The best response would be for parents to STOP letting their girls wear this kind of clothing. Let the market dry up and they’d stop producing this garbage.

To Girls and Young Women:
There is a big difference between being attractive versus titillating. There’s nothing wrong with a young woman, and I’m talking broader than just teen girls, looking her best. Take care of yourself, look nice, dress nice – this is attractive. Guys at all ages will notice an attractive young woman. Men will be more likely to treat you like a lady if you look attractive – as opposed to always going out in your pj pants and with your hair a mess. I’m not against you being attractive.

On the other hand, being titillating (or sexy) will attract the wrong kind of attention. I understand it can give you a sense of power to get a certain response from guys, and to know you’re getting them aroused let’s you know you’re in charge in that moment. But, that provocative look doesn’t get you treated like a lady. It gets you treated like an object. Even the “good” attention you get from guys when you look sexy isn’t because they’re treating you like a lady; it’s simply being polite to the salesperson because you want to buy what they’re advertising. Trust me, this won’t get you the guy of your dreams.

Sure, overtly sexy girls will get immediate reaction from the guys. But, guys ALWAYS notice the attractive young woman. One they want for some quick satisfaction; the other they want to get to know and build a relationship with. The sexy girl is treated like a piece of meat, discarded, and eventually left alone and, likely, feeling ashamed. The attractive young woman has the real power, because the young men who pursue her will often end up making a lifelong commitment to a woman with whom they’ve fallen in love.

Skip the nasty t-shirts and be yourself. The sexy girl has to keep fixing herself up and trying to stay sexy to keep her man. (You’ve seen plenty of older ladies trying to pretend they’ve still “got it” because they still feel they have something to prove.) The young woman who seeks to be pure and attractive will still be attractive the next morning, in her wedding gown, when birthing children, and as she ages.

I know this. I’m married to a woman who’s even more attractive than when I married her over 20 years ago. I love her even more today than I did the day I said, “I do.”

The Unexamined Life and All…

*Feel free to share your thoughts on this topic in the comment section below.

Posted: September 1, 2011 
Filed under: Deep Thoughts with Pastor Jeff, Humor, Pastor Jeff, Spiritual
Tagged: , , , , , , , ,
Comments: 2 Comments


2 Responses to “In the News: Sexy Clothing and Young Women”
  1. Brian says:

    I agree!

    Thanks for posting from a father of daughters point of view. As the parent of only boys I did not have to worry much about clothing my sons. Girls today are besieged by peer pressure to wear some of the most un-flattering and utterly distasteful clothing. I am proud of you and all parents who are willing to stand up and say NO to allowing your beautiful daughters to be abused by marketing “gurus”.

  2. admin says:

    Thanks Brian. It also takes dads who care about their sons to make a difference. We need them to understand the difference between what simply turns them on versus what really makes a woman attractive for the long-term. Thanks for being one of those dads who cares. – Jeff

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