Appropriate/Inappropriate Dress for Homecoming Dance - Mothering Forums
Preteens and Teens > Appropriate/Inappropriate Dress for Homecoming Dance
pattimomma's Avatar pattimomma 10:35 AM 09-24-2012

My DD is a 9th grader and they recently had their Homecoming Dance. Some of the girls were not really appropriately dressed for a school dance. Comments from parents ranged from - I'm glad she's not my son's date to she is dressed like a prostitute. Now the pictures are all over Facebook. I keep thinking I should "do something". However, I don't think there is anything I can do that won't come across wrong. I guess I am seeing a lack of guidance for the girls but it's kind of none of my business. Should I just keep my mouth shut? Pictures are included below so you can tell me how I am over reacting :) I guess this also bothers me because I was told the girls are on the Freshman 500 list that the senior boys have. First guy to "bag" the most girls on the list gets $500. The boys pool their money and make this bet. I have confirmed it's not a rumor. My DD is not involved so maybe I should just butt out.

 

 

Edited to remove pics.



MeepyCat's Avatar MeepyCat 11:09 AM 09-24-2012
If you really do have it confirmed, i'd take the issue about senior boys placing bets on who can have the most sex to the school administration.

But I would leave the dress thing alone. Different parents will have different opinions of what teenage girls should wear. I would also decline to participate in any conversation about whether a teenage girl looks like a prostitute.
JudiAU's Avatar JudiAU 11:12 AM 09-24-2012

Does the school have a dress code? Express your concern that it be isn't being enforced at the school dance and that it should be. The school might need to issue a reminder before school dances that the same standards apply. I'd also meet to discuss the "500" issue.

 

But really, if you don't have permission for those girls to post their picture you need to take them down..


mamazee's Avatar mamazee 11:21 AM 09-24-2012
I think #2 and #4 are dressed fine. The other dresses look a bit mature, but it's none of your business. Their parents saw them before they left the house, and they're the ones in charge of their kids' Homecoming Dance dresses. Also, they aren't your kids and if they're in 9th grade they're definitely underage so you shouldn't post their photo here.

Kids like these events so they can dress up like grown ups, so they're probably just playing with that, although I would only be ok with dresses #2 and #4 on my kids. But they aren't to blame for sexism coming from the boys at school. The bet really bothers me. That might be worth bring up with the school. The school counselors might be able to create a different climate? I would hope so.
whatsnextmom's Avatar whatsnextmom 11:51 AM 09-24-2012

If you have confirmation on the bet, I'd take it to the school administration.

 

As for the dresses? I'd stay out of it. They aren't your children. I agree that #2 and #4 are quite reasonable. #2 is very similar to all of DD's dresses actually (she loves a full skirt and her long legs make even a dress meant to hit the knee look short.) It's important to remember that even some of these girls who dress provocatively can still be quite innocent and chaste. DD's best girlfriend (16) is a stunning beauty with a Marilyn figure. She has some dresses that I wouldn't want on my own DD but I also know this girl has never had a boyfriend, never been on a date despite regularly being asked. She likes to dress up but she doesn't feel ready to be in a relationship and she handles the attention she gets very maturely.


pattimomma's Avatar pattimomma 11:52 AM 09-24-2012

Ok, I removed the pics. However the pics are all over twitter and facebook already. The girls list themselves as 18 or older so they can have their accounts be public (scares the crap out of me!). Anyway for those who saw, I totally agree that dress #2 and #4 were totally appropriate. The administration at the school already knows about the Freshman 500 but there isn't anything they can do about it if the boys do it off campus. There was even an announcement at the school "do not come to homecoming drunk" but the seniors rented out a neighborhood restaurant / bar for their before dance dinner. My DD said the seniors were so drunk that they smelled like booze when they came in and one girl was throwing up in the bathroom. Oh well, my DD isn't into all that so I guess I will just ignore it.

 

Dress code is not enforced at the dances.

 

I know at least two of the parents had no idea what their daughters looked like because I asked.

 

Butting out now 2whistle.gif


pattimomma's Avatar pattimomma 12:01 PM 09-24-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post

If you have confirmation on the bet, I'd take it to the school administration.

 

As for the dresses? I'd stay out of it. They aren't your children. I agree that #2 and #4 are quite reasonable. #2 is very similar to all of DD's dresses actually (she loves a full skirt and her long legs make even a dress meant to hit the knee look short.) It's important to remember that even some of these girls who dress provocatively can still be quite innocent and chaste. DD's best girlfriend (16) is a stunning beauty with a Marilyn figure. She has some dresses that I wouldn't want on my own DD but I also know this girl has never had a boyfriend, never been on a date despite regularly being asked. She likes to dress up but she doesn't feel ready to be in a relationship and she handles the attention she gets very maturely.


I have known these girls for years and I can promise you that three of them are certainly very involved with boys. I don't know about the fourth. I have had very frank conversations with the girls themselves. I don't believe in slut shaming or any of that crap. I am a feminist that believes you should wear whatever you want and explore your sexuality. However I don't think these girls are doing it in a healthy way. It's out of concern, not judgement that they are bad, that I thought I should do something. But I will just let it go.

 

Thanks for responding!


whatsnextmom's Avatar whatsnextmom 12:40 PM 09-24-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by pattimomma View Post


 I have had very frank conversations with the girls themselves.

 

 

Really? You probably shouldn't even if you've known them a long time. We know one mom who initiates this sort of conversation and it makes DD and frankly, all the girls in the carpool very uncomfortable. I've had to talk to her about it.


pattimomma's Avatar pattimomma 02:04 PM 09-24-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post

 

Really? You probably shouldn't even if you've known them a long time. We know one mom who initiates this sort of conversation and it makes DD and frankly, all the girls in the carpool very uncomfortable. I've had to talk to her about it.


Oh, I don't initiate it. They come over to my house and just start talking to me. I think they think of me as a safe adult person to talk to. One of the girl's mothers died of a drug overdose and her dad doesn't pay much attention to her (parents were divorced, dad remarried), another girl's mom has a bit of a drinking problem so she isn't getting much at home either. I kind of became default mom.  Most of the time I have no idea how to respond because I don't want them to feel uncomfortable talking to me so I don't say much. I guess the reason I don't stop the conversations is because if one of them gets pregnant or a STD or a drug problem or an eating disorder, whatever  . . .   I want them to tell me so I can get them medical care.


mtiger's Avatar mtiger 07:54 AM 09-25-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post

 

Really? You probably shouldn't even if you've known them a long time. We know one mom who initiates this sort of conversation and it makes DD and frankly, all the girls in the carpool very uncomfortable. I've had to talk to her about it.

 

There is also a difference between initiating the conversation and being available should the girls approach you. My daughter's friends considered me rather accessible to talk to, and they would often either ask her to ask me something or would approach me on their own. I'd provide my thoughts, and always tell them that they should try to talk to their own Moms about these issues.


Linda on the move's Avatar Linda on the move 02:58 PM 09-25-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by pattimomma View Post

Should I just keep my mouth shut?

 

 

yes. stay out of this drama.

 

I find the idea of adults getting involved in making derogatory comments about how teenagers are dressed to be really distasteful. Different people have very different ideas of what is modest. My neighbors are Muslim and wear the veil, I'm sure they find the way my teen daughters (and I) dress to be very immodest. My family of origin are conservative fundy Christians and find the way I let my DDs dress to be very immodest and "asking for trouble."  (Because I'm fine with sundresses and strapless dresses and such, and I can't get all worked up over a swim suit)

 

I honestly just don't want to hear other people's opinions.

 

There is nothing for you to add to this situation except more drama.

 

I personally don't think that parents need to lurk on facebook to stay in the loop. And just because other people are commenting or spreading the pictures around, is NOT a reason for you to lower to that level.


pattimomma's Avatar pattimomma 03:18 PM 09-25-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

I personally don't think that parents need to lurk on facebook to stay in the loop. And just because other people are commenting or spreading the pictures around, is NOT a reason for you to lower to that level.

Just to clarify, I was there for the picture taking and took some of them myself. The other parents were making the comments to me in person, thankfully not on Facebook! A bunch of people got together before homecoming to take pictures and then transport the kids out to dinner and then to the dance. None of the girls, who's clothing was in question, had a parent present. The girls 'friended' me on Facebook so all their 'stuff' comes through on my news feed. I never even go to their pages. I guess the something I was thinking about doing was helping them go dress shopping in the future. But I have already dropped it. 


pattimomma's Avatar pattimomma 03:36 PM 09-25-2012

I am thinking maybe I should just clarify my relationship with these girls. When I got to the picture taking event, I saw that one of the girls had a tag sticking out of her dress so I just walked up behind her and adjusted it. When she turned around and saw it was me, she gave me huge hug and then started telling people "my mom is here" referring to me.
 


singin'intherain's Avatar singin'intherain 12:49 PM 09-26-2012
I think you're in a position to say something. At first it came across like you wanted to pass moral judgement on their attire, but knowing your relationship with them, and your intentions, I'd say you should say something. Sometimes dressing provocatively can be the other side of the coin from dressing to hide your body- a response to the anxiety of being judged for your body. One says "It doesn't bother me, judge away", and the other says "keep your eyes off of me". (Notice I said can be). The point is, it's hard to get used to having your body a point of public opinion, as it is for all girls and women. If the girls are initiating conversations with you in this vein, it probably means they want help navigating the whole thing. Parents aren't always the only or best people to help kids work this stuff out.
zebra15's Avatar zebra15 05:29 PM 09-26-2012

I wouldn't go shopping with them.  I wouldn't say anything.  The only person I would be concerned about is your own child.    If they were not in compliance with the 'school dress code' for the dance, the school administration would take care of things.  Yes dress code is highly monitored at school functions - like homecoming.  

 

Again- the only person you are responsible for is your own child.  The only person you have any say over or input to is your own child.  Everyone else just be nice and positive.  I don't care if that person is wearing a burka or a bikini


rnra's Avatar rnra 05:51 PM 09-26-2012

I would check with the school administrators to see if the dress code is enforced at dances.  I know some schools who enforce it, and others who don't.

 

A local school here was not enforcing the dress code at dances (and other extracurricular activities) but started to enforce it about 5 years ago due to complaints similar to those you have voiced.  It was a rough transition, particularly for the girls around the time of prom.  Now they are well-versed in it and it doesn't seem to be much of an issue anymore.  Personally, I don't find the dress code all that restrictive but it does rule out some of the more provocative dresses.  If anyone shows up in clothes that don't fit the dress-code, they are denied entrance. 

 

If your school isn't enforcing the dress code, I'd speak with the administrators about ensuring that it applies to all school-sponsored activities and not just the classroom.


singin'intherain's Avatar singin'intherain 10:43 PM 09-26-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by zebra15 View Post


Again- the only person you are responsible for is your own child.  The only person you have any say over or input to is your own child.  Everyone else just be nice and positive.  I don't care if that person is wearing a burka or a bikini
[/

I guess I'm confused because it sounds like the girls think of her as a second mom, and might welcome her input. I mean, I agree she shouldn't try to tell other peoples's kids what they can and can't wear. But the idea that she should avoid any kind of mentoring entirely sounds silly to me. I certainly appreciated the advice and experience of women other than my mother when I was a teen. OP has said that the girls she's referring to trust her as a mother figure. One doesn't even have a mother. Why should she say it's none of her business how they navigate the treacherous waters of formal dance wear?

pattimomma's Avatar pattimomma 09:40 AM 09-27-2012

Dress code isn't enforced at the dances. If it was, my own DD wouldn't have been allowed to wear the dress she had on! The clothes in question were just more appropriate for clubbing or a midnight showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show smile.gif They just weren't school dance appropriate. I am not going to mention the Homecoming dresses to any of the girls but next time I will help the girl who's mother passed away for sure. Hell, I had to teach her how to use a tampon (because she asked me, she didn't want to ask her dad) so I think I can help her pick out a dress. I can't do anything about what she already wore so that's not an issue anymore. If the other girls want to go shopping with us then I will offer my opinion. They always model the clothes they are trying on and ask what I think anyway. Except for Homecoming, DD ordered a dress online and I didn't want to go dress shopping since DD already had one. Oh now I realize I feel guilty for how the girls were dressed because I didn't provide my regular level of guidance! Last Halloween I got the motherless girl to change her costume before going to a party at a local church. She was dressed like a Playboy bunny (no her dad had not seen her outfit) and even with some of the modifications, the girls came back to my house after the party and reported how mean other kids had been to her for wearing such a "slutty" costume (my family is atheist but the kids like the events at the church). Given the venue, I wasn't surprised by the comments and that is why I helped her change. With this particular girl I manage her IEP at school and she has been asking to move in with us. She has said things like "when I get bad grades my dad just says, do better honey, he doesn't ground me or anything". She was actually complaining about not being grounded. She feels like her dad ignores her and doesn't care about her. She has even been left home alone while he goes out of town for the weekend. I guess he thinks at 14 she was grown. I tend to treat the girls the same way I treat my DD so that's where my initial question came into play. I would have said something to her about her clothes and then left it up to her to change or not. But since I wasn't there when they got ready or even picked out the clothes, there is no reason for me to go backward and it would probably only result in making them feel bad. So anyway I have a hard time sometimes knowing when to mind my own business and when not to because the girls make so much of their business my business.

 

Thanks for helping me work this out! Especially the part about feeling guilty about not being there for the motherless girl!
 


pattimomma's Avatar pattimomma 09:34 AM 01-08-2013

Help! I deleted these pics from the thread months ago but just realized that when you click on my name they are still there as embedded into the thread and when I tried to remove them I got an error message saying that I don't have permission to do that. How do I take down the pics???


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