One of my almost silent observations is regarding something akin to a “Billboard Fashion Statement.” I’ve always had these type of questions regarding the public viewing of our individual style of attire. It used to be about ironing, but I’m somewhat resigned to most people enjoying the crumbled, wrinkled, well-worn-look. Now I seem to be focused on the unspoken Dress Code for the AGES. It doesn’t matter your age or sex or place, I still note the amount of skin shown. Why has this gotten my almost silent attention?
The only person who knows I have this bit of a angst is my husband, who hears my quiet questions, such as, “How much cleavage is too much?” “How baggy is too baggy–do I really need to see the crack?” “When did tattoos become substitutes for clothing?” “Even with great legs, is white hair too old for short-shorts at the committee meeting?” “How short is too short–shouldn’t tops cover, well, the top?”
Ah, perhaps I’m just envious. After all, I did have a well-used ironing board in the day.
But I don’t think so. I believe that what we wear (and thus, our general appearance) becomes our bill board or sign board to the world.
Major themes arise from our appearance: How much are we rebelling? Trying NOT to age? Finding resonance with the “in” culture (old folks can insert “hip” “cool” here)? Wanting others to see us for who we present ourselves to be–the artist, the cowboy, the poet, the scholar, the business person, the earth mother, the party animal, etc., and etc.?
Who are we trying to attract with our dressing statement?
How have parents lost or kept their ability to help their children and teenagers wear a bill board that gives that child respect from both peers and adults?
I believe that it is the responsibility of the parent and the youth institution (school, youth group, church, etc) to hold firm with what is an acceptable clothing billboard. It is also the responsibility of parents and adults to role model appropriate attire. Public presentation of self is about building and engaging in COMMUNITY. And the world has become our COMMUNITY. Everyone is watching. Especially youth. It is everyone’s responsibility to dress in a manner that best “Suited” for the occasion. To have a respectful tone that does not focus on style of dress, but on the character of the person wearing the attire.
Please have a conversation about “Billboard Dressing” with your children–more than once. They may roll their eyes at you, but you can be sure that their eyes will begin to see both themselves and others in what their fashion is saying about themselves and what they think of others’ billboards of fashion.
If I’m alone in these thoughts, let me know. If you believe that I’m being too harsh, let me know. As I said, this is an almost “silent observation” of mine. I believe others take note, but it is not “cool-hip-politically correct” to comment on a Billboard that carries a message of disrespect for self or others.