I’ve been posting some of Grandma Eveline’s newspaper clippings from the 1960s-1970s and I thought this one was the perfect follow-up to my recent post about my mom’s knees and my pigeon toes.
Mini-skirts were the bane of parents, grandparents and school administrators in the mid-to-late 1960s. First popularized in Europe – many credit British designer Mary Quant – the mini-skirt made it’s way across the ocean to middle America where girls like me subscribed to Seventeen Magazine and wanted to dress like Twiggy.
I never really had the knees for mini-skirts though.
And even in the 3rd grade, sitting by a friend on the playground, I was asked about those little blue and purple lines showing through the skin of my thighs.
So I suppose I should have avoided short skirts.
In my high school in Joplin, MO around 1968, girls were required to drop to their knees if a teacher or administrator thought their skirt was too short. A ruler was used to measure the distance from the floor to the hem of your skirt. If it exceeded 4 inches, your parent’s were called and you had to go home and change.
I think I had to do this once. But maybe I was just so humiliated for a friend that I think it happened to me. I do know I was never sent home – so if it was me, I tugged that skirt down just far enough to pass.
And this is reminding me of the girl I carpooled with in Joplin. Ninth grade was in middle school then and I carpooled with another girl who also had to get to school early for band practice. When my mom drove, Gayle would sit in the back seat and, during the drive to school, she would take off her shoes and white socks and procede to put on a pair of panty hose and sometimes a different pair of shoes that she had stashed in her very large purse. (No backpacks in those days.) On the days her mom drove, Gayle would run into the school bathroom as fast as she could to change there. If my mom knew what was going on in the back seat, she never said anything.
These days it is undoubtedly best to cover my knees.