How would you handle this?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-12-2005
How would you handle this?
27
Mon, 07-05-2010 - 4:22pm
My dd is 18 and pretty much has always been a great kid. We went to hang out with the family and some friends of the family for the holiday at a lake house yesterday. My dd was walking around in her bikini all day. I noticed a lot of the men were staring at her which made me uncomfortable considering many of them are 40+ years old. Today dd was going back with dh. I asked her to take a cover up and please wear it whe she isn't in the water. I explained to her that she may get some unwelcomed attention from men. She was angry and felt that it isn't her problem that some men are perverts and that she shouldn't have to cover up because she isn't responsible for their issues. I understand her point but at the same time I'd really prefer that she be more conscientious. I also realize I can only make suggestions and she is free to choose how she wishes to handle the situation. Thoughts?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-09-2009
Mon, 07-05-2010 - 5:44pm

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I agree with your DD. It isn't her problem that they are perverts, and you were fine with the bikini up until that point. What if they still stare when she's wearing jeans and a t-shirt? Will you ask her to cover up even more?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-12-2005
Mon, 07-05-2010 - 7:06pm
A bikini is a bit different than jeans and a t-shirt. You are right though, I am fine with a bikini which she usually wears in our backyard pool. It just really skeeved me out to see 40 year old and older men staring at my daughter. I would prefer that she wear a cover-up when she is not swimming or sunbathing but it is her decision seeing as she is 18.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-09-2009
Mon, 07-05-2010 - 8:48pm

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Absolutely...that was part of my point. What if you still noticed "dirty old men" leering at her? Would you then question the jeans and t-shirt. My point was that some women are leered at no matter what (they are that attractive). Some men, as you rightly pointed out, just have issues (and would leer at a nun). Why should your DD have to live a life constrained by the perverted minority of men.

So long as your DD is in a safe area (she's not wearing the bikini in a dark alley), then my suggestion is for both of you to just ignore the gross looks.

Avatar for mjaye2002
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 07-05-2010 - 10:27pm

Perhaps my answer is colored by the fact I don't have a daughter, but...


Men are visual creatures.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Mon, 07-05-2010 - 10:32pm

I believe swimwear should be worn while SWIMMING, and covered up when you are NOT swimming. It isn't even a question of dirty old men; it's a question of common courtesy. A bikini covers LESS than your underwear. Would you sit at the dining room table in your underwear? Would you go to the grocery in your underwear? Would you sit and watch TV in your underwear? Would you go out to a restaurant in your underwear? Would you walk around the house in your underwear? Would you do all that, in your underwear, in front of friends and family? Would you want to see your NEIGHBOR answer the door to you, in their underwear? Would you want to see YOUR MOTHER sitting in the living room in her underwear? I would hope NOT. So why allow your DAUGHTERS to wander around "ALL DAY", in front of family and friends, in LESS than their underwear?

When my HUSBAND was younger, he would sometimes mow the lawn without a SHIRT. But when he came into the house, he put a shirt on. We used to have a large pool. When we came in the house, even if it was only for a while, or to eat lunch, we put on tee shirts, or cover-up's. So did all the friends and family who came over to swim, and the number was considerable, so I don't think we are weird, or overly modest. BTW, when my FATHER worked outside, or in the yard, he would sometimes work shirtless. But when he came in, he put on a tee shirt. He would not even sit at the table in a dago tee. He thought it was not polite. And we did NOT have air conditioning.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-17-2010
Mon, 07-05-2010 - 10:41pm
If she was in the house lounging around in the bikini I would say cover up. If she is walking around the lake front area, on the beach or by the water, I would say that no cover up is needed as she is still in the appropriate attire for the area.
If the men staring are friends of yours, then your husband should have a talk with them.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005
Tue, 07-06-2010 - 12:01am

Personally, this isn't a fight that I'd choose to fight. And I disagree that *all* men would look at a pretty girl in a bikini. My husband can certainly appreciate a nice body, but honestly, I think he would be scrupulously avoiding looking. Maybe because we actually have kids that age, but we've talked about it and I think we're both telling the truth when we say that there is nothing remotely attracting (not attractive) to us about a teenager.


OTOH, I also think that your dd should be selective. I really couldn't tell from your comment what you meant by wearing it all day. I agree with sabrtooth that I wouldn't want my kids at the table (even the picnic table) in a bikini - just too much skin. But, if your dd was walking around on the beach, in and out of the water, etc... then I think that would be fine. I guess my bigger thought is that it's not about picking a fight, and it's not about whether your dd is "enticing" men, it's just about what's polite and appropriate. I really feel you shouldn't make it about whether men are leering. That's inappropriate no matter what she's wearing and I think that men aren't these primal beings who are unable to control themselves. They can make choices, too, and anyone 40+ has NO excuse for ogling an 18-year old.


So, I think that you have every right at a family lakehouse (you're providing this, I assume, not your dd) to set rules. It's perfectly reasonable to say, "hey guys, put a shirt on/throw on a cover up etc" when you come in, come to the table or whatever. However, make it about THAT, not about your daughter somehow being responsible for some skeevy 45-year old ogling her.


Theresa

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Tue, 07-06-2010 - 12:05am

<> NO, being 18 does not magically make her immune to your house rules, or mean that she can do as she pleases and no longer abide by your wishes. That is your FIRST problem. If I told my daughters: "Please go put on a cover up" they would do it, whether they were 18 or 38, because they respect me.

My dds are 29 & 26. We were all going out to dinner, and 26dd came in wearing jeans with rips in them. I said, "Didn't you have anything nicer than that to wear?" She said, "I BOUGHT them this way!" DH said, "Then you should ask for half your money back, because they gave you only half a pair of pants." She said, "I'll go home and change." And she did.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-1999
Tue, 07-06-2010 - 7:32am

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I think this may be part of the issue... what different people expect for the "venue" varies from one social group to another. In sabr's social group, if you're not in the water, you're covered - which is the expectation in my family of origin. In other social circles, wearing a bikini throughout the day at a lakeside venue is perfectly acceptable, which is how it is in my DH's family. To a certain extent, I think one needs to abide by the expectations of the group one is with. When my DD swims with her cousins on my side of the family, I expect her to cover up... when she swims with her cousins from DH's side, not so much.

I do agree that men are visual creatures by nature, and they're going to look no matter what a woman wears. However, HOW they look is important... there's a huge difference between leering and glancing, kwim? As the mom of 3 sons, I get that... but I still don't want 40+ y/o men oogling my DD.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-12-2005
Tue, 07-06-2010 - 7:34am

I don't think it is a matter of respect but rather a matter of autonomy. I don't expect my dd to share all of the same views that

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