Really, JC Penny?!

This past Sunday, I hurried through the newspaper looking for the coupon section and came across the JC Penny flyer tucked away within. These were the shorts that got my attention. Advertised to Juniors (and to their money wielding moms) were these insensitive, indiscreet, fragment of denim. I must admit, the ad almost made me cry. My heart was instantly burdened for the boys that would struggle at the site of them and the girls that would subject themselves to them.

Ladies, please hear me. This is not fashion. This is exploitation.

I know, based on research and experience from talking with girls and their moms, that this type of clothing leads to the three most common health issues teens face. Low self-esteem, eating disorders and depression. Why? Because shorts like these, among a plethora of immodest garments, makes one focus more on her sexual appeal than on her inner strengths. In a nutshell, she turns to her “goods” instead of her “greatness” for attention. Many times, that shift of values renders her insecure–and believing the lie–that no one would just love her for what her insides offer. Ambition. Humor. Love.

While focusing on, and receiving that outward attention, she becomes highly susceptible to eating disorders that help her keep that head-turing body. No wonder it ultimately leads her down a road to depression.

I made up my mind years ago that I would no longer BE THAT GIRL. I still peruse the fashion flyers the come in the Sunday paper, but I filter those fashions through the modesty guidelines God has given me.

Fashion isn’t the enemy. Satan is. And he would love to watch you sacrifice your integrity on the alter of bad taste.

We are worth more than a sliver of denim parading as a pair of shorts.



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23 Responses to Really, JC Penny?!

  1. You’re awesome!!! I love the godly role model you are for our girls and all women! <3

  2. Jeannie Garcia says:

    I agree. I don’t get the JC Penny part. They are everywhere.

    • Rachel Lee Carter says:

      Hi Jeannie. You are so right. They are everywhere. But it was the flyer from JC Penny, advertising these shorts on the front page that influenced me to write this post. Hopefully, our voices will be heard to the extent that JC Penny and other retailers will simple stop carrying these immodest duds.

  3. Oh my word that breaks my heart.
    I guess the another health issue would be teen pregnancy, just sayin’. :/
    It breaks my heart to think that girls need to wear this because they are constantly in competition with other girls to be the “Prettiest” or “Most Noticed”. I pray that my daughter is noticed for her wisdom to not fall for this lie! Thank you for posting!

  4. Donna Heaney says:

    As a mom of a 16 year old daughter I really appreciate what you wrote. I didn’t see the flyer but sadly I’m not surprised. You are a million times correct – it is not fashion, it is exploitation. So grateful to be able to see the difference and that my daughter sees the difference. Thank you for sharing your writing.

  5. valerie says:

    Very well said. It is so sad what so many moms accept and let their daughters wear!

  6. Ok I saw this on a feed through facebook and thought the picture was cropped and that I would open it up and there would be more to the picture…boy was I wrong! I think I have undergarments that have more fabric to that. Sadly, because parents will buy it, stores will keep selling it…and more parents will buy it. God Bless!

  7. Allison says:

    I totally agree with you and wish more moms would teach their daughters such! In addition to what it does to a girl’s mindset, there’s also the flip side of the coin. Girls are not taught that the way they dress directly affects the boys around them. Some would argue with me and say they know exactly what they are doing, but I’m not talking about just wanting a boy to turn his head and suceeding. My husband explained to me the reality of the situation and, thank God, plans on explaining to our daughter some day. To sum it up, we are not to be stumbling blocks to others and that includes how we dress. Thanks for speaking out!

  8. Crystal says:

    So true! After we got married, my husband told me one reason he admired me so much in high school was that I WASN’T dressing like everyone else, so he kind of had to get to know ME instead of my body! 🙂

    • Rachel Lee Carter says:

      That’s the message I try to get across. You’re so right! Use that illustration with girls in your realm of influence. It can make a difference! Thank you for sharing! And thank him for being an upstanding man! 🙂

  9. Janelle Tyler says:

    THANK YOU!! What’s even worse is these type of shorts are about all that is offered for my daughters age group… she’s 6!! I have to search high and low and usually end up modifying capri’s for her to wear. It’s so sad.

    • Rachel Lee Carter says:

      I understand. It can be suffocating when you’re trying to to find modest clothes for girls. Mom, keep your head on and be patient. Those good shorts are out there but sometimes it’s like finding a needle in a haystack. For the rest of her years under your roof, you’ll have to fight for pure options in the changing room, but that’s a battle worth waging! Thank you for being a stand-up mom!!!

  10. Cory Free says:

    I’m a fan after one article.

    My wife sent me this article because, after long days of teaching at a high school, I often come home and lament about the way girls dress for school. You are very correct in saying that outfits like that are killings boys who genuinely want to look at a girl’s heart and not every inch of skin that surrounds it. Please continue to press this issue; if not for my sake or my son’s sake then at least for the sake of the girls who think that’s really what a real man ( or boy) wants them to wear.

    • Rachel Lee Carter says:

      You’re absolutely right. I am a momma of two boys as well, and my voice is also for them and other boys and men who need an advocate. In my book, I interviewed 9 teen boys who gave their perspective. It’s astonishing. Im just trying to get girls and women to hear it. Thanks for being a pro-modesty dad! -Rachel

  11. Ashley says:

    This was brought to my attention by a friend of mine who posted it on facebook. I have no problem with you saying short shorts can cause people to act impure. It is my opinion however that you are in control of your own actions and blaming your actions on what someone wears is stupid. Also everyone’s view of what is modest is different and as long as you are not wearing it to make someone act impure it shouldn’t matter. Those are separate issues though. My problem with this article is that you say clothing causes eating disorders, low self esteem and depression. My sister has an ed so I know how untrue that is. Ed are psychological disorders caused by imbalances in the brain. My sister say this article and was really offended and upset about it. It is also untrue that shorts can cause depression and low self esteem. What causes that is people saying you look like a hussy and make me act impure because of what you wear. Not the shorts themselves, that is the same as saying guns made me kill a man. None of that is true. You are in control of your actions, no one else. It shouldn’t matter what people wear, we shouldn’t judge. Next time you think about posting about eds, make sure you know what you’re talking about. You’re intentions may have been good but they have hurt people.

    • Rachel Lee Carter says:

      Here are a few of the articles and studies I referenced here:

      1)LZ Granderson, weekly columnest for and

      According to a new study of cheerleaders’ body image from the University of South Carolina, the cheerleader runs a serious risk of developing eating disorders. Assistant Professor Dr. Toni Torres-McGehee polled 136 college cheerleaders and found one-third of them to be at risk–particularly those who wear midriff-baring uniforms. The study also found that young women who wore immodest midriff-baring street clothes were at greater risk for body-image issues and other disorders.

    • Hannah says:

      As much as I would love to jump on board with “opinions differ, it’s the intention that matters,” there are real men out there with real struggles every day because of ignorant women who wear immodest clothing. A woman’s intent in what she wears has ABSOLUTELY no bearing on what it tempts a guy to think. Can they control their thoughts? Absolutely. Should we force them to play with fire so that we can fit in? Of course not. That’s the scary part about deciding on modesty standards–at the end of the day, modesty isn’t as much of a matter of opinion as we’d like to think =/

  12. Elizabeth says:

    You wrote that well. I am a mommy of 2 girls and 2 boys. I am glad you noted that the boys will have struggles with this. I am teaching all my children to guard their eyes, and to be modest in what they wear. We live in a perverse culture and it is a daily spiritual battle training up our children to not be of this world. Your page is an encouragement to me. Thanks!

  13. Angela Nye says:

    Thank you!
    I have two daughters and so many times I have not been a good watchdog for them. I want to be a better security guard for my beautiful daughters.
    We desperately need you! Our churches need you!
    I know it hasn’t been easy but you stand out among the crowd for your deep beauty. Great security and devotion speaks volumes to us. I will be at the event on April 22, 2012 in Louisville, KY.
    Angie Nye

    • Rachel Lee Carter says:

      Thank you, Angela! Your words truly encourage me, and I look forward to meeting you in person–I hope you’ll bring your daughters as well. Thank you again for taking the time to write. Your words are worth printing out and keeping with me. Thanks again, Rachel

  14. jessbuurman says:

    Thank you so much. Very well said. It is so sad what so many moms accept and let their daughters wear!

  15. theresa carmouche says:

    JcPenney is going down the wrong path and leaving its foundation. In recent years they are working hard in trying to appeal to homosexuals by endorsing the same-sex marriage lifestyle by hiring Ellen Degeneres as their spokesperson. So Its no surprise that they are advertising these shorts on the cover of their circular–It’s so unfortunate. I pray that followers of Christ will stand up for righteousness in what we buy and where we buy it from.

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