Short Skirts & Tiny Dresses

Short Skirts & Tiny Dresses


It’s that time of year when we get to hear about teenagers getting kicked out of dances because of inappropriate attire. At Bingham High School’s homecoming dance in South Jordan, Utah, about 100 kids staged a protest by walking out of class. Why did they walk out? Because they were told their dresses did not fit the school dress code and needed to cover up to get into the dance. Some covered up, and some decided to leave. Either way, rules are rules and they need to be enforced.


To quote the girl that seemed to lead the walk out,

“I understand having a dress code for a learning experience.But when it comes down to a dance, that’s our time to be rewarded for being good students, and we should be able to express ourselves.”


When I was a teen, I used to say I believed in a persons right to express themselves with their clothing. But that was a time when cowboy boots meant you were a little country, baggy pants meant you liked rap, or flannel shirts meant you liked Nirvana. I understand that kind expression. What I don’t understand is, what does more skin express? Since when does a bare back, 5 inches of cleavage, or your butt hanging out express anything other than sexuality?

Maybe it’s just me, but I feel kids are learning to express their sexuality waaaaaay too young. When I was teaching, I learned that a lot of teens these days are just walking hormonal disasters with no map or compass. I’m talking about guys and girls. They would rub it on anyone. Kids would have same sex relations then claim they aren’t gay. They would say they were just having fun or just wanted to just have some sort of sex. With that being said, how could we let a bunch of kids show up at a dance with less clothing on? Even the most normal teenager just needs a little stimulation to kick on the lust button.

With teen pregnancy the way it is, I think it’s a good move for parents and schools to limit the amount of skin these kids are showing. Not just that, we need to be aware of how form fitting the clothes are as well. Considering the kind of “dancing” that goes on in clubs, high school dances, and everywhere else, more clothes are a good thing.

When I was teaching, it seemed to me that a lot of the kids aligned their self worth with how much other people wanted to have sex with them. I blame a lot of that on magazines and celebrity worship. I blame even more of it on parents. I have 100% control over everything that comes in my home. If I think something is inappropriate, I am the one who ultimately says no. I want to teach my kids how to get to know people. I don’t want them deciding whether or not they want to have sex with someone upon first meeting. Our culture seems to be teaching us that physical attraction comes first, then we get to know each other. I am not saying there is anything wrong with physical attraction. I also don’t think there is anything wrong with dressing nice or looking good. We can teach our kids how to wear clothes that flatter their bodies. We can teach them how to cover up without wearing a potato sack. We can also teach our kids get to know each other with out being guided by physical attraction.

I am not trying to shame anyone or call out bad parenting, but I don’t understand how any parent can encourage this. Having travelled all over the country with Abby, I know there are teens who take up noble causes and give their time to something more important than looking good at prom. Let’s put away People Magazine, let’s turn off Mtv, and let’s show our kids how to be people of substance.

“Those who glory in their looks – not in their hearts – dress to please others.” Saint Clement of Alexandria


Link to the article/video:




  1. You produced some decent points there. I looked online for the problem and located most people will go along with with your site.

  2. Great post… I agree 100%. I often wonder what fathers are thinking letting their daughters dress the way they do, when they know how men and teenage boys think and are wired. And guys need to watch how they dress too, it isn’t just for women.

  3. Proof that our sinful nature doesn’t rear its head when we turn 16. Rebellion against God’s law is the natural way. These girls, and guys, need to repent.

  4. I have two beautiful young girls. I set an example for them as to what is appropriate to wear. In addition to beauty, they have brains. We’ve discussed that people will judge you first by what they see. Therefore we have one first shot. Once they see your inappropriatly dressed body, it won’t matter what you say.

  5. It seems people are pleased when their kids say that the lady at the grocery store should dress more modestly. That may be true, but it seems as if the parents are proud that their little girl is judging others.

    • Nobody is judging souls here. I want my daughter to be able discern appropriate attire without calling names or shaming.

    • Why does everyone through in the word “judging”? A child scarcely has the ability, experience, or knowledge to “judge” someone, and certainly not the lady at the grocery store.

      This child is straight-up observing something she considers to be inappropriate, and she is likely embarrassed by the way the lady at the grocery store is dressed .

      Don’t throw out the “judgment” card every time someone is expressing an opinion. It’s old and not flattering.

  6. It’s not just kids, the fact of the matter is we have come to the point where personal worth is 100% measured by your sexual desirability. Nothing else really matters as much, not even money or power really. It’s sad, we’ve lost the basic Christian concept that we all have equal worth in God’s eyes.

    Now if your “hot” and lots of people want to sex you up you’re “cool” and everything you have to say is vitally important. If you’re not so hot, then what you have to say is not at all important but don’t worry. You have at least some worth in that sexy people will utilize you as an opportunity to show off how “tolerant” they are.

  7. Great article! We use the simple rules on Secret Keeper Girl to help our girls figure out what they can wear.

  8. If this is at Bingham High School in Utah people need to be aware this is more than just a modesty rule and more about religious expectations for temple garments. This is something I faced when my daughter was not even allowed to wear tank tops to school; by tank tops I’m not talking about spaghetti strap tops either. The length of shorts is also governed. I don’t want buttocks exposed, but it gets really hot in parts of Utah and some schools don’t have air conditioning. How much attention would you pay if you’re miserable, sweaty and nauseous from the heat?

    I watched the video on the link you included and think those dresses shown were very nice and much more modest than dresses I’ve seen for proms in other states which revealed way too much. Take a look at what teenagers wear at the local public pools and then complain. I agree rules are rules but the religious majority in Utah shouldn’t be controlling what teenagers wear-their parents should. Most of those dresses were probably more expensive than the teens could afford. Don’t you think that a parent paying for such a dress equates with their approval?

    • But some parents don’t control it, and they get it wrong. Either way thanks for the info on the school. I thought the dresses were a bit short and the rule that neck hems couldn’t go below the arm pits seems reasonable. And yes, they could be worse. But it’s good to start somewhere and stand firm. We keep letting the line get shoved back.

      • Wow just watched the video and I don’t see what all the fuss is about. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with those dresses and this is coming from a fairly modest person myself. The cutouts on the back are tastefully done and the length of those dresses really are not that short. If you walk into most clothing stores geared towards young women, the dresses are practically just long shirts. I didn’t see any of that in the video. I believe people should stay classy but honestly there’s nothing wrong with the dresses in this video. You could be wearing a (floor length) potatoe sack but if you have the attitude of a slut then that is what you look like to others. Clothes play a small part, it’s more about attitude.

        • I think it’s all of the above. But I will say, Potato sack sluts are not going to get through to their audience as well. It’s all about presentation.
          I still say the dresses were a bit short. Either way, the school had the rules. They said here is the criteria and there are no exceptions. I think that’s great.

  9. Thank you for addressing this without shaming anyone. So many times shaming comes into the argument and people backlash by doing the very thing we argue against. Nicely done!

    I have 2 daughters ages 9 and 12. From a very young age, my husband and I have made a point to address the issue of modesty in dress (not puritan, mind you). We guided them in their dress, but it was a bit easy since we don’t have cable. We insisted upon no bikinis, covered knees and shoulders at mass. Now, they know and embrace the rules. I even heard my eldest saying that a lady at the grocery store should dress more modestly.

    But more importantly, like you mentioned, parents are ultimately responsible, and we take that seriously. I as a mother must model the behavior I wish of my girls. I dress and behave modestly, too. When my son is older (he’s 15 mos.) He will learn from us how to dress and act appropriately from my husband, and he can wait to be the role model!

  10. Very well said. As a college student, this is a problem I run into often. Beautiful girls who think they need to show more skin in order to be noticed. Very sad. I am eager to read the next blog about young men’s modesty.

  11. It is also the responsibility of the parents of BOYS. From the time my three were VERY young I made it VERY clear that if they saw a woman or a girl with a bathing suit, excessive cleavage, belly whatever that THEY needed to keep their minds pure and avert their eyes. This goes for TV. My boys are 14,16,and 18 and they still do so when they are watching tv. Of course, I can’t follow them around everywhere and no one is perfect but the training will hopefully stick with them as they get older.

  12. Loved this article

  13. It’s’ the parents responsibility to be sure their child no matter what age leaves the house dressed appropriately. Our daughter was not allowed to wear short skirts or anything strapless. Parents need to be firm.

    • My husband is a public school admin. I hate to break it to you, but a lot of MOMS dress sexy now, so its no wonder their daughters think that “gown less evening straps” are appropriate attire and grinding against each other is “dancing.”

      That said, I really appreciate Catholic colleges like Steubenville and TAC having swing dances! Now THAT is dancing! I wish we could encourage more young people to learn to dance that way.

      • Seriously, the moms have got to grow up!!

      • I finally hid a friend on facebook because she was continuously flaunting pictures of her 3 young girls (ages 12-17) wearing VERY short, strapless dresses to every event they attended, boasting how “beautiful” they were. She never posted comments about their intelligence, or their achievements in school — only things alluding to their sexiness and physical worth.

        This was their MOTHER! If a MOTHER is actively promoting this kind of self-worth in her daughters how can they help but grow up knowing that outward beauty (and specifically more skin!) is the way to attract attention and compliments?!

  14. Whilst I appreciate where you are coming from, you seem to leave out men and boys. You are singling women out and that is not ok. Men and boys often go around topless and only shorts if it gets hot enough, why are not you going after them as well. You seem to put across that women and girls are provocateurs with sex on the mind ensnaring poor men and boys. Perhaps you need to say that both sexes are free to wear what they want to wear and that both parties should have a base line respect for each other and how they dress is not an invitation to sexually harrass or intimidate the other. I think it is a narrow view that women and girls are asking for sex based on what they wear. These girls wanted to celebrate their graduation if the men and boys could not control themselves because of a little skin or shudder a girl being confident to wear clothing that they feel beautiful in around them then that is an issue for men and boys to face and deal with not the girls. More clothing does not solve issues of teen pregnancy, teens will have sex regardless of clothing attire, how about educating them better about informed consent and that clothing has nothing to do with this. If you want to know who cause most teen pregnancy chances are you should be looking at men who are likely engaging in statutory rape and in their family or close network of adult male friends that have weaseled their way into their family’s network of trust. Please write more hard hitting things and I have the utmost respect for what you and what your awesome wife does. Clothes are not the issue here, it is about control and this recent article smacks of hypocrisy and control of women and girls to suit a conservative agenda.

    • This is funny, because as I was putting up the laundry, I was thinking I should write a fallow up concentrating on the men. It will be called “Tight Shirts & Bulging Biceps.” (I am not kidding, BTW) I am not trying to suit any conservative agenda. This mostly comes from a place of frustration with what I see from teens. I agree with most of what you are saying when it comes to accountability with our men. I just wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss clothing. How we present ourselves matters. It all matters. To say immodesty does not feed in to promiscuity seems to avoid a big part of the problem. It’s not the biggest part of the problem, but it’s in the top 5. As far as a people being able to wear what they want without being harassed, I agree. It’s just easier said than done. I am not saying people are dressing sexy to have sex. There are just some outfits that just scream for sexual attention. Figuring out that line is part of the education you’re talking about too. More to come. And thanks for the debate. It’s always good to be opposed. Otherwise, what’s the point?

      • I totally agree that many outfits girls are wearing are screaming for sexual attention. The girls don’t have to intend to attract this sort of attention from her choice of dress, but she does. Yes guys do have personal responsibility to guard against impure thoughts; however, the reality is God made boy/men to be very visual. So at the end of the day, the girl bears the lion’s share of the responsibility as to how much or how little sexual attention she attracts.

        I do want to clarify that sexual attention is not equivalent to unwelcome behavior, physical or verbal, toward her.

        • I agree. People in this equality-driven world want to blame everything equally on both genders. They say that girls can dress however they want because guys shouldn’t look at them as sex-objects but rather appreciate them for their brains and sense of style, or whatever nonsense is spouted.

          Like you said, God created men to be visually stimulated. Fact. They LIKE seeing female bodies. So when a 16 year old has her boobs hanging out and a mini-dress on he is supposed to stand there and carry on an intelligent conversation about something and NOT think about sex?

          No matter how liberal you think you are, it’s just not going to happen.

          Girls/women hold the keys in this situation and they know it. For all their “look at me, not my body talk” they are fully aware that a quick wardrobe malfunction will bring all the male attention in the room back onto them — and not one guy in there will be thinking about how smart she might be.

    • It is hypocrisy – or serious misunderstanding – from girls’ or women’s part that they wear lusty clothes and then they are very surprised when being “harassed”. Oh, really, what a surprise! Who would have ever thought about that?

  15. WELL SAID!!!!
    I couldn’t agree more and having six children of my own …we are constantly having these in going talks…
    You summed it up wonderfully!!
    Thanks so much!

  16. I sure enjoyed reading this. It is so true, thank you!

  17. Great article and well said. I’m going to share this with friends. God Bless you!

  18. Excellent! Excellent! Thank you for this!

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