Messages to Boys about Girls' Fashions

By Dan Coulter I recently wrote an article about the challenges parents face helping their young daughters make appropriate clothing choices in the face of increasing fashion industry pressure to look and dress “sexy.” Another side to this issue is the effect this pressure has on young boys. It's not just from the fashion industry. Boys get messages from advertising for non-clothing products, such as commercials where girls in bikinis fawn over young men who drink the right beer or wear the right cologne. And from raw comedians who dive headfirst into politically incorrect humor that treats women as objects. Even as women are making tremendous strides toward equality, many fashions for women

Dads and Dressing Daughters

StartFragmentby Dan Coulter I read a New York Times column recently by Bruce Feiler about the the way the fashion industry is marketing sexually oriented clothes to his 8 year old daughters. The column was called "This Life" and the subhead was "A Line Between Sweet and Skimpy." It struck me that the challenges he described are even greater for dads of daughters who have social challenges related to Asperger Syndrome. Girls with Asperger Syndrome can be at risk of trying too hard to fit in and can have a harder time accepting explanations about what's appropriate to wear. Any discussion with children that involves sexuality can be difficult for parents. Many families tend to think talks t

The Zero Based Approach

By Dan Coulter Ever talked to someone who complains about a problem, and then shoots down every idea you have to solve it? Of course you have. Ever done this yourself? Of course not...er...well, maybe. It's easy for any of us to get locked into a way of thinking that makes it difficult to solve problems. It's especially hard when you've tried a number of fixes that didn't work, and then have someone suggest those very fixes. Unfortunately, it's easy to take a wrong turn at that point and be convinced a problem can't have a solution. Part of this can be an unconscious mental defense. It can make us feel dumb to have someone point out a solution we didn't think of ourselves. With

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