Slava_Zaitsev_fashion_show-2

Dear Youth Leader: Stop Trying To Be Hot!

Slava_Zaitsev_fashion_show-2

I understand that most of the people who you hang out with on any given day are young people. I understand that it’s important to be relevant and accessible. But please be an adult and don’t take your fashion cues from youth culture.

Far be it from me to be the fashion police (I look like my Granddad!) but clothing does speak volumes about culture, and how you dress sends clear signals.

“When you wear skin-tights, low-cuts, short-shorts, slips-with-slits and see-thrus, you’re setting the standard.”

I’ve been at a bunch of youth work conferences this year and I have been continually shocked by some of the things that male and female youth leaders are wearing – and the apparent obliviousness that led them there.

When you wear skin-tights, low-cuts, short-shorts, slips-with-slits and see-thrus, you’re setting the standard and communicating availability. This goes for lads and lasses.

One of my first youth leaders was a 21 year old girl on a gap year. She rocked up one day with a skin tight shirt with a picture of two watermelons and the tagline, ‘hands off my melons.’ I remember her being pretty put out when the Youth Pastor told her that wasn’t appropriate. As a 14 year old though, I was on her side; I remember the ‘shirt’ vividly.

A couple of months back we hired a mission group and one of the lads in the troop wore skinny jeans about a mile below the waistline and a v-neck pajama top that was so low you could almost see belly button. You didn’t know where to look! He was oblivious to every girl in the room that was making eyes at him.

I don’t want to go an a Victorian dress rampage. It’s important to take pride in how you look and enjoy creatively looking your best. Go for it – enjoy it.

Please remember though that you set the standards for what’s appropriate and modest.

If you are older, in a leadership position and confident then you have immediate attraction value to a young person. Wrap that in revealing clothes and you’re just begging for trouble.

Be a grown up. Dress like one!

Here endeth another rant.

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