Saturday, November 01, 2008


One of my classes is all kids in Junior High, and right now we're studying clothes. It's interesting what these kids think. They all have to wear school uniforms, and often the girls wear (knee-length) skirts, and even then they say they like to wear shorts under their skirts. You're not allowed to use gel or hairspray or anything like that in your hair, and they're all fine with that. They had to write an essay about whether school uniforms are good or bad, and most think they're good.

We talked about dying your hair, piercing ears, wearing make-up. Boys and girls both thought the proper age for those things was 18 or 20! I asked the girls if they even wanted to wear make-up, and they all said no.

It's strange, thought- at a certain point girls start to wear really short skirts and really tight tops. I guess not everyone does but plenty of people do.

I think it's partially a class thing too though- these students come from families who have both the money and the inclination to send their kids to 6+ years of English classes, and their biggest objection to make-up, jewelry, etc is that it makes you look like a Betel Nut girl. (In Taiwan betel nut girls are scantily clad- sometimes just short skirts and tank tops, sometimes skimpy bikinis who sit in a glass hut, waiting to sell betel nut to customers who probably aren't at the upper echelons of society themselves.) People have said they've overheard girls talking about how they can get away with making their skirts shorter, etc.

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