In spite of campaigns against indecent dressing among youths in the society, the malaise has persisted. It is a common sight to see some young persons practically going naked, all in the name of being ‘trendy,’ but which actually looks like a deliberate exposure of one’s body to the public.
This practice is in total contrast to what used to obtain, when it was considered shameful to expose any part of the body, no matter how little, especially young ladies and women. Then, it was strongly condemned and frowned upon, so much so that the family of the wayward youth was held responsible for the misbehaviour. Parents and others in the community, therefore, were always alert and ensured that their children and wards were appropriately dressed, especially when appearing in public.
Nowadays, however, even worship places are no longer so sacred as to be spared of this trend. Some ladies wear very tight, revealing and skimpy dresses to church that one wonders what they are actually looking for in these places. The same goes for some boys, who love sagging their trousers and wearing low waist, among others.
There is an amusing angle to all this. Sometime, otherwise good and educated boys have been arrested alongside hooligans, just because of their manner of dressing.
Ironically, even some adults are joining in this trend, as mothers and grandmothers are also often seen in inappropriate dresses, all in the name of wanting to be fashionable.
The campuses used to be the hotbeds of this practice. Maybe because of the perceived freedom enjoyed here, students do whatever they like, including dressing inappropriately.
But Juliet Okoye, an undergraduate, does not agree with this. On the contrary, she feels the trend is abating on campuses. She said: “The way it is now, I think it has really reduced. People no longer dress anyhow to school, because the school authorities have actually restricted students from dressing carelessly to school, and any one who disobeys is sent back home. So, people don’t dress anyhow on campuses nowadays. But when they go out, they dress to expose their bodies, especially the ladies.
Olumide Joshua, another student, accuses girls of being more culpable. “I think ladies are worse than the guys, because the ladies dress to expose their bodies without minding the consequences of such practice, and they feel so comfortable in it. Recently, I saw a lady trying to cross the road. She was putting on a mini flared gown, but as she got in the middle of the road, breeze blew up the dress and she was so embarrassed, because so many people were able to see what she was wearing underneath.
“There was a time I heard government wanted to start arresting girls who dressed indecently, but I knew it wouldn’t work because they were not serious about it. I think the idea should be revisited, and government should be more serious this time around, so that immorality will be reduced, and Nigeria will be a better place.”
Professor Babatunde Oni, Associate professor of Law, University of Lagos was of the opinion that indecent dressing is no longer popular, at least on the campus.
“Personally, I think indecent dressing is minimal in the university. However, we cannot rule out cases of indecent dressing totally, which is being encouraged by many factors, such as social media, so-called civilization and the influence of foreign culture. Some parents are also not left out of the blame, jus as nonchalant attitude on the part of lecturers and the university community.
“However, we don’t have indecent dressing among students in the faculty of Law as such, because of the regulated dress code for Law undergraduates approved by the NUC and the Council of legal education. The dressing code is strictly enforced in the faculty, and attracts sanction of being sent out of the classroom.
“Also, at the University of Lagos, I am aware that you cannot be allowed into the Senate Building, which accommodates the central administrative staff and management, if you are indecently dressed.”