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Skimpy fashions have no place in wardrobe of teen girls

February 14, 2006|by STEPHANIE SNYDER, SARAH BROWN and HIRA ZEB

COMMENTARY

According to information at www.collegedrinkingprevention.gov, "Women want men to like them and have been socialized to wear revealing clothes (and) act friendly. ... However, women also realize that sexual assault is common and that they must be on the alert to be assured that they can trust the man with whom they are interacting."

I see women and girls walking around every day wearing revealing clothing and their hair arranged to reveal faces covered in makeup and show off hoop earrings. Do these women realize that while they are so desperately trying to attract the opposite sex, they also are attracting unwanted attention, perhaps of a dangerous nature?

Even during these winter months, I've noticed, women and teenage girls still insist on showing a lot of skin. But can you really blame them? It is hard to find a store or magazine that sells decent clothing these days.

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Walk through Valley Mall and glance into stores that specialize in women's and girls' fashion. You will find winter sweaters that are low-cut and reveal your stomach. How can this possibly keep anyone warm? In stores like these, you'll find clothes that are more fashionable than warming, but, young and old alike, women flock to them.

It's not just the fashion industry that keeps these women buying clothes like this. It's also peer pressure and the entertainment industry. It's difficult to turn on the television or open a magazine without seeing women showing off their bodies to draw attention to some product. With advertisers targeting girls, provocative attire is "in" for high-school girls everywhere.

You have to wonder if these companies realize what they are doing and if they care about the impact. Because of the continual presentation of bare skin, society has learned to accept it.

Our problem is we leave what is right and what is wrong up to the entertainment and fashion industries. What's "in" shouldn't endanger a girl's safety. It's foolish, in my opinion, to risk attracting predators for the sake of looking trendy.




By SARAH BROWN and HIRA ZEB

Over the years, girls' fashion has become increasingly revealing and provocative. We see it all over the latest issue of Vogue, the last episode of "The O.C.," and inevitably roaming through school hallways.

Society and the media influence young girls to dress and act a certain way that is supposed to be more attractive to the opposite sex.

However, teenage boys we interviewed did not buy it.

Chris Shane, 16, who attends Hancock Middle/Senior High School, revealed to us his opinion on this provocative trend. When asked if he felt attracted to girls who were dressed in such a manner, Chris replied, "No, but they're gonna dress the way they dress no matter what anyone says."

Dave Gainthu, 20, who attends Hagerstown Community College, agreed. He said, "It doesn't really matter to me how they are dressed."

Other boys we interviewed expressed the same feelings toward the issue.

Gretta Switzenburg, 18, a University of Maryland student, is one local young woman who says she will dress how she wants to dress.

"I wear what I want," she says. "I mean, I like the boho style, and that's pretty modest, but I usually wear what looks good. I don't think that revealing clothes are necessarily attractive, but men are visual."

But provocative clothing bothers Brittany Burnett, 20, of Hagerstown Community College.

"Fashion is out of control," she said. "I personally don't like it."

Walking through Valley Mall one day, we saw several girls as well as store window mannequins dressed in a way that would be unheard of a few decades ago yet is acceptable today.

Things have just gone too far.

Yes, you are gonna dress how you want to dress, but could you tone it down, girls?

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