I am friends with some of my former students on FB. I figured it was okay since I don't technically work for the county anymore. I don't really communicate with them (unless they contact me first), but every now and then I get curious.
Their prom was this weekend. All of the kids looked great. I can't believe how huge their houses are. It brought back some fond (yet less good looking) memories from my own proms. It is amazing how much I have forgotten about those "special nights."
There were some kids in these pictures that made me think, "I wonder how he/she is doing now." So, I clicked names. Just a few...okay, maybe five. I do this about once a month (usually when the Phillies are on television and I want to let Husband use the "good" TV)...I think of random students, whether they were funny, troubled, pretty, smart, dumb, whatever. I just want to know how they are...I love all of my students and enjoy keeping tabs on them (vice versa BTW...I'm not just some weirdo stalker...they find me...I have never friend requested a former student...they've always found me...that's my little disclaimer so you won't think I'm a huge loser).
As I look through some kids' pictures, the same question keeps running through my mind. "Why are all of the girls trying to look like whores???"
When I was in high school, I tried very hard to look anything other than slutty. I wore size 9/10 jeans (when I was really a 1/2). I wore size large turtlenecks (when I was really a small). I barely have any shots of me in a bikini (God, I wish I did...those were the days). I have no shots of me in my bra (you'd be surprised at how popular this particular wardrobe choice has become for profile pics).
It's just disheartening...my poor Hailey is going to be subjected to this. Try to look like a ho, or you are a prude/nerd (this is my preference, but the cool nerds). Is there no happy medium anymore? Even scarier, where will she try to fit in? We all try to fit in somewhere...how will she make her choices?
Oh, and Matt...poor Matt. He's going to be constantly distracted by shorts that are too short, shirts that are too low, or overall debauchery (probably not in high school, but I just love that word). Poor kid...I just hope he actually graduates high school with all of those distractions.
The saddest part of all? So many schools have been challenged by "those parents" who believe that choice of attire is a freedom that should not be governed by a general dress code policy. Many teachers are afraid to call students out on their inappropriate tank-tops or shorts that leave little/nothing to the imagination. Many administrators are afraid to make the very difficult call to a parent to ask for a change of clothes. These kids can be distracting...for other students as well as teachers. I really feel badly for male teachers who really can't say anything on the subject. The smart ones defer to a female colleague (which is fine).
I was "that teacher." I would call the girls out on their dress code violations. I would tell them that it was time to "retire" a certain piece of clothing (usually shorts that had been worn in the Fall, but were too short by the time Spring rolled around). I would deliver them to the principal's office for "that" phone call. I would offer to let them choose replacement clothes from my own personal stash if they would rather. I would redirect male students' from staring at something that was seriously being thrown in their faces. I would read students' t-shirts and have them turned inside out if the words were offensive. I was "that teacher." I had a good enough rapport with the kids though. They didn't really give me a lot of grief for it. I had a lot of eye rolls and heavy sighing, but not too many real issues.
Maybe they didn't give me a lot of grief for it b/c they needed it. Maybe they needed a good excuse to put some more clothes on rather than make that choice themselves. Maybe I was the excuse for them to feel more comfortable walking through those halls...I'll take that!
Maybe it's just me...maybe I'm still a prude deep down inside (okay...it's not so deep)! Who knows? Maybe it's a part of getting older and realizing that you're more than your body and, even if you have a great body, you don't need to give it away to everyone who will look.
Maybe it's a fear that no matter how many times I tell my daughter that she's beautiful and smart and funny...no matter how many times I tell her that she is high in worth and character...no matter how many times I compliment her on an ensemble, it will still come down to someone else okaying it...not me. It will be out of my control...scary, huh?
BTW...am I the only one who doesn't "get" this whole Justin Bieber thing??? I'm not really impressed, but I do love some Ludacris!!!