Over the past several weeks, I've had the chance to see plenty of facebook pictures of friends/their children/their siblings all dressed up to go to prom/end of the year dinners/dances.
Tonight, I saw a young man I know, and it sparked an exclamation of, "
A few weeks ago at the park, a large group was having their pictures taken before an 8th grade dinner-dance and I was shocked by how scantily dressed ALL of the girls were. I can't tell you how many of the girls must have had their nipples exposed at some point throughout the course of the evening- let alone how many crotch shots their dates must have witnessed as the girls sat down.
Unfortunately, I guess this is the norm these days. Girls all flounced out in backless, sleeveless, strapless, frontless, sideless wonders must compose the vast majority of most "formal" middle and high school functions. The irony? THERE IS NOTHING CLASSY ABOUT THESE "FORMAL" OUTFITS. Quite to the contrary, they look trashy and cheap and make the girls look like complete sluts.
Micah just argued tonight, "You can't blame them, it's society's fault as a whole", before admitting that he and his friends' prom dates didn't dress as slutty as most of the girls in pictures I show him (and, no, they weren't Mormon). Sure, there are a lot of factors contributing towards the problem of rampant immodesty, particularly in formal attire, but I'd like to briefly complain about a few of them:
1.) Permissive Parenting
2.) Misperceived Lack Of Market Variety
3.) Boys' Lack of Standards
4.) Girls' Lack Of Self-Respect
Most of the time, parents are quite aware of what their daughters are wearing to prom. In most cases, they're the ones who have forked out the cash to purchase the girl's chosen lingerie-disguised-as-formal-dress. So, why do parents think it's okay for a 14 to 18 year-old girl to go out exposing her boobs and legs and back like she's a stripper halfway through her act? Do parents honestly look at their half-naked daughters and not realize how inappropriate their dresses are? Are they just numbed by the promiscuity of the media and expect that their daughter should dress like a slut? Seriously- wake up, parents!
I have been hearing it since I was in high school: The stores only sell sleeveless/strapless/low cut dresses! Or, all the modest dresses are ugly! Welcome to the digital age, when everybody buys stuff online. To believe that you are limited to what you see in the department stores is ridiculous. Another problem? Most girls aren't shopping at serious department stores- they are getting their formal dresses from much cheaper, trashier, teen-targeting stores. And if you've searched high and low, then find the best dress you can and alter it. You don't have to be a genius or a master seamstress to safety pin your dress so that the boobs don't hang out. Shawls and wraps and cover-ups come in greater variety than ever before. I don't think that anyone truly, honestly believes that they can't find something more appropriate- this is more of an excuse than a true reason. But parents need to realize that and not give into their daughters' whines that there's nothing else out there.
On to the boys- how many out there, aside from being majorly turned on by their date, must at least some times be truly embarrassed by how revealing the girls' dresses are. I know most teenage boys are pretty insecure, but seriously- have a backbone and set expectations for your date. It will make the whole night a lot less awkward.
Finally- girls. Why in the world would someone with any amount of self-respect deliberately objectify themselves by selecting clothing that sexualizes their appearance, for a formal event nonetheless! The only conclusion that I can find is that such girls don't see their own value outside of looking hot. Which is really sad. I can see where it comes from- I mean, how many successful doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs or other intellectuals has an average girl seen receiving praise versus the Beyoncé's and the Fergie's.
So- change of scene- I was up at GA Tech a couple of weeks ago to play racquet ball with Micah. It was Friday night and as I searched for parking I passed a number of couples who were on their way to some formal event. The guys were in suits-a few in tuxes- and the girl were wearing formal dresses. Their dresses we no schoolmarm frocks, but most were significantly more covering than ANYTHING I have seen middle school and high school-aged girls wear this year. Most were floor-length, the rest were at least upper-knee length. Sure, there was some cleavage here or there, but at least the tops were securely fitted and generally not so low and cut-out and generally bare as most dresses I have seen on teens
So, what does that mean, when highschoolers are dressing even sluttier than the college girls that they are aspiring to become? I want to believe that it means that by college these mindless girls finally gain some substance/standards. Or perhaps they just develop a sense of taste? Or maybe their sexual permissiveness by the time they reach college renders obsolete the attempt to self-sexualize as inexperienced highschoolers wanting to be grown up. Or will these girls just become sluttier college girls than the current ones that they will replace over the next five years?
All I know is that it has to stop before girls start to look like this on their wedding day.