by Linda Schrock Taylor
The "baggy butt" fashion is certainly one of the most unappealing fads to come on the clothing scene. If you find the occasional 'hitch-up and duck-walk' look to be disconcerting, consider the plight of teachers working in schools where such styles are allowed, or at least tolerated by administrators who don't want a confrontation. We must watch the 'prison strut' every day, done by scores of guys, and we are powerless to stop it. We encourage our teens to develop common sense; modesty; respect for authority — but our advice falls upon seemingly deaf ears.
When teen boys dress like prison prostitutes, they forego the natural and admirable abilities of a young male — to: move with physical adroitness; jump for rebounds; dance with flair; carry books for a heartthrob; chase fly balls. Some mamas find the prison fad so cool that they dress young boys in pants big enough to fit Daddy! No recess fun for little fellows forced to hold their pants up instead of having freedom to run and play.
Girls are destroying their present and future figures with pants that shove hip and stomach flesh up into hip bulges (that older and wiser women seek to remove or disguise) and create baggy bellies long before childbearing can even do that to them. They let their posture sag in order to force a gut, and many are already in danger of developing dowager humps. I fear that when these young women finally, if ever, develop common sense, they will find that their bodies are permanently misshapen and disgusting.
Girls and boys are having themselves punched, pierced and tattooed. I cannot help but view them as persons trying to find meaning in empty lives. I find myself thinking…if only mothers were home…filling after school hours with freshly baked cookies, hot chocolate, love and "How did your day go?" conversations. If only…mothers were homeschooling. If only…parents were taking their children to Sunday school and church. If only…parents were making home life meaningful and structured in a thousand thoughtful ways. If only…
Recently a fourth grade teacher asked her students to write short opinion pieces on why older kids choose to wear such awful clothing and treat their bodies so disrespectfully. The teacher was shocked when almost every child expressed the opinion that older students do it to get teachers and parents upset enough to speak to them about their poor choices. The teacher shared the results with the other teachers on my wing, and two of those teachers gave the same assignment to their students. Again, the younger children said that the goal was to bring about a reaction from authority figures. We were all surprised for we were of the opinion that kids were choosing to disrespect themselves because they thought they looked good in some perverted way.
Why are our young people feeling such a need to rebel against authority figures?? It doesn't seem that anyone requests or expects much out of children anymore, anyway. Actually…that is probably the root of the problem.
Children are crying out, acting out, for attention, discipline and structure. Instead they get daycare; working parents; debased curriculum standards; meaningless praise from the State training centers. Most any kid can see through the "Let's pretend that self-esteem can come as unearned gifts from school improvement self esteem committees!" ploy.
Our culture is crazy to be allowing its young people to harm themselves is so many ways — physically, emotionally, mentally. Our culture is sick when tongue-pierced parents serve as role models for over-punctured, broadly tattooed, under-supervised teenagers. How very sad that so many of today's kids make the characters in Cabaret look like the Cleavers of yesteryear.
SELF ESTEEM…WHAT SELF ESTEEM?
COMMON SENSE…WHAT COMMON SENSE?
Linda Schrock Taylor [send her mail] is an educational consultant, homeschooling mom, and public school special ed teacher. She is available for presentations, inservices, and workshops.
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