Friday evening found Larry and me in Brunswick. We made a quick trip to the doctor to see what condition Larry’s condition was in and then the car automatically headed to Belk’s. However, I got sidetracked and turned into Ross’ instead. Inside I found several items I wanted to try on. As I went into the dressing room, a pretty young lady about 13 or 14 went into the room right beside me. Her arms were more heavily laden than mine. After trying on all my pants and shirts, I decided I didn’t like anything and headed for the door. As I handed the 5 items and the ticket with the big 5 on it to the dressing room monitor, the young lady stepped out and said politely to the monitor, “Can I go show my mama this outfit? She wanted to see it before I buy it.”
Smart mama, I thought as the monitor nodded her head. I wish more parents would pay attention to what their daughters (and sons, too, for that matter) are wearing.
The girl was beautiful, slender with black eyes and black hair. She would be beautiful in anything, but I almost gasped at the outfit she was modeling. The tight knit skirt stopped about ten inches above her knee. In my opinion, she needed at least one size larger, maybe two.
At least the top is relatively modest, I thought. No deep cleavage is showing.
Then she walked by and I saw the back, which consisted of narrow strips of fabric running from one side to another. It looked as if a tiger had shredded it. The back was open, period. Nothing was left to the imagination. Pretty young skin shone through the holes in the shirt.
“Mama,” she said, whirling in the classic modeling stance, “what do you think?”
“Girl, what you gonna do when they send you home from school in that?” Mama answered. “I ain’t coming to get you. You’ll have to wear a tank top under it. They ain’t gonna let you have all that skin showing.”
What about the skirt? I kept thinking. Don’t you see the skirt, Mama? It’s practically up to her butt!
“I guess it’s all right,” Mama replied, eying her daughter from top to toe. “You can get it if you want to. I don’t see nothing wrong with it.”
And the light bulb came on, nearly blinding me. That’s what wrong with society—parents, not teenagers.
“I don’t see nothing wrong with it,” the mama said.
And all the time I’m thinking, What? She doesn’t see anything wrong with it? What’s wrong with her eyes?
It is the responsibility of the parents to bring up their children in the way they should go. Parents are failing miserably when they see nothing wrong with that kind of clothing.
Now that I think about it, why are our clothing store shelves stocked with such clothes anyway? What designer thinks it appropriate for America’s teenager? Actually, designers don’t care about appropriate; they care about money. The teens like the clothes; parents have to be the clothes police or else their pretty young daughters will roam about half naked—make that three/fourths naked.
A friend of mine who works in a clothing store said that she and her coworkers hate to see warm weather come because too many people dress inappropriately. They waltz in with too much of their anatomy exposed, actually embarrassing the clerks. How can you smile and make change when your customer’s cleavage is visible practically to her navel. How can you help a man find a pair of shoes when you’re worried that his pants might fall the rest of the way down?
I fear that our styles say a great deal about our morally bankrupt society. I keep telling myself that there’s a place for all these styles, and sure enough, I found it the other day. If you are attending the academy awards, it’s perfectly appropriate (I reluctantly suppose) to wear a backless gown slit up to the top of your thigh and down to the navel. It is not, however, appropriate for teenagers to wear these styles to school. And may God help the teen whose mother doesn’t realize that.