What's so bad about wearing a teeny, tiny tank top in the winter? Or a pair of low, low-rise jeans to school? Who said that hats promote "rowdy behavior" and that T-shirts with safety pins, slang words or rips are signs of gangs, wars, and fighting? Well, it seems that in most schools across America, the adult decision-makers (the principals, teachers, and parents) have come down hard on dressing for school appropriately. And although you may think that "dress codes and attire rules" are cramping your individuality when it comes to dressing for school, take a moment to think about what your choice of clothing is saying about you.
Lisa received numerous warnings about her choice of clothes from the vice principal of her junior high school. Lisa, although only 13 years old, looks very mature and can easily be mistaken for 16. To further promote her mature appearance, Lisa often wears tight, clingy T-shirts and stretch pants in a variety of colors. Due to possible panty lines, Lisa always wears a thong. "What's the big deal?" Lisa asks her vice principal, each time she is reprimanded. "All my friends dress this way."
Well, Lisa may be right about her friends. However, it is important to be truthful about your own body and how you look in something when dressing for school. Lisa's friend Alex can put on the same outfit as Lisa and not look sexy or provocative at all because she is not developed yet. Lisa puts on a thin-strapped tank top and all the boys are panting in the halls! Ultimately, Lisa gives off the wrong message. Rumors can start. A girl can end up with a bad reputation.
"The girls today need to take a good look in the mirror before they venture outside and certainly to school," reports one PTA president and Mom. "The truth is, we don't want the girls to feel they can't express themselves fashionably, but the sexy way they are dressing for school is getting in the way. The boys at school can't concentrate!"
Experts agree that wearing low-cut shirts, tight-fitting jeans (with thongs hanging out the back), mini, mini-skirts, or shorts and tank tops with bra straps hanging out gives off the wrong message about the girl who is wearing them.
They look really good," admit George and Scottie, 14-year-old boys from New York, when asked how they thought the girls in their school looked. "But it is a little much sometimes," adds Scottie. "The guys definitely try to get friendly with the girls who dress sexiest. Some guys think it means the girls will hook up faster!"
"It's crazy," says Ian. "Every day the girls come in to school in sweats and sweatshirts and change into tank tops and tight leggings in the bathroom. Then they walk around like they're Brittany Spears or something. I think they look dumb."
"How we are dressing for school is our signature," explains Nikki. "If you look around the halls, you can tell who belongs to what group by how a person is dressed."
What Nikki is saying is just what school officials and parents are concerned about. How you are dressing for school says a lot about who you are. Whether the new teen fashions are viewed as looking good or really dumb, the unanimous vote is that certain attire does not belong in the halls of higher education. In fact, some public schools across America are taking another look at changing student fashion values and suggesting some sort of uniform or dress code be adhered to. Check in your principal's office for the dress guidelines for your school. Rumor has it that the fashion police in your school halls will be cracking down this spring and summer.
Don't let the wrong fashion impression undo all the wonderful work you do!