Nigerian youths are dressing improperly and it has drawn the ire of authorities of most tertiary institutions, correspondent SIMPLICIUS UBAH, x-rays the trend
A particular mode of dressing can be used to identify a certain society as a people. Many believe that the theory of dressing started from the Christian Garden of Eden where Adam and Eve used leaves to cover their nakedness. After they ate the fruit they were asked not to eat by God.
The Qur’an also captures the issue of dressing when it says, “Tell the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty”. Right from then, dressing has become part of human beings, starting from when a born baby is born till he/she becomes aged.
From the above statements, it is clear that both Christianity and Islam preach against indecent dressing.
Indecent dressing is a social problem that cuts across many countries of the world. This bad habit is now embraced by all ages in the society but it is prevalent among the youths. Many believe that in Nigeria today, over exposure to foreign culture through mass communication methods like satellite broadcast, internet and unregulated pirated videos, especially musical videos, have taken a toll on the moral rectitude of the youth, especially girls.
In the present day society, it is regrettable that dressings, which reflect people’s cultural background and scriptural admonition, have been thrown to the dogs. Some simply see indecent dressing as a deliberate exposure of one’s body to the public. This practice does not conform to the norms and values of the society, particularly in Africa.
It is very common these days to see people of both sexes, especially young ones on the street, mostly students of higher institutions of learning, dressing indecently and abnormally. These dresses expose sensitive body parts like the belly, buttocks and breasts. It is not uncommon to see young girls, particularly students, dress in tight trousers, transparent materials, miniskirts that expose their thighs, blouses that expose their breasts and armpits and other irregular dressing that the scriptures have forbidden. When you see some of them, especially the ladies, you will wonder if she is coming from a home or from the bush. Some of them even find it difficult to walk or just to pick something from the ground, when it drops.
Some argue that indecent dressing is caused by common phrases which are the problems of this generation like; “Only God can judge me, you cannot”, “Leave them alone”, “everyone is entitled to his or her opinion”, “mind your business”. However, those that are making these comments forget the popular saying, “the way you dress is the way you will be addressed”.
These phrases have become so common in our society that one can’t condemn wrong doings again because the rewards are usually insults, malice, hatred and condemnation. Many believe that indecent dressing is the major cause of the various assault and sexual harassments recorded in the society, overtime. Ladies nowadays derive pleasure in dressing half naked to functions for instance, wearing miniskirts, bum shorts, and sleevless tops all in the name of fashion.
Young men on the other hand, appear in female outfits exemplified by ear-rings, fix hairs, hot bosom, low west and the likes. These types of dressing are influence by a combination of factors. A typical source of influence is foreign culture. Travelling, pictures, films and stories have exposed young men and women to dress out of tune with indigenous culture.
The house of God is not also spared from this offensive and rude way of dressing, today, the type of indecent attire that some ladies put on while going to church will even make the opposite sex to lose focus. There is a hardly a difference between ‘club girls’ and the ‘sisters’. No doubt, some of these ladies purposely wear revealing designs to expose either their cleavage or their thighs. If you caution them, they would boldly say, “it is not the body that matters but the mind.”
Major factors that contribute to this societal problem include: the society, peer pressure and parents.
To curb this menace, it has been observed that some higher institutions of learning, which are not comfortable with this trend in the country have mapped out strategies to control what the students should wear on the campus or face expulsion or suspension. One of their strategies is through introducing what is called “Campus Dress Code”.
For instance, University of Maiduguri, University of Lagos, University of Benin, Enugu State University of Science and Technology, some private and other public universities in the country have prohibited students from wearing indecent or what you can call crazy dresses on campuses. These institutions have threatened to expel any student caught with such wears.
To show you that these youths who wear these clothes know what they are doing, during exams or class test, they will dress properly to avoid causing problem to themselves. But outside that, reverse is the case.
Recently in Morocco, two women who walked through a market wearing dresses were charged for “gross indecency”. The female hairdressers aged 23 and 29 were surrounded by merchants who accused them of wearing flimsy and immoral clothes.
Security forces intervened and wrested the women away from the angry crowd, placing them inside a police car before driving them to a police station where they were charged with gross indecency.
Parents on their own should dress decently and act as role models to their children. They should give them attention and regulate the type of films they watch at homes.
Religious institutions should always promote the culture of decent dressing. The introduction of dress code by some churches will be lauded as this will help to curtail indecent dressing among those who are coming to church.
The mass media should do more to promote decency in dressing among youths by making sure that the pictures they send to the public in other encourage and educate the public on good dressing patterns.