at the spray park the other evening ella asked me, "how come girls wear a bathing suit that covers their nipples even though they don't even have breasts, but boys don't?"
well kid. that is a good question. i told her well, you know, grown up men don't wear shirts usually when they're swimming so boys usually dress the same. and because grown up women wear tops to cover their breasts, i guess little girls like to wear a top just to dress like their moms or something.
and while i think that that might be true in some cases, i feel i was totally bullshitting my child. because the real reason is that for some reason that i can't fathom, it seems to make people uncomfortable. i read something recently about a woman who was told her 7-year-old was not allowed at the swimming pool without a top on. they said it made the other patrons uncomfortable. and according to that mom, it clearly made some "grown up men" very uncomfortable.
what is the source of this discomfort? is it because young girls are sexualized at such a young age now in north american society? so much so that they can't deal with looking at a girl child's body without feeling inappropriate feelings in themselves? maybe. or maybe it's a gender issue. gender is so strictly enforced by our society. girls wear pink. boys like trucks. never the twain shall meet. so when a girl child doesn't wear a top, even though they don't have breasts yet, people freak out. because she's cross-dressing? she's not conforming to the gender stereotype that is expected of her. and i will not force her to.