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Do You Have To Show Your Underwear?
ISSUE 128
Front Page
Index

Headlines

- Abdiqasim Salad Hasan Says Somaliland’s Cities Deserved To Be Destroyed,
And Vows To Behead His Enemies

- Puntland Militia Still Holding Halo Trust Deminers

- EU Aid to Somalia Government Without Looking at Impact on Somaliland
- Somali Envoy Accuses UK Of Excluding Somaliland From Peace Talks

- Repatriation Of Rejected Asylum Seekers From Djibouti

- Food Distribution In Ethiopia's Hartisheik Camp

- Conference on Peace, Security and Development in the Horn of Africa, “The Somalialnd Experience”

Health

- Khat Plant 'Boosts Sperm Power'

- Major Boost For Malaria Programmes In Somalia

International News

- 11 Murdered In Somali Capital

- Muslim Reformers Condemn Saudi Wahhabism

- 'We Need Help' Say Somali Community

- Mennonite Pair Concerned With Somalia Plight

- Gunmen Kill Two People In Somalia Port Town Of Bosaso
- WFP Appeals For US $14m To Fund Humanitarian Operations

Peace Talks

- Warlords Told off

Editorial & Opinions

- The EU Should recognize Somaliland and Somalia as two separate countries

- Turning Assets into Usable Capital

- Educational Programme

- Celebrating 1st July In A New Light: A Somalilander’s Perspective
- Do You Have To Show Your Underwear?


Mohamed Mukhtar Ibrahim, London

One night, a friend of mine said, “July 1st is here, it is time to celebrate”. Throughout the night I kept asking myself “are we going to celebrate 44 years of progression or regression?” Next morning my mind was still clouded, however my own physical presence was required to be at work. I strode out to catch my bus. I have noticed two Somalis - a boy and a girl – standing at the bus stop. The boy was wearing his baggy trousers very low as if he was proud to show off his boxer shorts and the girl was wearing a low-cut jeans and a shirt that showed a lot of her stomach and a lot of cleavage. The way these teenagers dressed compounded my anguish.

At my lunch break I spent surfing the Internet trying to find out how the trend toward showing the maximum amount of skin has started and the sartorial depths to which fashion has now sunk. Flicking through the pages, I came across Pace Magazine with its front cover showing young Somali supermodels. One particular model made me uneasy by seeing her naked narrow waist. I am not here to contemplate what a person should or should not wear because Allah has already notified us the dress code, but what worries me is to the extent that the boundaries have been pushed.

Let us quickly look the history notes of baggy clothes and bare bellies. Here is an excerpt from an article entitled "the history of baggy pants": Unbeknownst to many, baggy clothing has been around even before the early days of Yo MTV Raps. As a style, baggy and loose fitting clothing has always been associated with the derelicts and bohemians of society. Hobos, transients, and the homeless are usually portrayed as having baggy clothing.

Of course, they wore baggy clothing through no choice of their own but because all they could find was loose, discarded clothing (not to mention their small frames caused by malnutrition). Jesters and clowns are also associated with exaggerated clothing. Clowns wear larger than normal shoes and baggier than normal pants. Whatever the case, baggy clothing has always been associated with the fringes of society. Baggy clothing can be seen as an affront to polite society.
Baring the belly has a deep history and can be traced back to Egypt as early as 48 BC. Indian women have been showing their midriff for a long time. Movie stars started showing their bared bellies in the late 1910s. In the 1980s, Madonna, queen of imps, showed her naked tummy. In the 1990s, two ribald singers Janet Jackson and Mariah Carey joined the club of bare bellies. But the look really took off when ruinous Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera started showing the sparkly strings of their thongs.

People naturally prefer certain clothes and hairdos to express themselves. Whatever you wear somehow reflects your personality. Brian Tracy, a leading authority on personal and business success, writes “The fact is that when you first meet a person, he makes a judgment about you in approximately four seconds, and his judgment is finalized largely within 30 seconds of the initial contact”.
If a young boy wears his trousers too low and his hat cocked to the side, he may be classified as a yob. And if a teenage girl dresses in skimpy clothes, she may be regarded as a slut. One may argue that the way a person dresses does not necessarily mean everything. Of course that is true, but your clothes reflect your taste and not who you are.

Boys, let me ask you this, is it cool wearing your trousers too low? A nine-year-old girl from St. Paul said, “A boy at school bent over to wash a table, and I could see his boxer shorts. The next day, he bent over again, and I could see that he didn't change his underwear”. Boys are forewarned that the girls count and know the number of underpants that you have and if you cannot afford to have a new one everyday bury your shorts deep under your trousers.

Girls, let me dare to ask you this, is it really trendy to wear a shirt with slits that shows a lot of cleavage or a trousers that shows your knickers? Most of the girls wear what they think looks nice on them and some of them dress what they think will get others excited. Nevertheless if you are in learning environment, you should know that you are not there for fashion inspection but you are there to learn.

Even if you are not confined to cloistered academics, it is important to remember that people make assumptions or opinions about other people according to their physical appearance. It is worth repeating the exact words of a thirteen-year-old girl who said “I'm very careful with my clothing. I like to wear matching or something that looks good together. Every day I wear a clean skirt, a shirt and a scarf. In order to wear it, it has to be clean and not show my body or hair. The way I dress tells people that I'm Muslim and that I don't feel comfortable showing off my body”.

A thorny question, where in the world are the parents of these youngsters? Surely, responsible parents cannot allow their children to wear dresses that make them uncomfortable when they are standing next to their children. When parents and their children are at their homes they are bombarded with ads from TVs and magazines that show sexually attractive models wearing inappropriate clothes and when they go to the shops everything they find is almost cut so tight and low. This shows that parents do not have absolute control over the environment that their children live but that does not real mean that they are destined to accept what the environment dictates.

However sad you feel about your surroundings, you do not have to think that dressing scantily or trousers hang low is really cool. Girls should not show easily treasured parts of their anatomy and should leave more to the imagination. Boys need to make sure that their pants are up. It is not fun to watch boys holding up their trousers while they run. Moreover, boys do not need to ventilate their hips. Seeing our future leaders dressing this way I do not think it is time to be joyous. Whether we are to celebrate 1st July for progression or regression or both, the decision is yours.

 


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