Saturday, June 06, 2015

What Not To Wear, Part Deux: Revenge Of The Jegging

A few weeks back I posted Repost and Addendum: What Not To Wear, a look at the notion of wearing only the "proper" clothing to gather with the church. In reading that you might get the impression that I don't think your clothing choice ever makes a difference, especially in today's ultra-casual and/or ultra-slovenly cultural.

False. It does.

This is sparked by a spate of stories in the past few years of young people, usually young women at prom or some other event, who decide to wear something that is expressly prohibited by a dress code and then are shocked, shocked I say, when they get in trouble. The story normally is framed as the innocent girl who just wanted to wear something cute only to get stomped on by the forces of patriarchy or the modesty police or just plain old bad people. What is more irritating is that it is usually a parent that is the most incensed over the issue because little Susie got in trouble. Case in point, a National Honor Society student wore a dress that was prohibited to an event and got in trouble for it. The student, one Cameron Boland, wants a reversal and apology of course and had this to say:
The student also said she wasn’t trying to “defy” school officials or protest the dress code with the sundress.
Well, far be it from me to be smarmy but in my humble opinion someone who is a National Honor Society award recipient ought to:

a) Be able to read, comprehend and follow published dress code guidelines for an event.

b) Should also know the definition of the words "defy" and "protest".

Most cultures in the history of the world have ascribed significant meaning to the clothing we wear. In American culture, even now, there are simply some guidelines for proper attire and decorum. Although we are far more casual than before and have managed to stretch out adolescence well into adulthood, at some point most people will need to function as adults in the real world. In that world how you present yourself matters. I have had way too many people come in for a job interview dressed like they were going to work on their car or perhaps just got out of bed. That was true even when I was managing a bank. I am not expecting everyone to wear a suit and tie to an interview but at least some clean, pressed, appropriate clothing would be nice. If you have a $400 smart phone and have clearly spent a bunch of money on tats and jewelry but you can't seem to round up a pair of decent pants, I have to question your judgment.

Generally people understand that when you go to a wedding or a funeral or some sort of event like that, you are expected to wear something decent as a sign of respect and class. When you get explicit directions for what is or is not acceptable, like a dress code for a prom or a NHS event and you still refuse to comply in an overt act of defiance, you get what is coming to you. Had the young lady at the National Honor Society event done something simple like wearing a sweater during the event, there would have been no issue at all. But no, her right to bear arms (and shoulders) trumps what the organizers said.

Stuff like this is a sign of the general cluelessness and immaturity of our society as a whole. What I want, my every whim, is sacred writ that must be obeyed by one and all. This sort of garbage is fed to kids and young adults in the politically correct cocoon of public schooling until they get out in the real world and then we have to deal with people who don't know how to interact in a professional or even polite manner, or how to show up on time or so much as tuck their shirt in. You might not like it or think that it is, to invoke the sacred mantra of our younger generation, "not fair!" but it doesn't change the fact that how you dress impacts how people view you. We do no favors to our younger generation by drilling into their heads that what they wear doesn't matter and whatever whim they choose to follow has no consequences.

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