Sometimes Freedom of Speech is freedom to loose your common sense.


I read with great amusement about a middle-school principal who decided to ban strapless dresses for the eighth graders prom. She had a variety of reasons, it distracts the boys, and she felt they were inappropriate for young girls. Interestingly enough, the teens seemed not to take issue with this dictate. However, one of the parents is protesting quite vigorously by sending a letter to the Board of Education saying” it was a violation of her daughter’s 14th Amendment rights to due process and equal protection” USA Today April 24, 2013. My memory bank suddenly brought me back to my own middle school years and high school dances. First of all we had no prom in eighth grade. I must say in retrospect I am immensely grateful that we didn’t. It would have meant finding a garment that could adapt itself to a body that was not yet “quite right”And what about finding a date in a class where all the boys followed the blonde bombshell Priscilla Banks around the school yard drooling.  In eighth grade I don’t think most of the girls desired seeking out a dress that would allow them not to look gawky. Somehow or other most of our bodies were not as mature looking as a lot of the kids today. We had proms in high school, but I went to catholic School and the Nuns were relentless about us not revealing any skin that might be improper. I remember my junior prom standing in line before we went out into the auditorium to be with our dates. One of the sisters stood on a chair so she could see if we had any cleavage showing. She was equipped with an arsenal of cover ups which included Kleenex, shawls, and straps that could have held up a small building. No one became incensed over it. We certainly poked fun at it and laughed many times over the years when we had reunions. The parents never intruded. If they did they got a look that could have possibly shortened their life span. Yes, it was a different time and things change, but is it always for the better? One of the other rationale the above principal used for her decision was that “quite often strapless dresses fall when your dancing” Which could make for a lot of Janet Jackson moments. Perhaps what’s really missing is common sense. Wouldn’t you feel freer and have a better time if you didn’t have to continually worry that something might just “pop out”? But we know that the accountability factor would be lost in lieu of suing the dress manufacturer.

About lorettalaroche

An international stress management and humor consultant whose wit, and irreverent humor, has, for over 30 years raised the humor potential in all of us. She is on the Mass General advisory council for anxiety and depression and was recently awarded the National Humor Treasure Award. Loretta writes a weekly newspaper column called, 'Get a Life'.
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