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Schoolies has turned into a red carpet of fashion. It's the “who wore it best” that's gone too far.

Gold Coast Schoolies are “baring it all” in their “fashion must haves”.

“Tiny short-shorts.”

“Fitted jumpsuits.”

“See-through lingerie-style tops and stringy-net dresses and tops.”

Schoolies 2016. Via Instagram.

They are posing for photographers (and uploading their own selfies of course).

They are at Schoolies and in 2016 it's more than just drinking as many vodka cruisers as you can, pashing some guy in the beer garden and passing out on the beach.

It's about being seen in the right outfit.

Today’s Gold Coast Bulletin has zeroed in on the trend with a spread on “schoolies fashion”.

While some might see it as a way to celebrate the individual choices of these young women, others might see it as yet more pressure and expectations for young people to look a certain way.

Or perhaps after you read the line: "Some people say your wardrobe speaks volumes about who you are as person” the article intends to shame the young women for wearing: "stringy”, “skimpy” and "see-through” clothing.

It's hard to tell.

In the story, there is one young school leaver wearing a “beach-inspired string dress that she found in an op-shop" that “clearly showed off her black undergarments, including a G-string bikini bottom” while other outfits “leave little to the imagination.”

It's schoolies turned into a red carpet, a “who wore it best”. Fashion shaming 18-year-olds who are simply out to have a good time.

Goldie treating us nicely #schoolies2016 ☀️☀️

A photo posted by Morghan Phillipson (@morghanphillipson) on

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But it’s not something really you can blame on the Gold Coast Bulletin.  It is simply is a reflection of the culture that young people embody.

Just a flick through the hashtag “Schoolies2016” and you will get the idea.

Image after image of toned young women posing in bathrooms mirrors or on balconies.

Snap after snap of school leavers posing in bikinis poolside or at the beach. Vodka cruiser in hand, body toned to perfection, titled at just the right angle that it shouts not just “I am having fun” but “I am looking good and having fun”.

So beat that.

Last night was very interesting ???????? #schoolies #party #like4like

A photo posted by B•T•R•C ✌????️ (@_brooklyn99_) on

If I think back, I am sure that when I went to schoolies many, many years ago I too probably thought about what I wore.

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I’d happily tell you about the outfits, if I could remember, but well you know, schoolies is schoolies and the motto “what goes on at schoolies stays at schoolies” was always easier to blurt out rather than admit we were all too blind drunk to remember any of it.

But really, I was an 18-year-old straight out of school, and I am sure what to wear was probably on the list right under what to drink, how to get fake ID for my underage friends, which boys were going to be in Surfers, whose apartment was having the most fun, which nightclub to go to and then somewhere under all that we probably cared about what we wore.

Of course times haven’t changed that much.

Time flies when you're having fun #schoolies

A photo posted by KC (@caseyjomackenzie) on

We were still laden down with many of the same pressures that teenagers at schoolies face these days.

The pressure that this one week you’d planed for, for so long, was going to be fun god-damn-it. The pressure to drink the right amount and do the right things and look the right way and above all have the time of your life, even if you’d rather be at home with your dog and your mum and your own comfy bed that didn’t smell like someone else’s vomit.

In most respects, the pressures haven’t changed.

But what we were blessed with when we went to schoolies in the 90’s was this old fashioned thing called a camera. No, it wasn't on a phone. It was a separate device. You carried it in your clutch and - if you weren’t drunk enough to lose it  - printed the photos out when you got home and stuck them in an album for only those you wanted to see to have a laugh.

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No social media, no hashtags, no pressure to stand on a balcony or pose in a bathroom wearing short shorts and holding a vodka cruiser.

If you wore a dress you’d searched for in every op shop in Sydney or if you wore your sister’s hand me downs no one really gave a fig because schoolies fashion was nonexistent.

1 night down, 6 to go #schoolies

A photo posted by •~Rëëgän-Lëigh~• (@reegan.tm) on


Schoolies is a pressure pot of expectations for young people, one that at melting point can explode into violence and tragedy. One that at a personal level can bring about deep disappointment and sadness.

Or one that, for the lucky few, can just be a few days of fun with their friends before real life begins.

Schoolies is not is a red carpet event. It’s not about who wore it best. It’s not about publicly shaming young women for being a “size six or sixteen”.

It’s just about teenagers being teens and we should let them remain that way.

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