Being a teenage girl in a high school with strict dress code enforcement is frustrating. Being a teenage girl in a high school who’s dress code only targets certain body types is more frustrating. Sure, we all get angry when the words “leggings” and “banned” are in the same sentence, but are we really noticing how the dress code actually works? Are every single one of us being sent to the nurse’s office to change? No. If you answered yes, though, you should have a talk with your administrators.
At my school, every girl gets annoyed with the dress code, and rightfully so. It is unfair to be forced to hide your shoulders and thighs because a boy cannot control himself. But, having been at an elementary and middle school where we wore uniforms, the dress code was new to me. I noticed how inequitably us girls were being reprimanded compared to the boys and assumed that every one who wore short shorts, leggings or a crop top would be written up. But that was not the case.
I wear leggings at least once a week, and my dresses aren’t all that long. I’m also pretty petite and, although I am not the smallest person in school, I am skinny. The problem with this is that because I am skinny, I have never been dress coded. I regularly break dress code; wearing largely ripped jeans, leggings and occasionally shorter dresses. Not only does this happen with me, but with other skinnier girls in my school as well. Every day I see girls in shirts with the shoulders cut out, crop tops and booty shorts. And while there is nothing wrong with those clothing choices, all of them are against the dress code, yet these girls do not get disciplined. The only girls who are affected by the dress code are bigger girls; girls who wear the same exact clothes as me.
So why are girls who look like me given a free pass? Why have a dress code when you aren’t going to apply it equally toward every student?
I acknowledge my privilege, but I do not condone the way my school’s dress code is handled. Nobody wants to get themselves in trouble for wearing what they want, but if my friend who happens to be bigger than me is dress coded for wearing leggings, why aren’t I?