This week I moved into a sweet new apartment, all by myself. Friends, my new bedroom features both a bay window and a light switch in the form of a tasseled rope hanging over the bed. I envisage many happy hours of sexual exploration in this space. But fancy new boudoirs don’t come cheap, and I’ve been thinking about what I might do to bring in some extra cash. Yesterday, inspiration struck…
Generally speaking, I don’t have much time for the kind of person who uses the word ‘sexualised’. We already had ‘sexual,’ a perfectly functional and economical adjective for describing people, objects and activities related in some way to sex. So why, all of a sudden, do we have this glut of commentators who insist instead on describing everything as ‘sexualised’?
I think it’s because that little ‘ised’at the end suggests that the sexual nature of a thing is external; imposed onto some person or into some domain where it has no business being. When I hear someone using the word ‘sexualised’ in relation to teenage girls or grown women, it’s a little red flag telling me they most likely fall into one of two camps with very wonky ideas about female sexuality. The first camp, the conservative one, believes that adult and certainly teen female sexuality doesn’t or shouldn’t exist hardly at all. The second camp is made up of self-identified progressives who grant female adults and possibly teens the right to be sexual, but only if that sexuality springs forth wholly from within, magically pure and, unlike anything else, untouched by the culture in which it formed.
Now I’m here to help
But there’s really nothing like the smell of money to encourage a girl to be a little more, you know, flexible with her principles. I’ve seen the Facebook post with its 60,000 odd ‘likes’, and I’ve read the Fairfax article with its 350 often frothing comments. Looks to me like there’s a vast, untapped market of parents who, flailing about in a nightmarish soup of fishnets and short shorts, find themselves unable to independently procure ‘age-appropriate’ clothing for their female children. They need assistance.
So now, if you’re the kind of person who utters phrases like “trampy and cheap” in relation to children, I’m here to help. If you think parents are “turning their little girls into obese, lazy, selfish brats who dress like tramps”, I am extending to you my knowledge and expertise. I hereby offer you my services as a personal shopping assistant, specializing in non-whorish girls’ clothing. I can shop at two levels of modesty (modest and extra-modest), and am able to cater to your particular flavor of hysteria. For leftists, I will screen clothing for excessive pink as well as – bonus! – printed or embroidered embellishments that promote irresponsible, environmentally destructive consumerism and narrowly gendered interests, such as “I heart fashion” slogans or images of shoes and handbags. For conservatives, I can select attire that emphasises your little girl’s sweetness and purity and makes it difficult for her to climb trees or engage in the kind of rough and tumble play that is so obviously more appropriate for boys. I can craft ensembles that are stylish yet tasteful, or, if you’re intent on damaging your child’s social standing, utterly unflattering.
Why choose me as your specialised personal shopper?
I have the skills. I wear clothes every day, and I also go shopping a lot. You might be thinking, but this woman is both childless and a total slut! What would she know about dressing a child in a way that doesn’t suggest she spends the school hols pulling in $250 an hour at the Daily Planet?
Well, I certainly can’t deny that I’m a slut, nor that I deliberately dress in way that I hope will result in a good pounding. But it is precisely this that equips me so well for the task of dressing children in a manner that will have as a happy by-product reducing my competition for the male sexual gaze. You see, having devoted so much time and attention to developing a sexually suggestive wardrobe, I have developed a finely-tuned knowledge of the sexxxx levels of various fabrics, colours, cuts and design features. This knowledge can be put to work for either good or evil! Moreover, as a seamstress, if required and for an additional fee, I can also select your daughter’s inappropriate-for-sex-work clothes for natural fibre content, fabric quality and workmanship, thereby ensuring not only her continued innocence but also her comfort and durability!
I wouldn’t expect you to entrust me with the critical mission of protecting your girl from a life of streetwalking if I hadn’t already demonstrated my abilities. Hence, yesterday I spent an hour browsing the aisles of Target and Big W, covertly photographing clothing items that I think your precious daughter could slip into without stepping over the line from ‘adorable’ into ‘selling sexual services’.
Please note, this is just a tiny sample of the affordable and perfectly innocent clothing I saw during my brief reconnaissance mission.
Item 1: Cream blouse with lace detail and peter pan collar, $20, Target
Named for the boy who never grew up, no other design feature screams ‘child and not employed in the sex industry’ quite like a Peter Pan collar. Such is the curious power of the Peter Pan collar that it can even render a grown woman utterly infantile.
This adorable, on-trend blouse leaves arms bare and features lace which, while backed with other fabric, might be considered provocative by, I don’t know, a person with some particular kind of brain injury?
Will suit: age-appropriately stylish children of middle-class leftists
Item 2: Caftan pant set, $30, Target
Perhaps you (or your child) prefer modest clothing of the downright ugly variety? This caftan pant suit features long sleeves, a low hem on the caftan, heavier, more opaque fabric over the breast region and long pants in an unappealing brown-green. Trust me, no-one will find this sexy.
Rating: extra modest
Will suit: parents and children with poor taste, long-legged offspring
Item 3: Elmo t-shirt, Big W, $14.88
Now, I can acknowledge this one is borderline. On the one hand, it has sleeves and a mid-level neckline and features infant t.v. show character Elmo. On the other hand, Elmo holds in his extended arms a banner reading ‘love’, and for all we know he might mean the sexual kind.
Will suit: Tweens with an ironic appreciation for Sesame Street
Item 4: Knee length shorts, $20, Target
Longer black shorts in a poly-cotton blend, perfect for outdoor activities. Similar style in blue denim also available.
Will suit: Active, tomboyish girls
Item 5: Mod-style colour block dress, Target, $28
Another on-trend piece, this time in a resurgent mod-influenced style. A hallmark of this style is the lack of definition at the waist, which creates an illusion of shapelessness – just the opposite of a hooker! This dress also features a decidedly childish bow and heart-shaped buttons, and comes with a pair of tights to cover up seductive little legs. I mean what’s next Target? Buy one get one free burkhas?
Rating: extra modest
Will suit: Girls with attitude
Item 6: Ugly grey-brown pants, Big W, $9
These pants extend to the ankle, can be worn loosely fitted, and feature a reasonably high and adjustable waist. While this adjustability could, theoretically, come in handy in the case of teen pregnancy, I don’t think that was the manufacturer’s intention.
Rating: extra modest
Will suit: Tomboys, cool weather
So, there you have it! If you’re oddly incapable of locating any of the hundreds of items of non-hooker kids’ clothes in Target or similar stores, I can do it for you – please contact me to discuss rates and your particular requirements. Of course, if you find children’s bare forearms unbearably provocative or see sex in every scrap of lace, I’m not sure what I can do for you. And if maybe your real problem is that you don’t want anyone to be able to buy short shorts from Target, I’m afraid you’re all out of luck.