By Tamara Jane I went to prom this year with my boyfriend of 10 months. Prom is a big deal in general, but for me, a homeschooler, this was an even bigger deal, and I wanted to make the most of the experience. In addition to frenzy of getting myself ready for the big day, I got to observe a lot of second-hand frenzy too, as I worked a lot of hours at a local florist during prom season. Being my usual, observant self, I noticed that a lot of girls were ordering their own corsages because they were going single to prom. I very impressed with and proud of these girls. Any girl who would rather go alone to the prom than to settle for going with some jerk was brave, independent and all-around awesome in my book. When the big night came, I recognized some of the corsages I had worked on and I admired the dresses they went with as well. Then I began to notice that the single girls at prom, in general, were wearing shorter skirts, with lower cuts up top and higher cuts in the kick pleat. And for having gone single to the prom, they didn’t lack for guys on their arms. And most of the time it was one of their friends’ dates! Interesting isn’t it? Going in, they were these brave new women to me, but with more careful observation, they looked more like they were working a corner, by the amount of attention they were drawing to themselves. What a letdown. Just when you think women might start having some self-respect, you realize nothing has changed. Girls, high school and beyond, let’s have a heart-to-heart. Let’s think deep thoughts about … our clothes (after all, this is a fashion column) and about the way we interact with guys. I know, it’s not my usual and there aren’t five fashion tips, but along with all the efforts to look good in a style that feels right for us, we can’t ignore the fact that clothes communicate things to others. It’s foolishness to think that our clothes aren’t talking just because we think it ought not to be that way. Yes, you ought to be able to wear anything. We ought to be able to walk around nude – that is the way God intended, but newsflash! When sin entered the world, it was a total game changer and since then and until Jesus returns, your clothes will talk! Take some time to reflect on what your clothing choices are saying, honestly. Say the words out loud. Do you like what you hear? Clothes aren’t the only talkers though. Our bodies and attitudes talk too. Do we treat guys with respect, like we want to be treated? Do we treat them like toys? Are they entertainment? Are we treating them like they are dispensable, replaceable? Yes, I am describing how a lot of girls treat guys, but that lot of girls are not disciples of Christ and daughters of God. They are daughters of perdition; they have not received a higher calling. They are not light and salt, we are. And as such, we need to be dramatically different – as different as light and dark. We need to take the lead to bring out women out of the dark ages. It’s ironical that now that we have social equality, we are oppressing ourselves by perpetuating the notion that we are foremost sexual beings. I don’t mean to preach, but I’m really disappointed in us – the ways that we treat ourselves, each other and guys. I want to challenge every single one of us, myself included. We are light – let’s shine then and be beautiful young women – on the inside. I want us to have such a love for our Savior, for life, joy in everything, even trials. That’s all good, but what about guys, right? I promise you that if you focused on your inner beauty, a really great guy is going to notice it. Some not-so-great guys will notice too and may even take their game up a notch to try to be worthy of you. I’ve seen it happen and I’d like to see it happen more often. So be lovely, not to make yourself sexually attractive to guys. Be beautiful for yourself and on your own, and start treating guys with the same respect you (and everyone) deserves.