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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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What’s The Obsession With Belly Buttons?

Jessica Johnson Lakeland

When I returned to school last fall, I was expecting to see the same old Lakeland High School, located in Rathdrum, the land that time forgot. I was, however, in for a little surprise. With the new sophomore class came a few new fashions; some were easier to adjust to than others.

Along with the brown, black, blond and red hair, we got used to seeing more purple and orange. Some rebellious girls took it upon themselves to push the limit on hemlines and see how short they could go. I walked past them in the halls and marveled at how carefully they must have to sit down.

But I and many other senior girls found the proliferation of half-shirts somewhat unnerving. The sea of bare tummies in the sophomore and junior halls left some of us checking our calendars, wondering if it was indeed December. Why any girl would want to expose her naked stomach to the general public was and still is a mystery to me.

Some girls even feel the need to draw attention to their tummies with thin chains fastened around their waists. Even the flattest, most toned midriff, when exposed, seems out of place in a learning environment, and it’s cold out besides.

I don’t mean to offend those who wear half-shirts, just to poke a little fun at them. If a girl is secure enough about her body to expose it, more power to her!

Apparently, the administration disagrees. Last month, signs were put up and announcements were made banning bare midriffs, among other things, such as pants worn “too low.”

Some students aren’t too happy about the decree. Amber Egbert, a senior who has never worn a half-shirt to school but who knows people who do, says of the ruling, “I think it’s dumb. I don’t see anything wrong with showing your tummy if you don’t find anything wrong with it.”

From the male perspective, sophomore Andrew Johnson says the half-shirts make him feel “feisty, like a wee leprechaun.” But he’s sure he can concentrate on learning despite their presence.

One would think that the recent cold snap would have motivated the owners of the naked stomachs to cover themselves. At Lakeland, the combination of the weather and the ban has made half-shirts a thing of the past for now. But Amy Simmons of Lake City reports that she still sees a few unclad midriffs there.

Some students who wish to remain anonymous think this year’s half-shirt fad is just the tip of the iceberg. They believe half-pants, half-hats and half-shoes will be next. These students are certain that the half-shirt wearers have been overcome by the subliminal messages dispensed every day by the makers of “Baywatch” and “Beverly Hills 90210.” Even as I write this, they are lobbying Congress to initiate an investigation.

It sounds a little crazy, I know, but what else could explain the growing numbers of otherwise sane females who are displaying their stomachs to the world?

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