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Clothing Expectations at YF Events
What are the clothing expectations at Young Friends events?
Everyone (youth and adults) must cover the areas that an old-fashioned men's bathing suit would cover. This means for all genders we always at least wear shorts or skirts that cover the upper thigh and butt plus tops that cover the torso to mid-chest and mid-back and have some sort of straps over the shoulders (so they don't fall down during active games). Clothes should not be so see-through or flowy that the "old-fashioned men's bathing suit" area can be seen. This includes at night when we are sleeping because we sleep next to others.
The exception is when we are swimming, when swimsuits are fine.
Everyone must also wear shoes when the site or activity requires it.
Why do we have this dress code?
Because we want everyone to be able to participate in our activities and our community.
We recognize that individuals may choose to dress differently outside of YF events, but our community is temporary (we only gather for retreats and Sessions) and we are regularly welcoming in new people. We prioritize making newcomers feel welcome to make connections with all of us. We know that the body parts covered with these expectations are viewed as sexual on many bodies in our wider society. When we don't cover them, others could interpret our behavior as sexual which can make some people feel vulnerable, uncomfortable or like that can't interact or play games with us.
What our dress code is NOT about:
Controlling youth, shaming bodies, sexualizing girls or youth, being anti-sexuality, or enforcing white, middle class norms of behavior.
What our dress code is about:
Making Young Friends events a non-sexual space where everyone within the community can form friendly, spiritually-grounded connections. Respecting all bodies. Having everyone wear clothing that allows them to participate in all our activities and games without worrying about their clothing or interacting with others.