In today’s society, fashion dictates the way the world turns. The way you dress is an expression of your personality and personal style and it definitely influences people’s first impressions of you.
During our recent homecoming activities, there were a slew of alumni, students and ,of course, people who just wanted to come and be part of the festivities, here on campus.
With such a special occasion it’s a given that most people are planning to look their best and dress to impress, but homecoming certainly brought an abundance of edgy, yet risky apparel.
It is assumed that everyone has their own definition of what’s considered appropriate or inappropriate wardrobe, but there is a significant difference between being chic or stylish and dressing down right nasty.
“Being in the business program I’m more partial to straight corporate attire, but I certainly don’t mind looking,” said Sean Carter, a 20-year-old junior business student from Baltimore. “I do think that people who choose to dress that way attract attention, just the wrong type of attention.”
“I didn’t get a chance to be here this year (for homecoming,) but I have been here in previous years and some of the outfits have been scary,” said Daphne Hill, a teacher at FAMU DRS.
“I’m really not a fan of showing midriffs, too much cleavage, and wearing short skirts, it makes me uncomfortable and thankful the kids at DRS wear uniforms,” Hill said.
Murell Dawson, a professor of history and women’s studies at FAMU, as well as director over The Southeastern Regional Black Archives Research Center and Museum definitely had some remarks concerning the issue.
“Historically, there was a time when African-Americans were denied the opportunity to dress in certain ways (high fashion or trendy,) so I understand how present day African-Americans have grown to appreciate the luxury of fine fashionable clothing,” Dawson said.
“But as a member of the faculty, staff, community and being a parent, I am deeply concerned about the attire of young women on our campus.”
Dawson did express her appreciation for those who maintain a professional attire for class at least.
“I do commend and applaud those who do dress appropriate for class, extracurricular activities, and academic programs,” she said.
She also noted that she saw some shocking things at homecoming, but in order to pacify herself, she just assumed that they couldn’t be FAMU students.
“We know that as a state institution, FAMU does not have the authority to mandate a school dress code, but I and my other male and female counterparts would like to encourage administration to establish a ‘suggested’ dress code for our students; like those that are enforced in certain classrooms and various programs,” Dawson said.
Nicole Edwards, an 18-year-old freshman music education student said, “I think that if the university were to suggest a dress code that students would feel a bit threatened, even if they don’t dress that way. Just knowing that we have the right to wear whatever we want is comforting,” said the Chicago native.
Fashion is not the only thing being held in the balance, safety is too. It is a known fact that those who choose to dress in revealing clothing bring attention to themselves, leaving them vulnerable to predators, sexual assault and misconduct.
Launching a suggestive dress code is not necessarily the answer, but could be a possible solution to the problem.
With winter on the way, the skimpy outfits may fade into the distance and reemerge at another time and season, but usually when dressing, one considers more than just finding the right outfit or lack thereof to beat the heat, but one that reflects individuality in a tasteful way.
Contact Yewande Addie at firstname.lastname@example.org