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Cover Your Nakedness with Dignity and Self-Respect

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A brief interlude of nakedness at birth comes before we enter a nearly permanent state of being clothed.  Barring nude colonists and exhibitionists, we have little choice other than to make the most of our lives in fabric.

Anthropologists and psychologists have written volumes about how clothing is a projection of the inner self.  It is the most salient component of our moral, social and sexual marketing.

Yet there is something strange about college life that exempts some people from caring about their dress. Sloppy dress screams fallen self-esteem.

Go to any lecture hall or cafeteria, and you’ll find a hodgepodge of style faux pas.

A few violations include: soiled or shabby sweatpants that accompany equally hideous moccasins;  females taking the morning shortcut borrowed from their brother’s dresser; abuse of spandex; daytime pajamas; and the worst offense of all, overexposure.

Some anatomy is best left to be seen in textbooks.

A few misconceptions about fashion are probably responsible for these phenomena. I’m not a fashionista, but I do have eyes to see what not to wear. Trust me: I’ve learned these lessons from my own painful experiences.

Myth #1:  Only wealthy people can dress well.

Only wealthy people insist on designer clothing. Besides, glamazon fads have a half-life of two months.

You can be wiser and learn that even a student’s budget can afford a stylish, timeless wardrobe. Today’s frugal economy is teeming with good deals on seasonable fashions that will cover your nudity with pizzazz.

Shop around for affordable deals. I prefer foraging the merchandise at outlets and off-price stores like Marshalls or T.J. Maxx. And bring a trusted friend because an honest opinion usually comes from someone else.

Myth #2:  College is a time to relax my dress standards.

Not so! College is the time to set your standards for the rest of life.  Do you really think your peers, professors, deans and supervisors somehow suspend their impressions of you simply because you’re in college?

Like it or not, people look outward before they can look inward. Take advantage of this weakness in humans. Let your stunning appearance draw them in toward the things that do matter, such as character and personality.

Myth #3:  To look good, you have to be slim.

As the foulest of lies promoted by emaciated fashion models, the skinniness aesthetic is liable for eating disorders, diet soda and falls from two-story-high platform shoes.

Love your body as a gift from the Almighty. If you have curves, accept them as extensions of your beauty and confidence.

At all costs, avoid any unflattering garment resembling a muumuu. Stick with bold, vibrant colors that only you are so privileged to wear.

The most beautifully dressed woman I’ve ever seen was a robust soprano at Uihlien Hall. Amid a sea of musicians dressed in dreary monochrome, the goddess strutted on stage with a peacock’s array of color in a silky shawl. The night belonged to her.

Myth #4:  Less is more.

Immodest dress can plague both women and men. The cause of this illness is a viral deception that exposure of skin and body parts is sexy.

Let me make just two points on this sensitive topic. First, if sexiness is your aim, then consider that one thrilling experience of intimacy is to see something for the first time. Anticipation is sexy. Don’t let immodest evening wear steal your thunder.

Second, never look easy. It’s a bullhorn for desperation. Dress indomitably. Be a Mount Everest. Only the worthiest of climbers should reach your top.

College grunge must end. Dress your body with pride and respect. If, like me, you are left with only a few nice pieces to wear, then wear them with dignity.

Your body deserves nothing less.

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3 Comments

3 Responses to “Cover Your Nakedness with Dignity and Self-Respect”

  1. Tara on October 6th, 2010 7:46 pm

    100% agree with you! I love how you write!

    [Reply]

  2. Centered on October 8th, 2010 12:48 pm

    …a central objective of op-eds is to challenge views and elicit responses, whatever they may be…

    [Reply]

  3. Christian on October 9th, 2010 12:25 pm

    I’ve loved reading your columns from the start of the semester. I think you question some important things that we all ought to think about. I especially liked your porn and entitlement columns. Please don’t be dissuaded by cheap criticisms of your opinions. Continue to be the gadfly who annoys the hell out of people with entrenched convictions and who dare not to think about their opinions.

    Rock on! CFD

    [Reply]

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