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DearDressCode,IWillNotApologizeforMyBody

anaisrivero99
anaisrivero99 President of Mogul MAST Academy and Journalist
2y Miami, FL, United States Story
Dear Dress Code,  I Will Not Apologize for My Body

 I wake up every morning and have to consider what I choose to wear. I must cover my shoulders and make sure my dress reaches my fingertips.
I must be careful that the neckline of my t-shirt is not too deep and forgo the leggings. I cannot wear shorts because then my curves are too noticeable, too distracting, deemed not appropriate for the school environment.

Every morning I must go through a gauntlet of thoughts and precautions when choosing my outfit. I am self-conscious about showing my shoulders or wearing shorts that do not reach my mid-thigh because I fear it shape someone's opinion of me. 

Although you could argue that this dress code places restrictions on the entire student body, it is drastically one-sided between not only men and women but between female body types.
Policies such as no shoulders showing, no leggings, no tank tops or halter tops or dresses above the mid-thigh are directed at women to ensure that they do not wear anything that can be viewed as sexual or provocative.

There is nothing inherently sexual about a shoulder or a knee or legs, but the oversexualization in our society makes it acceptable to act as though they are taboo, and should not been seen in the school or work environments.

If I were to wear shorts, I would have to worry about the length measuring my fingertips and stress about how tight they would be. But countless guys wear shorts every day and no one thinks twice.
Women are expected to show less skin because they are not allowed to show their shoulders, wear shorts or anything with a low cut.  Since women are already oversexualized in society, our bodies are monitored even in schools.

We go to school in Miami where the hot, humid air follows us everywhere. Schools can get very hot, and it is hard to learn in uncomfortable environments.
Although we should be able to dress for the weather, the dress code makes that very difficult. The fact that I cannot dress to walk around in 80 degree weather because it is “inappropriate” seems unfair. 

This teaches young girls that they are to blame for an onlookers actions and perceptions of how they are. We promote the objectification and sexualization of young girls bodies. 

While the girls at our school need to worry about the cut of their shirt, the tightness of their blouse, and covering their shoulders, the boy’s dress code seems simple: do not wear shirts with vulgar, violent or sexual language.
Fashion worn by women is the most targeted by the school dress code. The policies are subjective in their severity depending on a woman’s body type. For thinner, less voluptuous girls, low cut shirts and leggings are easy to get away with, but curvier girls need to cover up much more.
The rules bend for certain body types and are much more restricted for others. How can we enforce a set of rules regarding clothing to a student body with diverse figures and heights?
The dress code persecutes certain women over others, if I try to wear a shirt with a deeper cut, as a person with a bigger bust I will get dress-coded. Yet, I will see girls who have smaller chests wear the exact same type of clothing but are not reprimanded. 

It’s unfair and unjust because the dress code is subjective to what body type is wearing the clothes, it’s a form of body shaming. Curvier are women are made to feel that our bodies are sexual objects that need to be covered up, we are taught that our bodies are shameful.

We are privileged to go to a school that is one of the only schools to have a no-uniform policy in Miami-Dade County. However, the dress code is clearly not perfect. We should be more focused on educating our students rather than policing their clothing and bodies.


4 replies

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  • Sidney Rippy McLaughlin 99

    I have always been fairly modest. I'd never have been a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader because I would be embarrassed to wear their uniform. 

    But I think your school's dress code  policy sounds reasonable. School is not the place to "strut your stuff". School is a place to learn and prepare for your future. 
    As for what you perceive as not as strict for boys, look at what they wear even when they're not at school. Baggy shorts that are Capri length and t-shirts. That's not even attractive, so they're safe as long as they pull them up enough to cover their underwear. 

    I have always been fairly modest. I'd never have been a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader because I would be embarrassed to wear their uniform. 

    But I think your school's dress code  policy sounds reasonable. School is not the place to "strut your stuff". School is a place to learn and prepare for your future. 
    As for what you perceive as not as strict for boys, look at what they wear even when they're not at school. Baggy shorts that are Capri length and t-shirts. That's not even attractive, so they're safe as long as they pull them up enough to cover their underwear. 

  • mka
    mka
    2y ago New York, NY, United States

    I totally agree. I've gotten some unnecessary comments from a high school stats teacher because my regular shorts looked shorter because of my longer legs. Also, I think it'd ridiculous that they teach girls to cover up rather than teaching students to overcome "distractions" (even though they're not really distractions - one would assume so by all of the cheesy television acting but kids pay attention when the lessons and the teachers are actually good and engaging).

    I totally agree. I've gotten some unnecessary comments from a high school stats teacher because my regular shorts looked shorter because of my longer legs. Also, I think it'd ridiculous that they teach girls to cover up rather than teaching students to overcome "distractions" (even though they're not really distractions - one would assume so by all of the cheesy television acting but kids pay attention when the lessons and the teachers are actually good and engaging).

  • Lucy Chen
    2y ago Chicago, IL, United States

    This dress code doesn't sound fair at all @anaisrivero99. Have you brought the problems up to the administration? 

    This dress code doesn't sound fair at all @anaisrivero99. Have you brought the problems up to the administration? 

    • anaisrivero99
      anaisrivero99 President of Mogul MAST Academy and Journalist
      2y ago Miami, FL, United States

      I have spoken to teachers about it and written an article in the school newspaper which the administration reads. However, parents and administration were threatening a uniform policy, although I don't like the dress code it's better than a uniform. But maybe I can speak to them about it and make them see that it is one-sided!

      I have spoken to teachers about it and written an article in the school newspaper which the administration reads. However, parents and administration were threatening a uniform policy, although I don't like the dress code it's better than a uniform. But maybe I can speak to them about it and make them see that it is one-sided!


anaisrivero99
President of Mogul MAST Academy and Journalist

I am an incoming senior at MAST Academy, a writer, and an activist. Besides binge watching Netflix shows and anime, I try to make my writing a catalyst for change and hope to continue helping others through my volunteer work.

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