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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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs.

In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm...

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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Writing Saved My Sanity

Write it all down when you can't talk to anyone.

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I love writing.

I have since elementary school, and I've dreamed of becoming a published author. I started off writing stupid plays in elementary school, then it grew it almost writing a full-blown novel in middle school. I have no idea where that thing went to. It was all notebook paper and bad writing. In high school, my writing was kinda pushed to the side so I could focus on school. When I entered college, I started writing small poems about my now ex-boyfriend.

I was scared to express myself to him sometimes, the intensity of my feelings for him scared me. So instead of telling him, I wrote them down. When I tried to share them with him, he hated it. He thought writing down feelings was weird and creepy. So I didn't share anything else with him. When we finally broke up for good, everything just poured out of me. What I couldn't express verbally, I wrote or typed out.

I always have ideas flowing through my head. They never cease and I wouldn't want them to. Writing gives me an escape, from stress, work, school, or fights. It gives me a place to vent and to be open with everything. This is a reason I love writing for Odyssey, not only has this place brought me amazing friends but revived my love for writing. I'm never without my notebook anymore, I'd get distracted in class by an idea and have to write I think then and there.

I love sharing my more personal writing with close friends, especially my poems as of late. I found that I have a voice for young women who find themselves in a toxic relationship much like mine was. I want to speak out and show them that you can grow from the bullshit. It may take some time, but you will be better.

Writing saved my sanity. It allows me to express myself without having to use my actual voice. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate public speaking. I tend to psych myself out leading up to it. My current projects include writing for Odyssey every week, I'm in the process of trying to continue my short stories, and I'm excited to announce that I'm currently working on my very first poetry book!

Writing has given me so much, and I'm so looking forward to making a career out of something I love so much.

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