What a great time and opportunity the current Olympics has given us to take a closer look at our teenagers. Social issues abound. We are living in interesting times as the underlying format for this year’s Olympic topics run from Covid to bikini dress code. We get Covid, a pandemic for making us all at risk but take a penalty for not wearing bikini pants? Is it pants or panties? Or is it the “official dress code” term bottoms? Whatever it is, clothing can determine identity, internal and external social acceptance, and deciding future goals.
First topic: Identity; Gender dress code – specifically bikini panties
This gender based dress code topic is great for both male and female teens. Breaching their very closed boundary of identity. Identity is topic one in the new book 3 Big Questions That Change Every Teenager. Asking your teen how they feel about this as a penalty is a good ice-breaker topic into how they feel about themselves. You may end up in conversation about school uniforms and public school dress codes where they attend. Of course, I can say with a tremendous amount of confidence, I would not like sitting in a plastic chair all day in a bikini bottom. If it was required, I would ask to be home-schooled. Which leads to the second topic, where do I fit in? See our modern Christian apparel for more information.
Second topic: Belonging; Where do I fit in?
In the teen years, many young adults look around themselves to see where they fit in the world. Clothing and fashion is an external source for determination of not only fitting in but making a statement to others of where you feel you fit in. Parents can sense a great deal from watching teens pick out their attire. Are they modestly dressed or immodestly dressed, introvert or extravert, shy or bold? Each choice paints clues into fulfilling a need to fully identify themselves, find where they fit in and, ultimately, decide what difference they can make in the world.
Third topic: Purpose; Making a difference
Norway’s stand does not tell us how the future will unfold or what difference it will make. It did reach across the International Volleyball Federation and they modified the rules of dress. In this case, bottoms. Change happened. On the flip side, the boxing federation approved skirts for the women boxers, who made their debut in 2021, this summer in London. The skirt controversy stated with the international badminton foundation.
In conclusion, what we do know is that societal values and pressure still abound in clothing choice even at the everyday level. Whereas the athletic Olympians are striving for religious and cultural flexibility with utility, our purpose should be similar.