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What to do when your teenage daughter comes home wearing a t-shirt that says "Porn Star"

Going through some back issues of Bitch Magazine, I came across a great interview with Sharon Lamb and Lyn Mikel Brown, who have a book and a blog called Packaging Girlhood: Rescuing our Daughters from Marketing Schemes.

Here's an excerpt from the article which ran in Bitch's Green Issue:

Bitch: I'm thinking about t-shirts that say things like "If it Weren't for Boys, I'd Never Go to School," "Who Needs a Brain When You Have These?" and "Available for Parties." How do we – or can we, and should we – teach girls to get offended at stuff like that, not choose to participate in it?

Lamb: Well, I think wanting to look sexy is part of being a teen. But, unfortunately, that's overemphasized these days. So while I don't want to take that away and say girls shouldn't want to look sexy, I do think they shouldn't want to look sexy in only one way – and that they should also want to be sexy and learn about being sexual. None of those angles are promoted.

Brown: I think it's important that we communicate a distinction to young women between being looked at as being sexy and being a sensual person who is connected to her body. The media doesn't [help] girls to make that distinction.

Lamb: To get back to the notion of branding: Girls are forced into choosing a type of who they are going to be, and we all know that the type [with] the most power is the sexy girl who gets attention, or the cheerleader. But it would be great if we could get girls thinking beyond types – thinking more in terms of moods, like "Maybe I'll dress sexy when I go to this party tonight, but maybe I'll dress really comfortably when I go backpacking with my friends." That way, they wouldn't be forced to see themselves as just one kind of girl.

And then later in the interview:

Brown: When I work with girls I try to help them see the distinctions between...how something feels to wear and how others see it, so they can begin to think all that through for themselves. I don't think it's a good idea to say something like "Don't wear that because you're going to look like a slut." That just teaches girls to be more concerned with how other people see them than [with] creating their own identity.

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