In Ross Dress for Less, where it’s blessedly cool in this lovely heatwave, there were a lot of teen girls shopping with their mamas.

Ross is the best for clothes, right after Goodwill, and I will fight you if you say otherwise.

So one girl was wearing cutoffs cut off to THERE, you know where, like yes, you could actually see the area where her legs became cheeks.

Ok, it’s noticeable, not gonna lie. I certainly noticed. As did likely everyone in line behind her. She’s with her mama.

But then, directly in front of me, there are two preteen girls in oversized shirts and jeans with THEIR mom, and this mom is hissing at them,

“Look at that girl, she should be ashamed. All the men are looking at her SEXUALLY. Her mother should cry herself to sleep at night. Don’t even look at her. Just look away. Don’t EVER be that girl. I am so embarrassed for her.”

Look, look, LOOK, mama bears of teen girls. I get that we want them to be okay with who they are and that they should never feel the need to flaunt body parts around.

I get it, I really do.

But all of us who grew up in the modesty and purity culture knows it did a helleva lot of harm.

I regret dying on the Mountain of Two Piece Bathing Suits when my girls were teens.

I wish I hadn’t made a deal out of spaghetti strap tanks when it didn’t need to a be a deal at all.

I’m relieved I was old enough when the ol’ leggings/yoga pants versus “real” pants debacle came around, and simply rolled my eyes (and put my leggings back on).

We shouldn’t teach girls that their bodies are seductive weapons, capable only of ruining boy’s innocent hearts with a wayward bra strap, or gawd forbid, the occasional belly button.

But teaching them to despise their fellow sisters, by shaming them, and modeling hate, might just be worse.

Modest is NOT hottest. Kindess is.

Next: Dear Suddenly Homeschooling Mama (An Open Letter)