Indeed, the current establishment, Ms. Shalit writes, has left girls dangerously adrift. Parents explain how to protect against pregnancy and disease but give their daughters no information on how to safeguard their hearts. American Library Association-recommended Web sites offer tips on anal sex for teens who want to remain virgins.
On a trip to the local mall, one can find thongs for tweens, scantily dressed Bratz dolls in tube tops and miniskirts, even a suburban dentist who advertises: "We're bringing the sexy back, by replacing all the teeth you lack."
With the adults AWOL, a few brave girls are taking charge, leading protests and campaigns to fight our pornified culture. Fifth-grader Ella Gunderson started a public-relations nightmare for the department store Nordstrom when she wrote a letter protesting the skin-tight, low-cut clothing on sale. Her campaign landed her on the "Today" show, among many others, and Nordstrom soon came out with a new clothing line called "Modest and Modern."
In Pittsburgh, a group of teen girls led a successful "girlcott" against Abercrombie & Fitch after the company came out with a line of racy T-shirts bearing messages like "Who Needs Brains When You Have These?
My daughter and I did a little back-to-school shopping on Saturday since Virginia was offering a sales tax holiday for clothing. Her response to our outing: “That was a quick refresher course on why I don’t shop in the junior department!” We were able to pick up a couple of shirts in the Misses department that looked young enough for her but were not revealing or skin tight. For the most part, her everyday wardrobe is anchored by t-shirts from the various soccer tournaments she attends. I am not complaining. I am grateful that we don’t have the typical mother-daughter tussles over the appropriateness of clothing. Of course this is my daughter who insisted on wearing soccer shorts under her ankle length First Communion dress. Her penchant for comfortable soccer-ready clothing goes way back.
So maybe the tide is turning. There seems to be a movement among a segment of our youth to embrace the respect for human dignity embodied in chastity and modesty. I detest the non-stop media coverage of Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, Lindsey Lohan, and Nicole Richie. But maybe their very public meltdowns will spur young girls to seek virtue instead of vice. St. Maria Goretti, pray for us!