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Schoolgirl costumes: A nod to pedophilia, or a mere return to adolescence ?

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Illustration: Justice

What do you think of schoolgirl costumes on strippers? I’ve heard various opinions on the association between schoolgirls and erotic fantasy. There are a large number of men who are attracted to schoolgirls, and I seek to fully understand this attraction. My opinion had been, until recently, that these men were borderline pedophiles, in a way. I believed that the attraction was based on the childlike quality of a school-aged girl. Men are hardwired to be attracted to youth. Biologically, young women are better reproductive vessels. So it makes sense.

However, schoolgirls seem like an awfully young subject for an erotic fantasy. Anyone who would be obligated to wear a schoolgirl uniform in the real world would be well under 17 years old, I’m guessing. Even worse, in my mind, I think of 12-year-olds as the most likely victims of this poor fashion situation.

So one night I sat next to a fellow stripper at the bar. “Nice skirt,” I say. We’re both wearing the tacky piece of red plaid that is instantly recognizable as the schoolgirl costume. We’re wearing the same damn thing. How embarrassing. “It always makes money,” she tells me. I know she’s right. It really, really works. “Don’t you think it’s creepy that men are attracted to school girls? Freaking pedophiles.” She then shatters my paradigm with a fresh opinion. She tells me that she believes it is more about a man’s own youth. It reminds him of being young. It reminds him of having fun as a boy. It reminds him of chasing skirts in high school. Strip clubs are an escape, after all.

She said she would be very disgusted if men were attracted to the schoolgirl costume because it makes us look like children. I find myself constantly disgusted at work though. Sometimes I think I could not be any more disgusted and someone goes and impresses me by lowering the bar.

In another, less-perverted connection between fantasy and the schoolgirl, I like to think it has something to do with the visual representation of punk rockers and the associated deviance with them. Schoolgirl skirts, fishnet stockings and a gang of safety pins make this look. This type of deviant or “naughty school girl” might represent a girl that is willing to do things that would make a good girl cringe. Since punk rock is dead or marginal, depending on who you ask, I am not convinced this association represents the majority. I can only speculate.

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