THE BLOG

What Gordon Ramsay's Teenage Daughters Wear Is No One's Business But Their Own

02/12/2015 11:44 GMT | Updated 01/12/2016 10:12 GMT

Gordon Ramsay's teenage daughters became the latest target for nasty online trolls this week, for wearing skirts that were thought to be "too short".

The chef uploaded a photo of his children Matilda, 14, Holly, 16, and Megan, 17, at a birthday party for twins Holly and Jack. A family friend Emma Montague was also in the photo.

But soon after the image hit Instagram, the criticism started - for some reason grown adults thought it appropriate to troll a father for what his children (I repeat, children) were wearing to a family party.

Many said that the girls' skirts were "too short", while others pleaded with Ramsay to let his girls "be girls" who looked "more like 21". As if he'd forced his daughters into wearing the short skirts or something.

A photo posted by Gordon Ramsay (@gordongram) on


Ramsay has now hit back, clearly stating that it is no one's business what his daughters wear. (Too right.) And in any case, he adds that it is "my job is to teach my son how to respect girls".

The problem is not what his daughters are wearing. It is society's persistence in sexualising young women (often against their will), and refusing to realise that it is this forced sexualisation that causes the issues in the first place.

As someone who hit puberty pretty young, I know what it's like to be sexualised as a child.

I first started to grow breasts (at about 10 years old) and was about 5ft 4 by the time I hit secondary school. My body quickly became a woman's body, while I was just a child.

Like clockwork, I became a source of fascination for my male classmates, who would openly talk about or grab my breasts during school.

As teenagers walking home from school in uniform, my friends and I would routinely be subject to attention from fully grown men. Often calling or hooting from cars and vans as they drove past.

A quick straw poll of the all-female HuffPost UK Lifestyle desk reveals that all of us received unwanted attention before we were - to use a term coined by Tatler to describe Brooklyn Beckham - legal.

So to be honest, it doesn't really matter what Ramsay's daughters wore to the party, they will always be objectified and sexualised. As attractive young women, they are seen as fair game.

I've heard girls called "jail bait" and being warned about "being careful" around older guys. I've seen people shake their heads when a child wears bikini bottoms and no top on the beach or the media fall over each other to declare a celebrity's daughter as "all grown up".

When are we going to start thinking about the way we interpret young women? Rather than passing judgement, let's look at the ones making the judgements.