She can be seen all over campus. See through top, shorts that barely cover her pelvis. She gets a great deal of attention. But how sexy is too sexy?
The world of fashion has come a long way. Clothing has gone from being a common, functional covering to an expressional ensemble. From grade school to high school, restrictions exist that prevent students from expressing themselves completely by enforcing dress codes that tell them what neckline, what length and even what color they can wear.
For many girls, it is incredibly frustrating to not be able to wear the clothing that they want to display. Not only do they have parents telling them how to dress themselves, but the school is there to do it, as well. The wait until adulthood is a long one, and once it is over, some take full advantage of its privileges.
Now, as adults, college students have the opportunity to express themselves without any such restrictions. Apart from regular clothing laws, the sky is the limit as to what students can put on their bodies. As long as there is no indecent exposure of certain body parts, the world will be a happy place. Right?
“One of my students came in one night in a full see through body suit…Everyone just kind of stopped,” said LPC Director of Student Life Cynthia Ross, who is also a professor of psychology.
When asked what she as an instructor could do in that type of situation, Ross revealed that there really wasn’t anything that an instructor could do because Las Positas and Chabot don’t have any kind of restrictions on clothing.
“Over the years I’ve had students that I thought had crossed the line,” Ross said.
But what exactly is the line and where is it drawn?
Taking a look at some of today’s fashion trends, it’s a wonder why mixed reviews on appearance are received.
High-low tops, for example, that can show off a person’s midriff. Shorts that are so short a little cheek of the buttocks is revealed. Translucent blouses made of chiffon or lace show peeks of a lady’s bra underneath.
Despite the lack of fabric, if made up with the proper accessories, hair and cosmetics, these pieces can actually be constructed into otherwise perceived classy outfits. They are sold by every popular juniors retailer and are seen in magazines and advertisements all the time.
Take the clothing company Forever 21, for example, and click on the shorts section of their website Forever21.com. The models presented all have put together looks with all of the aforementioned clothing items. The looks are meant to be appealing to the company’s target demographic of teens and young women. But how the average Joe would view these looks is up in the air.
Not too long ago, outfits like these were not acceptable to wear in public without having suggestive comments thrown at a lady as soon as they set foot outside. Now, they are all but welcome with open arms.
“I blame the media for that. Because young people are so influenced by the media,” Ross said. She then added, “Not just young people. People my age as well.”
Not that everyone is going out to dress like the reborn Miley Cyrus, but standards of what warrants slut shaming have been revised. If dressing this way is no longer considered too sexy, then perhaps the definition of the once taboo word has changed completely altogether.
“Sex and body are mere things, but sexuality and one’s dress depends on how others view them,” said student trustee Cherry Bogue in describing what sexy meant in her own words.
In other words, if Jane thinks that Sue is dressed too provocatively, that doesn’t mean that John shares the same opinion. Fashion, like art, is subjective and open to interpretation.
“We’ll never go back to Victorian times where women had to be covered up to here and down to their ankles and things like that, just because society is more sexualized and open to things like that,” Ross said.
Despite sexier clothing being deemed OK in the general public, the fact that they were once unacceptable is still there. As Ross had said about her students stopping for a moment for the young woman in the see through suit, the same can also be applied to any student who dresses just a little too provocatively.
“Yes, depending how perverted you can be, (it can be distracting),” said Rick Vargas, a freshman at LPC.
But not all agree.
“The idea that people can be that heavily distracted by someone’s clothing to me is heinous. That alone shows the extent to which people objectify each other,” Bogue said. “To sit in a class and have the way someone else looks affect one’s personal education shows a lack of interest in the topic of the class.”
Though opinions are different all across the board, all can collectively agree that Las Positas does not need any type of dress code.
“What other people wear is their own choice. Other people shouldn’t inflict what you wear in school,” Vargas said.
Ross agrees, as well.
“I don’t think as a college we should have any guidelines because of freedom of expression,” she said.
Ross does, however, suggest that ladies wear what is appropriate for their body types and age, and to remind them that first impressions do count.
“I don’t think that you need to show a lot of skin to be attractive and sexy and desirable to somebody,” said Ross as a closing note.