Half Naked- How Much is Too Much?
I don't have to tell you- half naked women are everywhere. You name it, someone has stuck a picture of a half naked woman on it. TV, movies, billboards, magazines in the grocery store check-out, ads on the side of your Internet page. The Disney Princesses even wear low-cut dresses.
Not only is my four year old exposed to female sexuality in the ways I listed above, but she and I like to look at fashion slide-shows together. And designers now-a-days, they like women to have their bodies showing: see through shirts, pasties, exposed bras and thongs. When she's on the computer with me and a half naked woman pops up, I click past it as quickly as possible, but she sees it, and usually says something like, "Mommy! I see that lady's boobies! That silly lady should not show her boobies!" To which I reply, "You're right, sweetie, that silly lady shouldn't show her boobies!"
I can't hide our culture's exploitation of female sexuality from her. I could stop surfing the net and looking at slide shows with her, but the way I figure, she's already seen it, right? If she's not seeing it with me, she's seeing it somewhere else. She'll start school next fall, and if kids are still as bad as they were when I was growing up, I know she'll learn about it there. And if I'm going out and I'm dressing sexy, I'll put a big t-shirt on over whatever I'm wearing and take it off in the car, so at least she doesn't see me doing it.
In some ways, I think it's better that she's been exposed to sexuality around me, because she has seen me react openly and calmly (but disinterestedly) toward it. Maybe that will make it easier for her to open up to me about this sort of thing when she's a teen.
So my question is: how much is too much? Is a bikini worse than a bra? Am I doing irreparable harm to her by letting her catch an occasional glimpse of exposed nipple? Is there even a way, in this day and age, to shelter her from it? What do you think?