Monday, July 28, 2008

K-Lo is the Taliban?

OK, a silly Washington Post feature about 16-year-old girls buying bikinis:
They all want bikinis.
"A one-piece looks weird," says Carly, a long-limbed and graceful cross-country runner. "No one wears one-pieces unless they're old or on swim team."
Rebecca, a red-headed, freckled softball player with an infectious smile, enthusiastically agrees: "One-pieces actually make your stomach look bulgier."
"I think some one-pieces look good, but it seems like people who aren't confident about themselves wear them," says Alyssa, a petite cheerleader with a creamy complexion and muscular build. "Bikinis are more popular because they're sexier. They draw a guy's attention."
Next, Kathryn Jean Lopez, referencing Kathleen Parker's new book, Save the Males, suggests this is "begging for a dad to be on the scene. . . . Where's dad to just say no?" Next thing you know, a gay leftist is comparing K-Lo to the Taliban.

But what was K-Lo really saying? That no teenager girl should ever wear a bikini? Or was she saying that 16-year-old girls who want to look "sexier" to "draw a guy's attention" might be suffering from a dearth of paternal influence?

Frankly, a dad's perspective might have been simply to inform these girls of the counterintuitive fact that -- even if your goal is to "draw a guy's attention" -- sometimes showing less a little less is better than showing more. A one-piece suit has a certain elegance and suggests a more serious purpose: That you're at the beach or pool to swim, rather than merely to work on a tan.

Dad might even point out that, hey, who says a one-piece isn't sexy? (The "long-limbed" Carly in the Washington Post article might discover she looks especially stunning in a one-piece, which tends to accentuate the legs.)

Something I've often said is that women who leave nothing to the imagination tend to attract guys with no imagination. A really attractive woman is still really attractive even in old jeans and a sweatshirt, and an ugly woman is still ugly, no matter what she's wearing. A beautiful woman doesn't need to flaunt her assets in order to attract guys.

That's the kind of common-sense insight a Dad might offer. Dads can and should help their kids resist peer pressure and pop culture. That's what K-Lo was saying, I think. To compare her to the Taliban is unhelpful.

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