I was in Target with Anna the other day (no, I don't know why I repeatedly subject myself to this sort of torture), waiting while she tried on assorted garments in the dressing room. I was wandering around the juniors section in a sort of existential state of despair over the porn star look for teens when - miracle of miracles - I spotted it! A skirt, a full skirt, that went below the knees! Complete with an attractive smocked waistband and ruffled hem! I rushed over to check out the price, and there on the tag were the disappointing words - tube dress. As in, most emphatically not a mid-length skirt. (I would like to note here that, in the store, this garment appears much shorter than it does in the picture in that link. I think they had a midget model it.)
Crushed, I returned to the dressing room, where I held a scintillating conversation with my teen daughter (formerly known as "Beloved") that went like this:
"Why can't I buy this shirt?"
"Because it makes you look slutty. You want to look slutty?" (note: do not ask your teen daughter a rhetorical question)
"Yes." Only she said it "Ye-eh-es", the extra syllables subbing in for what she really wanted to say, which was "Yes, of course I do, anything not to dress like you. Duh."
She tries again:
"Well, how about this shirt?"
"How about we go home and I make you some clothes out of our curtains?"
Oh, poor Anna. Don't worry, honey - in a few short years you will be away at college and free to prance around in your underwear, if that is what your heart desires. In the meantime, your loving parents will make sure you at least give a good impression of being a young girl who respects herself enough not to be shoving her boobs and upper thighs in people's faces. We're sort of old-fashioned that way.