Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Too Many "Speedo-ish" Dresses Worn to Dances

Here is the original illustration that went along with the story 
I wrote this opinion piece when I was 16 years-old for my High School newspaper. It came from a talk we had one day in the journalism room with some of the Senior boys, who hated asking girls out to dances because they never knew what type of dress they'd have to dance with all night. It sort of went "viral" at my high school and was the first time I'd ever gotten attention for writing, good and bad. I consider it a pretty pivotal piece in my writing "career", because it made me realize that if you said things well people would listen to you. 

A few years ago my step-sister sent me a text telling me that her Seminary teacher had read it to them in her class. Apparently even 12 years later it was still a hit. I begged her to get me a copy of it and she sent me a photocopy of the original piece. I recently found it at the bottom of a drawer and thought I'd share it. 

Please remember this was written by my 16-year-old self. The title of the post is the original headline it had in the school paper and I have kept it just as I wrote it, punctuation and everything. I think the Speedo analogy is still a good one, but it has taken a lot of self-control to not change things, because I'm sure today I wouldn't use words like "disgust"  or "extreme public humiliation" when talking about other people. We all grow as writers and as people. So just keep that in mind. 

"I look absolutely beautiful." These were her thoughts as she primped and preened herself for the Sweetheart Ball. She and her mother had hunted all over town trying to find a dress with a high neckline and sleeves (she didn't want her date to get the wrong impression). After hours of preparation she was ready. She hopped in the car and drove over to pick up her date. When she arrived at his house she nervously took one more quick look in the mirror and anxiously walked up to his door and rang the bell. His mom answered the door and invited her into the front room.

A few minutes later he walked into the room. Her jaw dropped and not because he looked good. His hair looked nice, his bow tie was straight and his jacked was sharp but he was wearing a Speedo! It was the tinniest, tightest Speedo she had ever seen. At first she thought that perhaps this was some sick joke and that any moment he would laugh and go change. Not such luck. He was serious. This was what she had to go to the dance with. She thought for sure maybe his mom would protest but all his mom did was smile and tell him how nice and grown up he looked. 

They got into the car and she felt sick. How could she show up with him dressed like this? She put on a smile and tried to compliment him on how nice he looked, but she found it hard to even look at him. They arrived at the dance and to her surprise every other guy there had a Speedo on. They were all different colors, some had dangly stuff on them and some were poofy, but they were all Speedos. They met up with all her other friends (whose dates were also in Speedos) and all the boys immediately began complimenting each other on their Speedos and complaining about how hard it was to find a modest Speedo these days. She and her friends tried to smile and have a good time, but every time she looked around there was another fat guy in a tight Speedo. 

All right, now there are not many guys who have ever shown up to a dance in a Speedo, but just think how many girls have, theoretically speaking. Girls, the above story is a girls' version of what some boys dread every dance. 

Imagine how mortifying it would be to show up to a dates house and have them wearing their underwear. If Guys dressed the way that Girls do for formal dances, not a single girl would ask them out. No matter how nice, smart or hot they were. No girl would ever want to knowingly subject herself to extreme public humiliation. Yet, girls do constantly. They wear the skimpiest, tightest, lowest, and most "speedoish" dresses. What is a boy to do if his date shows up in her "bra and slip." He can't tell her to go put something else on, he wouldn't want to offend her. He is forced to endure night long public humiliation and personal temptation. 

Girls, you may think you are being "sexy' or "cute" and that you are irresistible to the opposite sex. But the truth is that you disgust them. Sure, he will complement you (he is expected to) and he will think you are "sexy" but not in the way you want him to. Tight and skimpy dresses leave nothing to a guy's imagination, lets just say he won't be looking at your pretty hair. 

If one was to compare today's "fashions" to the fashions a hundred yeas ago one would see that the dresses worn today resemble Victorian underwear. A hundred yeas ago women wore petticoats, slips and corset beneath their clothes, imagine that! Even so, at the last school dance it was apparent that some girls had sense of propriety. They made sure that along with their Victorian underwear they had gloves on! Full length gloves, she wouldn't want her date to see her elbow, (oh, no not that!)

Todays dresses make one fearful for the future of "fashion." In the next hundred years, even twenty years, what will girls be wearing? They way fashions are evolving soon girls won't be wearing anything at all! 

Oh, except for gloves. 


  1. Heather, this is so great. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Heather, this is so great. Thanks for sharing.

  3. It was a very good article for a 16 year old, and it even made me laugh a little at the end. How sad is it though that it is even more relevant today?

  4. I was taught not to judge others, no to judge others on the clothes they wear, or their hair style, but to look at their character.

    1. Thank you Robert 3, I was taught that as well and I hope my children also learn to look on a person's character and not their clothes. I don't think that I was (and certainly not anymore) as judgmental as it sounds in my article. I was just a 16 year old whose writing skills weren't really advanced enough to convey my message as well as I would have liked. The point of the article was to help young women realize how some boys felt when they wore immodest dresses to dances, because I think that some girls (at least at the school I went to) really had no idea how uncomfortable their outfits were making other people. I think the analogy of the speedo is still a good one-- thus the reason I'm sharing this-- but I do wish that I hadn't used such strong language! It does come across way more judgmental than I think I actually was or wanted to convey.