A Dress Code for School Events

It’s buried in the email from the administration, a message about the dress code for the performers in the upcoming holiday concert:

Please note that girls are now required to wear dress pants for concerts (no leggings, skinny jeans, etc.).

What they aren’t saying there is that this isn’t about “leggings” or “skinny jeans” but about dresses and skirts that are too short. Not only are the musician students often on a raised platform, many instruments are best played with feet flat on the ground and legs spread (think of a cello, for example).

My children’s school has had issues in the past with girls – particularly older high school girls – who have forgotten the “modesty” part of dress and decided to show off their shapely legs with short skirts or dresses, just to give the audience rather, um, an eyeful when they sit, pick up their instrument and begin to play.

Not a huge issue in the grand scheme of things, but to me it’s another notch on the proverbial bedpost of the ceaseless sexualization of our culture and, more specifically, our children. Children don’t need to be sexual but they are more and more aware of relationships, of dating, of cultural norms for older people in relationships and of the need (as they grow up) to learn what attracts the other gender so you can have some success in dating.

I know firsthand because try as I might to stop it, my 11yo son has become a big fan of the Axe product line and is far more self-aware and self-conscious at 11 than I was at 14 or 15.

Which brings us back to schoolchildren who want to look sexy, even when it’s inappropriate. And a school that has had to impose a stricter dress code based on that problem and, ultimately, won’t even look the problem in the face. The note refers to dress pants, not “leggings”. It should say “not ridiculously short skirts. Come on, girls!”

Or maybe I’m just an anachronism as a Dad who still believes in female modesty…

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