La Belle High School graduands arrange a Prom to mark the end of High School and Yeni takes her daughter Kemi for the event. She returns to pick her up and two of her classmates approach the car in the company of Kemi. Ibinabo and Amaka chorus a “Good evening ma”. Amaka continues – “Please ma, can you drop us off at home as we may need to Uber home and are a little wary at this time of night”. Yeni agrees to do so but raises a quizzical eyebrow before commenting on her observations. “Ibinabo and Amaka, good evening. Amaka, what a lovely dress you have on, but Amaka, hmm…you could have passed for any of the Celebrities on the red carpet at the Grammy Awards. This outfit may pass on the red carpet but…well, never mind. Is your mum in town”?

“No ma” Amaka replies “but she had arranged with Aunty Chichi to pick something nice and fitting for the prom”.

“And where is aunty Chichi now”?, Yeni asked.

“Please ma, she paid for my Uber to the event but has lectures on Campus today so she cannot pick me” Amaka responds.

Yeni then admits all three school leavers into the car and sets about giving them a little lecture on the virtue of proper dressing and the folly of indecent dressing /seductive nudity.

Yeni explains that “Seductive Nudity in the form of very transparent clothing, exposure of breasts and other sensitive areas (private parts) of the body, underwear, may be the fashion trend but it has negative connotations and implications for the dresser/wearer”. She states further that “nude dressing may be the prerogative of Celebrities whose purpose is to strike an unforgettable image in the minds of their fans. It is meant for the likes of Grammy Awards and the Red Carpet generally, not for ordinary everyday folk like you and me. Celebrities may get away with it because they are above the average person’s reach. While, it is nice to keep up with trends, this must be done in moderation with due regard to morals and ethics. It is important to dress modestly and decently because that not only shows you are confident of yourself but also showcases you as a person of integrity and standards. Exposure of private parts is a specific “NO NO”. Private parts are referred to as such because they should not be flaunted in public, they should be kept in privacy.

My dear girls, dress is not merely a covering for your nakedness but it also sends a message about the kind of person you are. Indecent dressing belittles womanhood and a woman is often assessed and addressed based on perception. Certain types of dressing are associated with loose morals e.g. inordinately short clothes, exposure of private parts, too much cleavage etc. These invite prying eyes and reactions from the  public to what should remain under wraps, and have elicited many sexual violations and assault. Much as I do not justify such reactions, the way a lady dresses leaves lasting impressions. A lady is respected when  her dress sense is decent and stylish, leaving a lasting impression of dignity and class. Skimpy and indecent dressing on the other hand makes you look crass and cheap. I hope you catch my drift.

Even in the use of cosmetics and make-up, it should be used in moderation so you don’t appear garish. Try using colours that blend in with your skin colour rather than contrast with it.

I also see ladies tottering on heels that are a burden to them. Always wear things that you feel comfortable in whether clothes, shoes, hairdo or make-up.

Now to tattoos…that is another ball game. People with tattoos are generally perceived as displaying negative personality characteristics, lower levels of inhibitions, competence and sociability as well as higher levels of promiscuity. In other words, you can expect them to do the unthinkable without any qualms.”

All three girls thanked Yeni for her exposition on Fashion trends and for dressing right just as she dropped off each of them at their destination.

Left alone with Kemi, Kemi gave her a bear hug and looked her in the eyes. She said: “ Mom, I‘ve learnt so much from you today and I adore your sense of dress. I see you as my role model because you always look so good. Have you noticed how heads turn when you enter a room? Thank you mom for teaching me the right values and parameters”.

Havilah wishes to add that this admonition also works for adults who are meant to act as mentors to the youth but are themselves entirely misled about the right attitude to dressing. May we be guided by the right morals and ethics rather than follow the crowd blindly, all in the name of fashion.



2 thoughts on “DECENCY IN VOGUE – A PARADOX?

  1. Good Talk for both old and young. Adults should realize the young ones are copying from them. “Be a Good Example”. May our lifestyle don’t lead others to destruction in Jesus Name.


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