Madness in the Name of Fashion

Youths in sagging shorts

Crazy wears among youths are a disturbing trend which is fast-tracking moral decadence in the society. What can be done about it?

|  By Chinwe Okafor  |  Sep. 30, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT

IT IS a new malady in the world of fashion and it is prevalent among youths. It is referred to as the V-type of dressing whereby ladies wear shirts exposing their cleavages and the V-shape of their buttocks which is allowed to assault public view. Some ladies also wear transparent clothes which expose the coloured inner wears they have on. The male gender is not left out in this madness eating deep into the society. They basically leave their jean trousers on the lower part of their buttocks exposing their boxers and walking on the streets looking tattered.

Many of the Nigerian youths dress indecently because they feel it is the style in vogue. It cuts across many countries of the world and it is a habit embraced by all ages in the society. In Nigeria, today, over exposure to foreign culture through modern day channels of mass communication like satellite broadcast, internet and unregulated pirated videos, especially musical videos, have taken their toll on the moral rectitude of the youths. Dresses that are meant as stage costumes for musicians and actresses are misconstrued by gullible youths as everyday wears.

The V-shaped dressing
The V-shaped dressing

It has been observed that many youths have gone haywire all in the name of dressing and it becomes imperative at this juncture to ask: why do youths still dress indecently? This moral decadence eating deep into the society has been closely associated with poor parenting, peer pressure, wrong use of the internet, fading moral values as well as demonic influences among others. Mairiga Boyi, a post-graduate student of Benue State University, said that some ladies who dress indecently do that basically to seduce men. She added that some men only love ladies that seduce them. “These set of people don’t have regards for their parents and they really don’t have privacy but sometimes, they are from indecent homes,” she said.

Moses Kpam, a corps member, said youths dress indecently primarily to gain cheap publicity. He added that they lack personal discipline and not parental discipline. “They dress indecently for temptation and seduction. Most of them are even bold to say that it’s a fashion that’s in vogue. They actually want to fit into the trends of the society but they don’t know where they are heading to. Indecent dressing no matter how well we try to link it with ‘civilization’ has no place in African culture. African culture places so much prestige on the African citizen. Whether in the Western or African society, indecent dressing is the major cause of the various assaults and sexual harassment people encounter, especially among the ladies,” he said.

Indecent dressing has become fashionable in Nigeria. For this reason, there is no desire among youths to look decent and presentable. Investigations have revealed that some higher institutions of learning which are uncomfortable with this trend of madness in the country have mapped out strategies to control what the youths wear. One of their strategies is through inculcating in them moral virtues. For instance, the University of Lagos, University of Benin, Enugu State University of Science and Technology, ESUT, and some private and public universities in the country have prohibited students from wearing crazy dresses on their campuses. These institutions have threatened to expel any student caught with such wears.

Meanwhile, some Nigerians have shared their views on the effect of this fashion craze among the youths in the society. Adebola Oyinuade, a student of the University of Lagos, said that indecent dressing particularly among the youths has created a negative trademark. According to him, indecent dressing is a mark of irresponsibility and radicalism that is common in the campus. “You lose your decency when you dress indecently, it makes you look cheap. These days you can no longer walk down a street without seeing someone who dresses in a stupid manner and this is particularly common among young ladies especially the undergraduates like me,” he said.

Indecent dressing among ladies
Indecent dressing among ladies

Nkiru Adine, a housewife, is not impressed with such sense of fashion. Her disapproval stems from the fact that it exposes the person of the woman. It would be good, she said, if they wear something that would cover their critical body parts. But it is doubtful if many youths would heed such advice. “I visited a saloon recently and there were about six girls inside before I came in. They were all backing me, I didn’t see their faces immediately, but I could tell the colours of their under wears. With this trend, there is a problem in the society which needs to be tackled urgently before it influences the younger generations,” she said.

Sanni Omobamidele, a fashion designer in Lagos, said that fashion is a good thing because it makes an individual unique and classy. According to him, fashion has been abused in Nigeria by the youths especially by celebrities, young ladies and even married women. “It is good to look good but when your look has a negative influence on other people around you, it becomes evil. We youths have abused fashion to the extent that we don’t even consider what fits us anymore,” he said, adding that parents should be able to monitor what their children wear in order to help fight this ugly trend in the society.

Austine Okechukwu, pastor of Ambassadors of Christ Ministries, Lagos, said that religious leaders have a role to play to arrest the ugly trend of indecent dressing among the youths. He believes that religious leaders must come together to preach against indecent dressing and to enforce dress codes among their congregations. “Whether we realise it or not, it’s only the religious bodies that would enable us to reduce this trend in our society. If we don’t stop people dressing in an improper way from entering the church, others will not change. I believe that our daily decisions as to what we wear are shaped, at least to a larger extent, by the fashion in vogue, but we can change this perception through enforcement of a dress code among our congregations,” he said.

Steven Alumona, a sociologist, attributes the increase in rape cases in the country to indecent dressing among the youths. He argued that there was no reason why a child from a good home should dress crazily, keep dreadlocks and pierce his or her ears all in the name of fashion. “Nowadays, different styles of dressing are in vogue such as low waist, hot bosom and sagging among others. It’s now a habit embraced by all ages in our society. It has been inculcated by both the young and the old. But it’s mainly common among celebrities, particularly among artistes. This set of people, while on stage, will want to look unique and in the process turn themselves into lunatics. They wear tattered jeans with holes, tight fitting shirts, some even go to the extent of wearing ordinary pant while on stage. All these are the outcome of juvenile delinquency. Most of the under-aged children engage in early sex as a result of what they watch on television as well as what they see among their older siblings. Sadly, most ladies have been sexually abused because of their mode of dressing,” he said.

According to him, this menace is gradually becoming a norm and the etiquette that African society is known for is gradually becoming a thing of the past. He said that African culture is being eroded by indecent dressing. He said: “culturally, you know a country is advancing when the citizens honour their own culture but the reverse is the case in our society today. Among the females these type of dressing include; mini skirt, bumper short, armless, show back, popularly known as spaghetti tops. Guys are not left out in this social malady because many innocent guys have been arrested along with armed robbers just because of their dressing.

This menace of indecent dressing will continue, if parents do not become good  role models to their children, give them attention and regulate the type of home movies they watch. The mass media must also promote good moral values while religious leaders must preach against it, counsel and deliver those under demonic influences. The introduction of college or university dress codes can also help. These are necessary if decency must be achieved.

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