In the last few weeks, I have been scouring the Commons for suitable images with which to illustrate my posts. For anyone who hasn’t already clicked on the link, they provide a photographic time capsule reminding us that ever since the invention of the camera, when faced with a lens, people have been unable to resist the urge to do the most ridiculous things.
Case in point – inappropriate clothing. It is the subject of debate in nearly every school meeting I go to, ranging from “should 12 year old girls be allowed to wear heels?” to “it’s more worrying because I can’t see her underwear..”. I’d like to pretend that I have the moral high ground on this, but as someone who lived through acid brights, Madonna’s early ‘hooker chic’ and some very dubious 90’s hair, I can see that the problem is one that has been around for a very long time.
The Principal at the High school takes what in my mind is a sensible attitude – if they arrive at school with insufficient clothing, they are directed to the lost property cupboard where they can pick out an ill fitting sweatshirt of their choice and use it to cover any overexposed flesh. She also recommends parents delivering their daughters to school dances so that everyone is clear about what clothing was selected and donned for the evening’s festivities, and has a photographic memory for attire worn pre and post restroom visits.
Most of the discussion centers around the female gender, as if the boys aren’t also guilty of wardrobe malfunctions. However, apart from the disturbing trend of an ever increasing expanse of underwear on display above the waistband of jeans, most of the male infractions involve bad taste rather than public nudity. Unless the aforementioned low rider wearers happen to bend over; but hey, the ‘builder’s bum’ has been a fixture in households with broken appliances for as long as plumbing has been around..
However, the Principal wisely raises the issue of the regulation uniform for various school sports and the inherent lack of coverage, which until recently I viewed a a modern phenomenon. Most images I have seen of turn of the century sports involved large amounts of fabric and a rather dignified stance, so I was somewhat startled by my latest discovery.
Inappropriate attire is not something you attribute to an Ivy League university, especially in the Varsity sporting elite, and in that most gentlemanly of pursuits: rowing. I’m sure their mothers were incredibly proud of their sporting prowess, but I can’t imagine that this was a photograph that made it to many mantlepieces. if anyone can come up with a caption for this one other than ‘inappropriate’, I can’t wait to hear it.