Pilot Guest Editorial

Thursday, November 6, 2003

Fashionable faux pas

Remember when you were younger and had a question, and instead of an answer, your parents would respond, "You'll understand when you're older."

I never understood what they meant by that, and why they wouldn't answer me. Well, I have become wise in my years, and I think I came up with an answer.

In high school, my mom and I would get into arguments about outfits I could or could not wear. My mother just did not understand what it means to be a teenager these days.

All I could think about was growing up; I could not believe that she did not know how mature I was at 15.

What was she thinking?

She was probably thinking that I was 15 and really hadn't a clue about anything. She wanted to teach me respect for myself and to respect myself for being a woman.

Until recently, I did not understand what she meant.

Last weekend I went home to relax and get some real food and see how my family was doing. My sister, who is 16, is starting to realize boys can be fun (and stupid) and that high school is (supposedly) all about image. She loves clothes and shoes and of course, boys.

To please her interest in beautiful boys, my sister subscribes to a teen magazine. These magazines have ideas on just about everything you can imagine. They promote style, boys and sex. Young girls can catch up on the latest make-up tips and the pick-up lines to avoid.

I suppose putting boys in the magazine is alright; at least they have clothes on.

But style, you say, how can that be harmless?

Next time you look at these magazines look at the clothes they are promoting to young girls. They are rather similar to outfits found at Malarky's (not that all the outfits are bad, but we are adults, at least by age).

No big deal, right?

Well, considering these are focused toward girls 13 to 18, it is a big deal...

In talking with my sister, I have learned that more and more young girls are experimenting with sex and allowing themselves to be exploited.

Many young girls are learning how to pleasure young boys through oral sex. In some schools, there is an outbreak of herpes because they are sharing partners.

These young girls are also wearing questionable clothing.

The style of jeans is becoming lower and tighter. Some barely cover girls' rear-ends. I was reading on MSN news that a school in France had to ban low-rise jeans because girls were wearing them with thongs hanging out.

This was a high school.

Isn't high school supposed to be about learning and preparing for the future? What can these girls be learning when they are dressing like that? Aren't they worried about their butts falling out?

There is a clothing magazine for young teens, and they sell cute thongs. They really are cute, but isn't the point of wearing a cute thong is so someone will see it?

Who is going to be seeing 14-year-olds' underwear?

It is sad that innocence is being lost at a younger age every day. I know that being shocked about what those young kids, especially girls, are doing is not new.

People could not believe how girls reacted to Elvis Presley and school officials were shocked in the 1950s and 1960s when girls wanted to wear jeans to school instead of skirts...

In the 1950s and 1960s, the second wave of feminism was on the rise, and women did not want to be restrained and told what to do. Of course, one could argue that is what these young girls are doing.

Then why is there a rise of eating disorders and self-esteem issues?

I challenge you females on campus to look at yourselves and think about the way you dress.

Are you pulling off the image that you're confident and strong, or are you trying desperately to get people's attention?

With women pushing their way into the workforce, we need to come off confident and in control.

If we are teaching our young girls that it is cool to wear jeans with thongs hanging out, what are they supposed to think of themselves? Are they going to see themselves as confident, strong women, or just a body to dress up for men to gawk at?

I am not saying that women shouldn't dress sexy, it is important to feel good about yourself. However, there is a difference in looking and feeling good, and looking trashy.

While some people find it important to be considered attractive, there seem to also be people who attract attention by showing too much skin.

So to all those women out there who feel the need to get attention by showing a little more stomach and cleavage, don't hesitate to cover up a little more.

Especially with winter coming on.

Feel good about yourself. Have a little more respect for yourself.

As the Martina McBride song says, "This one's for the girls... you're beautiful the way you are."