Revealing clothing is coming back into style, girls of all ages affected
Leggings, and skinny jeans, and yoga pants! Oh my!
No, this is not a marketing ploy; this is just a few of many items on the newly published list of banned clothing items at Kenmore Junior High School in Kenmore, Wash.
Ellie Tillotson, a freshman at the junior high, believed the administration had merit in its recent crack down on the rules.
“The dress code at Kenmore Junior High is very reasonable considering the way articles of clothing are worn,” said Tillotson. “In junior high and middle school, girls are always just looking for attention from boys.”
To achieve this attention, many young girls go to extreme lengths and even inappropriate lengths. Tillotson mentioned it is not simply the clothing but the revealing ways in which they are worn that is the problem.
“Some girls wear yoga pants and ‘jeggings’ [legging-like jeans] without shirts long enough to cover them, which makes them a distraction in class,” said Tillotson.
Ann, Ellie’s mother, also stands behind the school’s decision.
“As a mother of a 14-year-old who has worn yoga pants to school, I heard about all the ‘positive’ feedback and attention that she got from the boys when she wore them,” said Mrs. Tillotson. “I am happy she can’t wear them to school anymore.”
These new more revealing trends such as the yoga pant, the skinny jean and the ‘jegging’ are all a result of a cycle within the fashion world, said sophomore apparel, merchandising, design and textiles major, Kirsten Walter.
“In the early 2000s, really low jeans and belly shirts were popular, eventually they couldn’t make them any shorter or lower so the trend repeated with more conservative clothing,” said Walter. “But now we’re slowly heading back to the shorter and tighter trends.”
Although this cycle can be apparent in retrospect of the culture’s fashion past, it is not always noticed in real-time.
“The trends just become the new cool thing, kids adapt to them and follow them without even realizing they’re dressing more or less conservative,” said Walter.
She holds media responsible for having a large influence on the way teens dress. In the United States, kids and teens spend more time sitting in front of electronic screens such as, TVs, computers and video games, than they do on any other activity besides sleeping, according to the Rhode Island Department of Health.
Sociology graduate student and instructor, Meredith Williams, believes the media gives mixed messages to young girls, telling them to simultaneously be the virgin and the slut.
“The media says young girls’ sexuality needs to be protected and women are sluts if they wear a certain kind of clothing,” said Williams. “Yet at the same time, oversexual clothing is not going away.”
Walter agrees saying, societal pressures also play a role in teen’s choice of dress, but it does not stop at that age. College-aged women are still wearing tight, short and off-the-shoulder outfits.
“Girls of this age think: my mom is not here anymore, so I get to wear anything I want,” said Walter.
The solution? Williams thinks that teaching girls at all ages to become smarter consumers is important. They should be aware that in the end, the advertising company’s goals are to make a profit.
Ellie Tillotson: firstname.lastname@example.org 425-488-9653
Ann Tillotson: “ “
Kirsten Walter (in-person interview): 206-940-8775
Meredith Williams (in-person interview): 509-335-4595 email@example.com
David R Gifford. TV Has a Powerful Impact on Young People. Rhode Island Department of Health. 2010. http://www.health.ri.gov/family/ofyss/teens/tips/Tip5.php
I. Jr. high example of dress code crack down
- Ellie and Mom’s perspective
II. Technical fashion side to explaining clothing
- Media influence
- Kirsten – AMT major perspective
III. Societal pressure side
- Conflicting pressures for girls
- How it effects college girls as well