In my personal opinion, dressing provocatively is lame.




Really lame.




It's so lame in fact, that I have even laid out rules for myself for when I'm getting dressed so as to avoid looking too revealing. These rules include but are not limited to:




Always balance the amount of fabric on the upper and lower halves of your body. Example: Short shorts plus tiny tank top equals slutty. Short shorts plus billowy blouse equals classy.




It is critical to wear pretty undergarments at all times. Showing said undergarments is absolutely critical to avoid.




Wearing high heels to school is ridiculous. Period.




But recently, I've realized that not everyone my age checks off such rules in their heads while getting dressed each day. Tiny tank tops and short shorts are visible everywhere I go (especially during the summer), and recently I've noticed that the showing of butt cracks has replaced showing g-strings.




I guess I missed the memo.




But, why so much indiscretion among today's youth? I would assume that it is for the most obvious reason &

sex sells.




In today's day and age, it seems almost imperative to be sexy. Back in 2002, clothing chain Abercrombie and Fitch was criticized for introducing a line of thong underwear in children's sizes. The underwear even featured sayings such as "wink wink" and "eye candy" on the front.




More recently, nude photos of Disney's "High School Musical" star Vanessa Hudgens were released to the world on the internet. Initially, the 18-year-old actress was quoted as responding, "I am embarrassed over this situation and regret having ever taken these photos. I am thankful for the support of my family and friends." But now, less than two weeks after the incident, Hudgens has changed her tune.




"I think being a woman and being able to show a sexy side is empowering," Hudgens said to the media. "Being able to show we are comfortable in our skin is a good thing. I totally would pose for a sexy magazine. But not Playboy." So, gone are the days of "leaving something to the imagination." Teen clothing stores such as 'Wet Seal' display see-through tops, tight dresses, short skirts, and mile-high heels in their display windows. Novelty stores like Spencer's Gifts sell 'toys' fit for an adult shop, and yet 13-year-old girls prance through the aisles of penis paraphernalia without so much as a double-take.




It is all enough to make one feel a little queasy.




But I suppose that this movement towards freer, sexier teenagers could have been predicted. After all, sex is everywhere. It's in movies, TV shows, stores, and magazines.




"Mind Blowing Orgasms" screams the cover of Cosmopolitan next to the grocery store check-out line, while at the mall Victoria 's Secret's "Very Sexy Bra" is previewed on larger-than-life photos that grace the floor-length display windows.




Now don't get me wrong. I watch Sex and the City religiously, laughed at the movie Knocked Up, and believe that having one's own sexuality is something in which every person on the planet has a right to determine. I don't, however, believe that one's sexuality needs to actually be on display for the rest of the planet.




So, I will continue to follow my own rules (literally).