Mary Kate and Ashley

Do Burqas come in a Size 5?

I still haven’t been forgiven for refusing to go to my debutante ball on the grounds that it was an archaic sacrificial ritual to advertise the fact that I was now on the mating market. I was obviously a lot of fun to be around in those days and I think Dad just wanted to see me in a dress for once.

But lately I’ve started to feel nostalgic for those days of anticipation when girls got excited about having permission to wear a bit of lipstick and some pale pink nail polish when they went out. We no longer need debutante balls to introduce our grown up daughters to society it seems – society just comes in and kidnaps them before we get the chance.

Take the fact that my just turned 5 year old wants a bra.

mary-kate and ashley olsen

I blame it on Mary Kate and Ashley and their range of pre –school lingerie. Being rich and anorexic means they have now become the cultural heroines of a generation of tweenagers and can sell what they like to their ever younger wannabes.

Since when did clueless and emaciated become something to strive towards?

After taking the 5 year old to church and realising that she was not singing the hymns but was belting out ‘Don’t you wish your girlfriend was HOT like me” with some rather adult moves thrown in, I began to wonder if convents still existed and if I could send her to one and visit her every Christmas.

I wondered if it was actually OK to keep her in those cute short dresses or perhaps an Islamic Burqa may be more appropriate. Maybe Pumpkin Patch did them with little embroidered hibiscus eye visor thingys for summer.

I revised the one hour a day rule of TV and decided we’d have to bury it in the back yard and be done with it – although the bra idea had come from the 9 year old next door who had one. This was amply demonstrated when the bra toting 9 year old showed up for a family barbeque – in full face make-up, a miniskirt, an expensive cell phone and French acrylic nails. I sent her home to put on something that included jeans and a jersey. She came back in jeans, knee high boots and a see-through top.

I scanned my relatives and friends for any paedophilic tendencies that had previously gone unnoticed.

I was feeling like the goat keeper on Komodo Island; everything that moves is a potential predator when you are looking after the (jail) bait. The thing is she’s tall. She looks quite mature and she’s drop dead gorgeous - I’d probably ask her out for a beer if I were a bloke. The Barbie collection may be a clue once you got back to her house but it seems fashionable at the moment to keep women in the arrested development of baby doll dresses and mindless giggling. It’s hard for anorexics to hold up their end of a conversation at the best of times and starvation makes you short so - who’s to know?

I’m not advocating that we lock up our daughters instead of potential predators just that we get at least a running chance of protecting them without marketing boys stamping them with precocious sexuality as they come out of the womb.

Mary Kate and Ashley need to stick to cute socks and headbands – not bras, and I hate to go back to my eighties feminist roots but don’t girls need some role models that aren’t named after hotels and who can actually stand up in a gust of wind? In the meantime I’m off to find a size 5 Burqa, I may be gone awhile.

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