There seems to be a new fashion item that I'm seeing more and more these days. It basically involves a tight black shirt, with white hand prints in just the right location that you are led to imagine some sort of ghostly figure reaching around from behind in order to fondle the wearer's breasts.
It wouldn't be so bad, but it appears that these shirts are worn almost exclusively by females under the age of 16.
Today waiting for the train, with her parents and younger sister, a girl of about 14 was wearing one of these shirts. And it made me think, what is the world coming to where such a young girl would wear something that is so blatantly drawing attention to her body in a sexual way? Why is a father letting his daughter leave the house dressed like that, let alone dress like that for a family outing?
Then I thought, why the hell am I thinking like this? When I was 14 I would have loved watching a girl who was wearing something like that.
Part of me likes to think it's because I'm more enlightened. I've left my hormonal teenage years behind, read Refusing to be a Man and can now see the harm that the objectification of women causes in society. But I doubt that's why.
Perhaps it's just because I'm ashamed of the fact that a mere item of clothing led me to ponder a young girl's breasts to the extent that I would later write about it here. Perhaps if I was 14 or she were 23 it would be different, but society doesn't consider it right for adults to consider young people as sexual beings and societies attitudes do tend to rub off on individuals.
Or perhaps my recent experiments with christianity are starting to show their influence.
But the more I think about it, I'm starting to see that the reason I found myself objecting to this teenager's fashion sense was that I just don't understand teenagers any more.
Sure I used to like Bros and Ninja Turtles, but I fail to understand the appeal of the Backstreet Boys and Pokemon. Sure I used to spend much of my youth playing video games at the local take away, but I still wonder why those kids loitering outside the 7-Eleven don't have better things to do with their time.
Back when I was a kid I used to wonder why my parents, teens in the sixties, didn't get up to the same stuff that we did. Of course I later found out that they didn't really walk ten miles to school without shoes and they did at times come home late and drunk. But they grew up and I guess learned from their mistakes and did their best to make sure we didn't make the same.
I guess I'm growing up, changing and so is everyone else. Coming to realise things are different and perhaps not exactly as you would like them to be is hard, but eventually you are just forced to deal with it.
So I'm sure when I'm a parent I'll let my kids know how lucky they are to be able to travel to school on a crowded bus. I'll tell them that drinking and smoking are bad. I'll let them know that we didn't listen to crap like that when we were their age. I'll encourage my daughters to wear angle length skirts and my sons to encourage their girlfriends to wait until they are married. And I'm sure they'll pay as much attention to me as I paid to my parents. And hopefully if they do that they'll turn out OK.
After all, I turned out all right.