When I was around 10 years old Donna Summers had a song out titled, “If you got it flaunt it”. At that time I was really into playing with my Hot Wheels, so if I heard the song I probably didn’t pay much attention to it. Girls had cooties anyways, so if they were flaunting anything it was something bad that could make me sick. But sometime in junior high that changed. Cooties turned out not to be so bad, and the flaunting thing was getting my attention. Remember Brooke Shields and her Calvin Klein commercials? “Nothing comes between me and my Calvin’s”. There was a little flaunting going on there, and I noticed.
Although those ads got a lot of attention back in the day they seem tame compared to today. On the flaunt-o-meter “Nothing comes between me and my Calvin’s” ranks at about a 2 compared to Victoria Secret ads which are an 8. I’d say Victoria doesn’t keep her secrets very well with that score. Abercrombie and Fitch ads have more skin than clothes, and at least one of their catalogs had scenes of group sex, but without complete nudity. So they get a 9. I reserved the top score of 10 on the flaunt-o-meter for fashion ads with complete, and I mean complete, nudity. Although it’s uncommon in the US, it is out there in high fashion magazines.
Is this flaunting in fashion having an impact on youth culture? Sure. Just look around and see what is being worn. Can girl shorts get any shorter? Soon they’ll be selling a piece of string with a zipper. It also seems like most of the big hit girl singers want to not just show off their vocal talents, but they want to show off their bodies as well. “If you got it flaunt it”, as Donna Summers once sang, seems to be the anthem for kids today, and they are surrounded by media (TV, radio, print, web) that sing the same tune.
What’s the end game in flaunting what you got? What signal is it sending? Do girls really want to attract guys that just want to see and use what they’re flaunting? Do they really think it’s a way to attract a guy that wants a relationship? Or will it more likely attract one that just wants sex? The answer is pretty easy, but I am amazed at how some parents let their daughters dress. It’s our job to set the fashion “do’s” and “don’ts” and make sure our daughters have respect for what they’ve got and not let them flaunt it. They deserve better than what flaunting often attracts.
For more on parenting and talking about sex with your kids, check out “The Talk”.