Kids fashion designers, we need to talk.

Is it just me, or is anyone else offended by some of the clothing marketed towards young girls? Maybe, I’m just getting old and boring, but mini skirts and leopard print string bikinis on a 5-year-old? I know this is a debate that has been around for while but recently, I was really confronted by it.

On a trip to the shops, I was shocked. Not by the price of a piece of banana bread I had to buy to keep my son quiet in the pram ($6.50 are you friggin kidding me!?) or by the lines outside Apple (it’s just a phone people!) but by the clothing available for girls aged under 12.

Now, I want to make this clear. I’m not a prude in any sense of the word. In fact, I’m probably a little more out there than most. I mean, I have an excellent vocabulary, none of which is publishable. I’m generally pretty laid back and don’t take offense to a lot. But this particular day, I’ll tell you, I was offended. And, I was thankful to have boys. Why? Because as I trawled through the aisles of department stores in search of a gift for my friends three-year-old girl, I found myself lost in a sea of clothes that would honestly, be right at home in a Britney video.

“With role models like these, it’s no surprise.”

I saw shorts that would rival Kylie Minogue’s, crops which would look more at home in the ladies underwear department and knee length boots which, back when I knew them, used to have a far edgier name. They were called that for a reason, because they promoted something. Not something we want or need associated with children. And the slogans… whoa don’t get me started on the slogans.

I tried unsuccessfully for so long to find something appropriate in the clothing section and eventually, I just gave up and found the toy aisle.

On the way there, I saw two young girls who’s mother obviously didn’t feel the same way I did about girls clothing and really, I just felt really awkward. I wasn’t looking at a girl, I was looking at a little doll, done up to look much older than she actually was. And there she was, with absolutely no comprehension of what her “look” said to other people.

The season of sweaters and cozy knitwear might have arrived, but Megan Thee Stallion is still fully embracing the vibes of “Hot Girl Summer.”

We’ve been more than happy to use Megan’s hit song to inspire our choices in back-to-school wardrobe even in fall, and the star has recently revealed there’s one staple fashion item necessary to fully embrace the lifestyle regardless of season: crop tops.

Speaking with i-D, the rapper explained how her upbringing inspired her signature wardrobe and revealed the two pieces she couldn’t live without. “I’m from Texas and I’ve always been a big fan of booty shorts and crop tops,” she said. “I’ve never got any clothes on. It’s literally how I dress and nobody can make me change if I don’t want to.”

Megan isn’t the only one embracing crop tops year-round either. Stars like Halsey and Dua Lipa were spotted in the “Hot Girl Summer” trend — but, with the addition of jeans and boots, both looked prepared to take on the winter chill.

In addition to tips on fashion, Megan also shared how she’s remained so confident throughout her time in the spotlight. “I always thought I was the sh*t because my family always told me that I was, so can’t nobody tell me no different,” the rapper said. “If you wake up every godd*mn day and your mama is telling you, ‘Oh my God, you’re so beautiful. You’re so amazing.’ That’s what you’re going to believe. So if somebody comes to me different, like, “What the f*ck are you talking about? My mama told me I was beautiful, so what are you saying?”

A possible winter spent in Megan-inspired tops aside, the star ended the chat with some serious wisdom on self-love. “Don’t ever think that there’s not somebody out there that you can relate to,” she said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s your blood or a friend or just a complete stranger. There will always be somebody out there that has been through the same thing that you’ve been through – you’ve really just got to stay strong and you got to find that person. Somebody is always willing to help you, so if you ever feel like you’re by yourself, you got to tough it out for a little while. You got to be yourself. But you always going to run into somebody that’s going to give you that love that you’ve been looking for.”

Now, for the rest of “Hot Girl Fall,” please only talk to us if it’s about Megan Thee Stallion, crop tops or self-compliments.

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Want more from Teen Vogue? Check this out: Your Guide to Having A Hot Girl Semester

Booty shorts are the only shorts you should be wearing this summer

As the temperature rises, so does your hem line. But just because it’s a little warmer than it was a few months ago, does not mean you can put on those short shorts without a little care and consideration.

Bums are this season’s hottest asset thanks to the likes of Nicki Minaj and Kim K, so it’s no wonder women everywhere are putting time and a half into ensuring their derrières are nice and pert. And you should too, since booty shorts are back for another bootylicious summer of love.

They’ve been around for a while, but they’re going to be your summer staple. It’s been 10 years since Kate Moss rocked the tiny hot pants at Glasto, and you can bet your bottom dollar she’ll be working them this year too.

If you want to work this wardrobe classic, listen up. You need to do it right, as fashion guru Bianca London explains: “It’s time to hit the gym and cram some squats in: booty shorts are back. Thanks to the rise of tiny, derrière-baring shorts, the A-list have a new erogenous zone to show off – the underbutt. Among those with the nerve to show of a glimpse of buttock are Cara Delevingne, Rita Ora and Ellie Goulding – and probably you soon, too.”

Do your squats

A glimpse of cheek is far sexier than a big chest, and this trend is all about celebrating the beautiful behind. But nobody wants to see a flat bum poking out of your short shorts, so you’re going to have to put some graft in to keep it firm and fabulous.

Squats will be your saviour this summer, and the best part about them is you can do them in your living room: no more cowering in the gym because everyone you know has decided to go at the exact same time.

Personal trainer Sam Mitchell said: “Having well developed hips and legs is one of the most attractive physical characteristics in either gender. I often joke with my clients in the gym every day is butt day.

“Squatting heavy five or six times a week works for me, although some might find that excessive. For most people I’d say squat as often as your legs can take it.

“Keep your weight back, hips tight, back tight, everything tight and squeeze through your butt like you’re trying to push planet earth out of orbit.”

Denim is back

You’re not in Fame, crop tops and disco pants are banned

How not to wear them

80s fashion went out the window as soon as the 90s came knocking, so don’t be caught dead in a pair of tight, shiny shorts this year. In case you hadn’t noticed, denim is making a big comeback, and they’re the perfect material for your booty shorts. But the catwalks are kind this year, and there are so many materials you can play around with if you’re bored of the 90s favourite.

Fashionistas can go for something a little more adventurous, and Bianca has some top suggestions: “Opt for a perennially chic pair of distressed denims if you want to play it safe. For extra brownie points, take note of the catwalks and snap up a pair of white, tan suede or khaki green shorts.”

But don’t go too distressed – there’s enough on show with your bum out, let alone giving everyone a peek of your knickers. Keep it classy by sticking to an acid wash if you want to mix the denim up, and never go for rips. Exposed pockets are also out: this year it’s all about keeping them sophisticated.

Keep them high waisted

High waisted is the only way to go this summer

Elongate your legs by snapping up a high waisted pair, which sit at the small of your waist. By hugging the smallest bit of you, your curves will be accentuated and suddenly baby got back. Dropped waists are only good if you’re increasing the length of your shorts, and since this trend is all about getting the full leg and bum out, you want as much material above the belly button as possible.

Don’t overload the 90s: Crops are a big no

There’s such thing as too much: avoid plunges like the plague

We’re not actually back in 1997: fashion has moved on a long way since then, and so should your booty shorts. If you’re going to pull off hot pants this year, you’ll need something a little more glam to pair them with.

Your butt is taking centre stage, so cover up your midriff and steer clear of the crop tops. You can tease with a bit of cleavage, but nothing more than a scoop neck. You’re working this style like Beyoncé, not Jodie Marsh circa 2004.

Blogger Sophia Drew recommends teaming your shorts with a blouse for an elegant twist. She said: “One of the ways to wear hot pants without looking too tacky is to stick to tailored styles. Sure, they may be super short, but a turned up cuff or fitted waistband can make all the difference. Pair them with a button-up blouse, too. If your hot pants are made from a stiffer fabric, go with a looser fitting, silky blouse. If you’re wearing a more stretchy fabric, then try a crisp cotton shirt instead.”

They’re not just for festivals

Dress them up with a crisp shirt and heels

Why should something so sexy be for the reserve of boozers at a festival who can’t even appreciate them? This year, booty shorts are acceptable anywhere, any time. Dress them down in the day with a pair of sandals or Hi Tops, then take them from day to night with a pair of wedges (yes, they’re back too).

Bianca suggests: “Team with a casual white, grey or black t-shirt and Stan Smiths for a daytime look, and add wedges and a tailored blazer to amp it up for night.”

These shorts require attitude

It’s a given if you’re wearing hot pants there might be a bit more on show than you’re used to, but work it. Don’t spend the night pulling out a wedgie, adjusting your camel toe or anxiously looking around, wondering if people are staring at your bootay. They are, get over it. The quickest way to kill your sex appeal is not having the confidence to pull them off, so just hold your head up high and let everyone enjoy your cheeky cheeks.

Booty shorts are a state of mind, not just a piece of clothing.

Admittedly she was one of the younger ones in the class, yet as we walked into the classroom, I was instantly struck by the number of seven-year-old girls wearing bedazzled booty shorts.

It appears the same short shorts that I used to wear in college with a big U of A stamped across my rear end (go Wildcats!) is the attire of choice for little girls taking dance classes, except these say “DANCE”–in rhinestones.

I admittedly thought these were fabulous at the time. That being said, I was 20, not 7, and mine were certainly not purchased by my parents. I sort of wanted to pack up my little legging-wearing peanut and run all the way home, but we stayed, and as I watched through the observation window, I saw the girls busting serious moves. Boy could they dance! And work their behinds! And shake their prepubescent chests! After thirty minutes of butt-shaking all around her, my daughter started shaking her booty, too. It’s apparently contagious.

A group of girls wearing teeny weeny shorts and sports bras from Lululemon gathered around the observation window nearby. They talked about losing teeth, and how they only had one or two baby teeth to go. They were twelve and wearing the kind of expensive clothing that I’m pretty sure a lot of people would refer to as underwear.

I have a son and a daughter. My daughter watches Sofia the First and loves to make crafts and play chase with her brother, yet she was shaking her little booty as hard as she could after spending even a little bit of time with these girls. Does this mean that if you take your child to a fun dance class you’re essentially signing them up to learn how to twerk? When my son gets older and he sees half-naked girls running around at age 12, what will he be seeing by the time he’s 17?

Maybe I’m just getting old–really old–because I don’t get it. It takes a whole lot of babysitting money to buy an outfit at Lululemon when you’re twelve years old. Our children are exposed to sexuality at an early age through TV, toys, and yep, seeing others wearing inappropriate clothing. I hear parents complain about how hard it can be to find age-appropriate clothes for their young daughters. But as I looked through that dance class window, all I could think was that the parents of those girls must have bought them those outfits and let them out of the house to shake their behinds for all the world to see.

My kids are little, and I haven’t had to experience a tween losing her mind when she wants a piece of clothing that all her friends are wearing. But I’m pledging right now that I’m not doing it. I’m not going to buy my teen daughter clothing that leaves little to the imagination, and I’m not going to turn a blind eye if she tries to walk out of the house in a teeny weeny scrap of clothing before she even has her driver’s license.

Maybe this will backfire on me. She may get angry and swap clothes with her friends the minute she leaves the house. I hope not, but I’m going to give it my best shot. I’m her mother, and if I can’t convince her to cover up, I don’t know who will.

If she wants to dance, I hope she boogies her little heart out. There’s a lot you can do in a good pair of crop pants, like take a dance class. Let’s hope I can convince her.

Do you think booty shorts are appropriate for seven-year-olds?

Booty shorts and crop tops

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