What's So Sexy About Shoulders?

What's So Sexy About Shoulders?

Spaghetti straps are the devil.
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If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my experiences in middle school and even throughout my high school career it’s this: thou shall not wear spaghetti straps. It’s written time and time again within school dress codes, along with the famous fingertip-length-skirt-rule. As a passive person, I’ve learned over the years to pick my battles- so I won’t go on my rant about controlling skirt lengths or acceptable cleavage (although for a big chested person- cleavage is often totally accidental.) Perhaps it’s my newly inspired embodiment of feminism, but I find the whole shoulder-gate obsession more than a little ridiculous. I know, I know, I can see your inner eye roll at the term “feminism.” But homies, feminism isn’t all bra burning and radical protest- it’s striving to balance the kilter, and helping women to stand equally next to men. However, that’s an entirely different article. Thus, I'll lead with this: what’s so sexy about shoulders?

Okay, I know the whole cover-your-shoulders idea has a vast history- and you will not see me challenging it when I walk into a chapel or religious institution (ever wonder why Kate Middleton wore a long-sleeved wedding gown?). Like I said, if I'm asked to cover my shoulders out of respect, toss me a shawl, and I will more than happily oblige. Covering your shoulders out of respect for tradition and or religion is one thing, but covering your shoulders because it’s “distracting” is an entirely different issue. Why is it so atrocious to show some shoulder in the classroom?

I refuse to believe it’s mere “distraction,” because believe it or not, most females wear bras. Yes, it’s rather scandalous but do you think we can hold our boobs up without them? It brings me back to my initial question-just what is so sexy about shoulders? Does the mere insinuation of a bra strap make us heathens? Trust me, if an adolescent teenage boy has trouble focusing in class because a girl in front of him is showing a little shoulder- that’s his issue. For reals though, that’s just weird. Why should young girls be blamed for wearing a thin-strapped shirt? Why are we sexualizing girls as young as 12?

In middle school we had a “two finger” policy for the width of our tank top straps. Besides driving my mother crazy with finding appropriate tank tops to buy at Marshalls, I also couldn’t help but note just how ridiculous the whole concept was. These 6th graders are too sexy! They’re wearing spaghetti straps! The entire shirt covers their chests, but my heavens their shoulders are showing. If middle schoolers are cropping their tops, or wearing low-cut clothing, you may have some leverage on the argument. In an ever changing society it gets difficult drawing the line on issues such as dress code. So, if you want to ban leggings, low-cut tops, short-shorts, or crop-tops, be my guest. Without necessarily condoning it, I have to say, I do see how one could craft that argument. However, spaghetti straps? Bare shoulders? That’s where you lose me.

The fact of the matter is this: by instigating this whole “forbidden shoulder” fiasco, we’re turning middle school dress into more than just middle school dress. We’re sexualizing these girls, and we’re banning items of clothing on the purpose of distraction. So for the love of God, let these poor children wear spaghetti straps! For what it's worth- it gets really hot out in September, and the spring months...just let these kids air out! A little shoulder never hurt anyone, because personally, I don’t see what’s so sexy about them.

Cover Image Credit: Tradekey

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8 Struggles Of Being 21 And Looking 12

The struggle is real, my friends.
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“You'll appreciate it when you're older." Do you know how many times my mom has told me this? Too many to count. Every time I complain about looking young that is the response I get. I know she's right, I will love looking young when I'm in my 40s. However, looking young is a real struggle in your 20s. Here's what we have to deal with:

1. Everyone thinks your younger sister or brother is the older one.

True story: someone actually thought my younger sister was my mom once. I've really gotten used to this but it still sucks.

2. You ALWAYS get carded.

Every. Single. Time. Since I know I look young, I never even bothered with a fake ID my first couple of years of college because I knew it would never work. If I'm being completely honest, I was nervous when I turned 21 that the bartender would think my real driver's license was a fake.

3. People look at your driver's license for an awkward amount of time.

So no one has actually thought my real driver's license is fake but that doesn't stop them from doing a double take and giving me *that look.* The look that says, “Wow, you don't look that old." And sometimes people will just flat out say that. The best part is this doesn't just happen when you're purchasing alcohol. This has happened to me at the movie theater.

SEE ALSO: 10 Things People Who Look 12 Hate Hearing

4. People will give you *that look* when they see you drinking alcohol.

You just want to turn around and scream “I'M 21, IT'S LEGAL. STOP JUDGING ME."

5. People are shocked to find out you're in college.

If I had a dollar for every time someone had a shocked expression on their face after I told them I'm a junior in college I could pay off all of my student loan debt. It's funny because when random people ask me how school is going, I pretty much assume they think I'm in high school and the shocked look on their face when I start to talk about my college classes confirms I'm right.

6. For some reason wearing your hair in a ponytail makes you look younger.

I don't understand this one but it's true. Especially if I don't have any makeup on I could honestly pass for a child.

7. Meeting an actual 12-year-old who looks older than you.

We all know one. That random 12-year-old who looks extremely mature for her age and you get angry because life isn't fair.

8. Being handed a kids' menu.

This is my personal favorite. It happens more often than it should. The best part of this is it's your turn to give someone a look. The look that says, "You've got to be kidding me".

Looking young is a real struggle and I don't think everyone realizes it. However, with all the struggles that come with looking young, we still take advantage of it. Have you ever gone to a museum or event where if you're under a certain age you get in for a discounted price? Yeah? Well, that's when I bet you wish you were us. And kids' meals are way cheaper than regular meals so there have definitely been a couple times when I've kept that kids' menu.

So, all in all, it's not the worst thing in the world but it's definitely a struggle.

Cover Image Credit: Jenna Collins

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Academics and Creativity Conflicts

Academics is definitely something important for students, but it seems that creativity is pushed aside too often.

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As students, we are heavily focused on academics. Some of us may also be heavily focused on athletics. Anything that helps or is integrated into our academic careers has a way of controlling how we live our daily life. We go to class, we study and do homework, we attend activities/work, and then we most likely have little time to relax.

One thing that seems to lack in the academic world is creativity. Many students may say "Well, I'm not creative." Why have students subjected themselves to being uncreative individuals? How does someone define "creativity" as the verbatim definition across the world? Creativity can be used widely if we are aware of how it can be done.

  1. In the classroom, students can find creative ways to approach a debate, a different way of understanding a topic, changing the argument and allowing different perspectives and voices to be heard, and so much more.
  2. Students can find different ways of changing the issues our communities may face such as homelessness, segregated communities, etc.
  3. Organizations can be created to fill in the gaps our communities may have (including in a university).
  4. Students can remain to do creative activities such as crafts, writing, art, etc. This can be done within different organizations or in the comfort of the student's home.
  5. There are different platforms that encourage creativity like photoshop, video editing software, websites like Wattpad to create and share your own stories, and more.

We cannot let academics take over every moment of our lives. It can easily result in a point where we have no motivation to do anything at all because we are in a constant routine that can drain us. We are more than school, although it is still very important. If we shall succeed, we have to embrace the things we love to do and not forget about who we are.

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