I hope no one is offended by the term boob (mostly used in the plural sense here: boobs). Certainly not a topic for public conversation, but when a young girl walked into my classroom with cleavage like the Great Wall of China, her boobs made an incredibly loud statement (I’m pretty sure she was in violation of the dress code). Merriam-webster defines boob as first a noun, implying “one severely lacking in judgment.” The word also harbors verb tendencies, as in to boob or “goof” something. In this case, both definitions apply.
Although the school rules only state “undergarments should not be exposed,” it goes without saying that the body parts beneath such garments should not be dangling out. However, cleavage is a bit more mysterious. It’s the fine line between what is clearly defined and what is not. It’s an angle full of mere suggestion, which requires reading between the line. Finding the right way to address the situation is bursting with complication.
Throughout my years of teaching high schoolers, I’ve had plenty of opportunity to redirect students in the area of dress code. Most girls respond when I give them the benefit of the doubt and say, “Oops! Your shirt front has fallen too low” – the “oops” makes it ok to point out because it assumes they didn’t dress that way on purpose – and they always rearrange themselves and smile at me gratefully. Unfortunately, this one was way beyond oops.
This scene was the equivalent of a King-Kong plumber’s crack. A fathomless crease leading to an abysmal darkness.
I was speechless.
“Oops” sounded completely idiotic. “Your cuppeth overfloweth” was simply stating the obvious. “Honey, don’t move because your boobs are about to fall out” was too dramatic, even with my usual technique of adding the honey to soften the scold. This treasure chest needed to be buried, but no words seemed appropriate.
So, sadly I said nothing. I could have fallen right then and there into the largest Grand Canyon crevice, and I would have kept right on teaching as if nothing happened. Really though, some things just speak for themselves anyway.
All God’s gifts must be given great care. The respect with which we manage these gifts, is in turn the respect we show Him. In this case, Proverbs says it best: “A beautiful woman lacking discretion and modesty is like a fine gold ring on a pig’s snout” (11:12).