Monday, February 11, 2013

Grammy Dress Code

What do my daughter's high school and the Grammy Awards have in common? 

A dress code.

According to the school's handbook (available only online to save trees — or more likely to save a commodity even more endangered, the school's nearly extinct budget), the code is based on the presumption that "all students are young adults who wish to dress and groom themselves appropriately with due consideration to popular convention."

The specific "required standards of dress" include the following:

1. Hooded garments may be worn, but the hood may not be on the wearer's head nor cover the ears or face. Hats or head coverings must be removed upon the request of a staff member.

2. Short-shorts and very short skirts will not be worn.

3. Footwear laces will be tied.

4. Torn and cut clothing will not be worn.

5. Clothing will be neat and appropriately buttoned or zipped at all times.

6. Tube-tops, halters, camisole tops, spaghetti strap (sic) and bare midriffs are unacceptable.

7. Chain wallets and other clothing with chains are not allowed.

8. Underwear that is visible is not allowed.

9. Pajamas are not allowed.

And, last but not least.

10. Sunglasses are not allowed to be worn during the school day in the building.

Apparently, the future's not as bright as we've been led to believe. Especially if you're a girl.

Compare this now to the official memorandum that went out to Grammy Awards attendees from CBS. Desperate to avoid a "wardrobe malfunction," the powers that be at the network were specific and explicit. (A little too explicit if you ask me.) This being the age of the Internet, the memo was — of course — leaked.

"Please be sure that buttocks and female breasts are adequately covered. Thong type costumes are problematic. Please avoid exposing bare fleshy under curves of the buttocks and buttock crack. Bare sides or under curvature of the breasts is also problematic. Please avoid sheer see-through clothing that could possibly expose female breast nipples. Please be sure the genital region is adequately covered so that there is no visible “puffy” bare skin exposure."

What strikes me here (aside from the writer's obvious love for the word "buttock") is its focus on female bits. I'd just as soon avoid male breast nipples too, thank you very much. And what exactly is "visible "puffy" bare skin?" Eeek.

Not to worry though. This is the music industry after all, a group of non-conformists if there ever was one. So, memo or no memo, we were entertained by some pretty extravagant outfits — and some rather creative interpretations of the new rules.

"As you can see, I read the memo," joked Jennifer Lopez to her co-presenter Pitbull. Indeed, there were no buttocks to be seen. Just leg, plenty o' leg. (BTW, if you like the look, you might want to try J-Lo's leg workout, available via Marie Claire here.)

Katy Perry, on the other hand, avoided the "bare side or under curvature of the breasts" dictate by putting it all up front, showcasing her rather buxom bosom with a bejeweled keyhole neckline.

Then there were all the "peek-a-boo" gowns, virtually transparent with the exception of those specific areas (in some cases, only those specific areas) that were so articulately outlined in the memo. This category included dresses worn by Rihanna, Kelly Rowland, Ashanti, D'manti (who is D'manti???) and Alicia Keys. 

On the other hand, Beyonce was tailored and Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood were fairly demure, but that speaks more to their youth and personalities. 

I dare say the infamous memo had nothing to do with it.

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