The Skanky Prom Dress Issue
What are they thinking? Is prom such a “special occasion” that it warrants a serious dressing down of decency?
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen photos (on blogs, on FaceBook, in person) from my good Mormon friends, whose good Mormon daughters are wearing dresses with any combination of halters, mini-skirts, strapless dresses, backless dresses, slits to the hipbone, plunging necklines. Sometimes they have a shawl thingy that covers nothing but their elbows and lower biceps—for a while.
A few years ago I sat near the dressing room of a store while Jessica tried on formals. The girl in the next dressing room was visibly uncomfortable and vocally upset with the less-than-covering dresses her mother kept bringing. And her (good Mormon) mother kept reassuring her that they looked beautiful and appropriate.
Seriously? Did you just fly in on a ship from Planet Wench?
Just to be clear in case you’ve only been in the church for about 12 minutes or had your head in a sound-proof helmet at every single meeting during your lifetime: we’re pretty keen on covering all your private parts and then some. Read that: cover the garment area, at least, for most activities. (That would be at least toward the knee, above the bra line, have minimal sleeves, and cover the stuff in between.)
Last night Alana’s prom date’s mother thanked all the girls in their group for being dressed modestly. Nice of her to notice their efforts. I know it’s not easy to do these days. But it is possible with some effort. So, just do it.
The Other Side of the Skany Prom Dress Issue
In this area (at least since my older sister was in high school a long, long time ago) it’s a tradition that the morning after a formal dance, the guys and gals wear their dance attire to church, often including their corsages/boutonnières.
After attending part of our ward, Alana and I left to attend a meeting-formerly-known-as-a-mission-farewell in another ward. Since many of the kids in that ward go to the same high school Alana attends, lots of the older kids had on formal attire, as she did.
One of Alana’s friends (from a third ward (not ours and not the missionary’s)) who was at prom last night, but didn’t have on her (gorgeous, home-sewn, modest) dress. Alana asked her why. She said her bishop had made a rule that no one could wear dance clothes to church the next day.
OK, yea, I understand that some kids dress immodestly at prom and if the skanky gal wears such a dress to church, she’ll be immodestly dressed. But Bishop’s Alert it’s out of your stewardship to dictate what kids are “allowed” to wear to church. Whether after the prom or not, whether less modest than you like or not, people come to church and we welcome them.
In my opinion, this is a “teach them correct principles” issue. If you have a problem with scantily clad prom outfits showing up in your ward, maybe you should focus on teaching modesty the rest of the year. Or teaching the kids that standards are standards and they don’t move around willy nilly depending on which school event is upcoming. Or teaching the moms (parents?) that if they spend their money on skanky prom attire and/or let their daughters leave the house in skanky prom attire they are contributing to the delinquency of their minor children. Or something.