Are Young Girls Dressing Too Revealingly?

Some see trend, and take steps to stop it.

ByABC News via via logo

Oct. 27, 2007 — -- Among pint-sized cheerleaders, itty-bitty beauty queens, and in the malls of America, the sassy-sexy look isn't just for teens anymore.

Some say younger girls are going shorter and barer -- taking their cues from characters like the Cheetah Girls, the Pussycat Dolls and the Bratz dolls -- and some observers are saying they've had enough.

Celia Rivenbark, a mom who hit her breaking point with the shrinking fashions, wrote a book called, "Stop Dressing Your Six Year Old Like a Skank."

"The moms are buying it, the dads are buying and maybe on some level the parents think, 'Oh that's cute, that's harmless, that's innocent' -- but I don't think it is," Rivenbank said. "The children are wearing them down."

And psychologist Dr. Jeff Gardere warns that how a child dresses as young as age three can have serious consequences.

"You can be doing real damage to your child," Gardere said. "They are forming their taste at a very young age. They can hurt their futures. They can hurt their reputations, their chances for success."

Ten-year-old Ashley Parks said she admires the Pussycat Doll look.

"I like how it's sexy," she said.

Six year-old Venus Melvin aims a bit older, looking to model and fashion mogul Kimora Lee Simmons.

"She is really creative," Melvin said, "and she knows how to handle fashion."

Three North Carolina moms and one dad who spoke to "Good Morning America Weekend Edition" said the pressure to please their little princesses -- but still have them look their age -- is no easy task.

"When I am talking to my daughter, she'll sit there and say, 'You don't know fashion' and how can I compete with that?" the dad asked.

One mom said, "I am just amazed at how much shorter the dresses are getting. They have stuff for the kids I wouldn't wear."

The parents said department stores need to tone it down in the children's section and lay off companies like "Pimpfants" that sell "baby beaters" and "junior pimp squad" t-shirts.

There even are choices -- plenty of them -- if your little one wants a thong or a padded bra.

Rivenbark said parents the power to say no, and avoiding the mommy drama is all about compromise. She stresses moderation, especially when it comes to "bling," and suggests bribing with bright colors. And layering can make almost anything more conservative.

She suggested asking kids, "Is this out of the question, or is there some way to split to difference with this? I know it seems this is a little challenging, but you could wear a little cover-up a little shawl?"

"There's no reason that your child should be deprived of the fashion," Rivenbark added.

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