by Chrysa Smith

Thank God I’m past the stage of ‘fashion police’, because some of the teen clothing these days makes you shake your head, raise your eyebrows and say “What on earth are they thinking?”

Case in point last week, while my husband and I were ‘down the shore.’ Actually, I should say we were ‘up the shore’, because we were north of Atlantic City, NJ—the dividing line between New York/Northern NJ vacationers and Pennsylvania/Southern New Jersey vacationers. The town was Seaside Heights—a mecca of tattoos, skimpy clothing, junk food, carnies and some of the most tasteless clothing you will ever see.

Maybe you’ve heard of the town. It’s the stomping grounds of ‘Snookie’ and ‘The Situation’ from the popular TV show: Jersey Shore. OK. This alone is telling. But seeing it up close and personal made me want to turn around, head for the ‘burbs and take a shower.

Now, I’m hardly a prude. I’ve got a past and some hip-hop music on my IPhone that bears some rather questionable lyrics. But I draw the line at wearing suggestive messages across butts and breasts that let others know: I’m free, I’m easy, take me home. Some of it, I can’t even figure out, because much of it involves acronyms that are known only to the ‘under 25’ crowd.

From the mild to the wild; YOLO is the newest. It means ‘You Only Live Once.’ Now, I subscribe to that philosophy when it comes to going for your dreams, trying a new sport or hobby, taking some calculated risks in your life. Somehow, I don’t think that’s what modern ‘fashion’ designers are referring to. Then there’s SWAG. I actually called my son to ask what it meant. “Your walk. Your way of presenting yourself in public,” he said. I guess that’s obvious but shirts say things like ‘Pardon My Swag’ and ‘F…..swag. I’m dope.’ I think you’d have to be smoking some to actually wear it. But the real sleaze comes with acronyms that have to do with rank sex like M.I.L.F.–referring to moms that younger men, let’s say, wouldn’t mind having a one night stand with.

Yikes! The most I’ve ever worn on my clothing is the logo from a designer or the name of a school I attended. But things are different. And sometimes when I reminisce on missing some of the younger years, I take a look at the clothing and say, “I’m glad I have a grown boy with some decent taste in clothing.”