Cover up, please

It’s prom season and teenage girls in practically every county in the country are shopping for the perfect dress. But this year some will be turned away from their prom before ever setting foot in the building because their dress doesn’t meet the high school’s dress code.

It’s no surprise to anyone that women’s fashions are more revealing now than ever before and some high school administrators are finally taking a stand for a little decency and insisting on some basic minimum coverages for the young ladies who want to attend their prom.

The following is a commentary I wrote five years ago about the widespread disregard for modesty in today’s culture.


 My 22-year-old son said it best, “It makes them look trashy.” We had just been seated at a local restaurant by a hostess with the “mostest” and most of it was on display for all to see. So I had asked him what he thought of the current trend among young women, and some not so young, to expose as much of their bosom as they can get away with.

It’s a disturbing trend, the way I see it. No matter where you go these days….grocery store, doctor’s office, home improvement warehouse…women are baring themselves to a degree we’ve never seen before. And not just women….girls, young girls. This is what is most troubling. Waiting at “the pickups” with my 10-year-old son the last week of school was a young girl in a low-cut top. Picture this girl on any street corner dressed like that and a “pick-up” is pretty much what she looks like. I’ll bet the middle and high school teachers have quite a few stories of teen and pre-teen exposure, and the distractions they cause. There’s never been a better time to institute school uniforms.

Now, some may ask, so, what’s the big deal? We’ve been seeing plenty of exposure on the beaches for quite awhile now. Why not the workplace and the schools?

A little research into the history of swimwear sheds some light on this current fashion trend. In the early Victorian era women on the beaches were covered from head to toe. Gradually long-sleeved swimwear gave way to short-sleeved then sleeveless, and the trouser length got shorter. The early twentieth century saw women’s swimsuits more form-fitting and bottoming above the knees. Less and less fabric was needed for a swimsuit as the years went by, and as went the swimsuit, so went the everyday women’s wear. So that today it’s commonplace and acceptable for a woman to be seen in the marketplace exposing more skin than she’s covering up. Skin is definitely in.

Which brings us to the recent proliferation of cleavage. Are we seeing the next phase in the history of women’s fashion? Are nearly bare breasts going to be the norm, and what effect would that have on society, and our nation?

The sight of a woman’s breasts is a distinctive stimulus for sexual arousal, as I’m sure we all know. Sure, men find women’s legs, and other sundry parts, attractive, but there’s no part of woman’s body more stimulating to the general male population than her breasts. I have often wondered as I come upon these young women so exposed if they realize what they’re doing. Some of them seem totally oblivious to the fact that few men, or women, can keep their eyes on their face when they talk to them.

So, if this trend continues, in a culture already overly preoccupied with sex, we’re likely to have a population of men in a constant state of arousal. Make no mistake, this would not be a good thing. I’m reminded of a scene in “Rocky” when Rocky’s trainer Mickey gruffly warns him to stay away from women before a fight because they “weaken the legs.” It’s a warning a lot of athletes have heard from their coaches. Strength is a byproduct of self-control.

When is a man his weakest? Women know this. It’s when he’s sexually aroused, and when he’s sexually spent. Sex is man’s weakness. Madison Avenue exploits it, and so do some women. Maybe most women. And so will other countries, or ideologies, if we continue down this path of sexual preoccupation. Sex is good and right in its place. It’s meant to be pleasurable, but if we become a society that places a premium on pleasure, that’s hedonism. And hedonistic societies are weak and cannot stand.

So, this is a plea to women, girls, their parents, and women’s clothing manufacturers, to think beyond the here and now to the likely ramifications of women’s fashion gone wild. The United States of America is still the greatest country in the world, but weaker than we would be if we were known more for nobility and self-control rather than sexual permissiveness.

And have a little consideration for that coworker or fellow student who’s just trying to get a little work done, and cover up, please.