I have a long-held position on modesty. Forget enforcement. If the girls don't get attention for dressing immodestly, they won't do it. Case in point: the Pioneer Halloween party.
Monica, my 15-year-old daughter, attends a performing arts charter high school part-time. (We still homeschool academics.) As a member of the “leadership counsel,” I helped plan and chaperone the Halloween party — the first big after-school event for the new school. When the announcement went out, just days before the event, there was a a request for modest costumes included. Given that this is a primarily LDS community, this isn't an uncommon request but, of course, it's not always honored.
Now I know that Halloween has become the holiday of skank. Go to a costume shop are you're likely to see a plethora of nasty costumes. There will be no shortage of:
- sexy nurse
- sexy witch
- sexy hippy
- sexy cowgirl
- sexy butterfly
- sexy referee
- sexy maid
- sexy angel
- sexy blah blah blah
It's so common that a couple of years ago an LDS woman — at a Relief Society function — asked if I was dressing up for Halloween. Upon hearing that I was not she asked, “Why not? It's the only day you can ‘legally' dress immodestly!”
I would have laughed except she wasn't joking.
Still, when the big night came, I was happy to see that there were almost no problematic costumes. With one glaring exception: Strawberry Shortcake.
One high school girl burst onto the scene in the costume at right. And proceeded to spend the entire night very self-consciously doing the sexy dance.
And, lo and behold, a large percentage of the mostly-LDS boys gave her a huge slice of attention.
One other mom came up to me, furious. Her son was Strawberry Tart's biggest fan and spent a great deal of the evening with her. Mom was upset that the girl would dare show up in such an outfit. “Oh! Of all the girls for him to hang out with! Why did she dress like that?”
While I didn't disagree, I was surprised she couldn't see how her son played into the whole situation. I responded, “Well, it worked.”
Moms, dads, clue in here. If your sons' dates are the skanky girls dressing down, it means something. If you insist that your daughters have standards in the way they dress, your sons' dates and girlfriends should have them, too.
And, yes, if either of my boys had been fawning all over the scantily-clad Ms. Shortcake, I would have dragged them outside by their ears and instructed them to look elsewhere for entertainment…or go home.