What does your T-shirt tell people about you?
EVERY school is infected with them. Those degrading T-shirts with not-so-nice messages such as "Your Boyfriend Snores A Lot," indicating that they sleep with someone else's significant other, or "This Shirt Would Look Even Better On Your Floor," showing a desire for intimacy, or the one with a horizontal line drawn across the bust line with an arrow pointing upwards reading "Hey, I'm up here!"
The most innocent people wear them, including some of my good friends. It's even worse when people think that wearing these kinds of shirts gives them greater sex appeal and a higher attraction level. The reason they most often give for wearing them is, "Well if you have it, then you can flaunt it." Truth is, not too many people have the body to "flaunt it," and the people who do have the bodies shouldn't demoralize themselves so much that they look so trashy.
The shirts are seen even at elementary schools, with girls as young as fourth-graders donning them proudly. Do these little girls know the danger they're putting themselves into? Who's looking at them, and who are they attracting? The other day I was assisting at an elementary fun fair and I saw two girls walk by. They both had snobby expressions plastered across their faces; one was in a green shirt with white lettering reading, "Yes! But not with you" and a rather short denim skirt, while the second was in a navy blue shirt reading, "Everything's bigger in Texas" and really tight denim jeans hugging her small legs. It wasn't a pretty sight.
What makes it even worse is that popular clothing brand stores sometimes promote bad labels and shirt designs rather than trying to prevent them. If the shirts they manufacture are meant for teen girls to wear, then do they believe that girls cheat on their boyfriends and want everyone to know about it? Do they want girls to be thought of simply as bodies of sexual desire? The more that influential stores promote it, the more teen girls are going to look at it and accept it as the truth.
Before, the problem with clothing was that there was barely enough material. The tops grew shorter and shorter, and the pants were cut higher and higher. Now, however, a girl can be fully covered, yet she has to wear a shirt saying "Your boyfriend says I'm a good kisser." The shirts hint that they would like the reputation of being loose. It can start uncomfortable feelings between friends. Although some guys are very "testosterone driven," some guys have girlfriends who do value good taste and find it awkward to see someone with a T-shirt such as the ones mentioned above.
Some girls who have boyfriends wear those types of shirts anyway, regardless of how their boyfriends feel about their clothing choice, while others wear them just for attention regardless of how repulsive they are. I have a boyfriend of my own, and I know that wearing something just to attract other guys is insulting to him.
Maybe it's the fact that the little girls who are influenced by these T-shirts aren't aware that they're setting up their future reputations now. Every week there are new shirt designs out, each one seeming a little more not-so-nice than the last. Girls continue to go shopping, giggle when they see the shirt design, and buy it because they think it's cute. If they don't want to be labeled with a bad name or be known for wearing a not-so-nice shirt, then they should start now and steer clear away from demeaning merchandise.
If you have something to flaunt, flaunt it using your personality that shows people how happy you are to be who you are. It's better to be remembered for your personality than for what was on your shirt last week.
Jerrica Ching is a junior at Moanalua High School.
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