Teens choose classy role models, clothes

June 8, 2004 at 4:37 PM
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NEW YORK, June 8 (UPI) -- Pop star Christina Aguilera is out, sweet-faced actress Misha Barton is in, as U.S. teenage girls choose classy over sexy in role models and clothing choices.

Selecting more innocent role models instead of the sexier divas of years' past signals a shift that teenage girls "want to be feminine and ladylike more than they want to be trashy and sexy," teen image expert Jane Rinzler Buckingham said in Tuesday's New York Times.

Buckingham, president of Youth Intelligence, a New York consulting company that surveys teens for clients such as Levi's and L'Oréal, said the changes are also reflected in clothing preferences.

"We are finding that there are signs of more covering up" Buckingham said. "Right now, for many of them, sexy feels too vulnerable, too over-the-top, too cheesy."

Stores such as the Limited, Express and Quiksilver are replacing the micro-minis, cropped tops and thong-baring jeans of previous summers with knee-length skirts, high-waisted jeans, layered T-shirts and flat shoes - all of which are seen as hip, the Times said.

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