Dress Code, In or Out?

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Dress Code, In or Out?

Sophia Kaufmann

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Students within the Parker School family have mixed feelings about the dress code. From the “over-exposure”of shoulders to the skin of our thighs, the dress code, at times, can feel frustrating and “nit picky.”  While the rules apply to everyone, females frequently feel singled out and seem to be effected more often than males. The dress code can make us feel that our own bodies are being objectified and sexualized.

A senior male, who prefers to remain anonymous, said “I have a pair of jeans I wear at least once a week and they have a distressed section on the upper thigh that is technically out of dress code. But I’ve never been called out on it. A girl in the same jeans probably would be.” Immediately after saying that, a senior girl (who also wishes to be anonymous) chimed in saying “When I had a rip in my jeans in the exact same place, I was immediately called out and reprimanded for it in front of the whole class”.

Why is a girls’ upper thigh seen differently than a boys? Why are girls looked at in a sexualized way? Parker School is very progressive, but is it possible our teachers unwittingly scan their female students through a different lens? This is a larger issue than just dress code, and larger than just our school. There are many double standards for women in the world, ranging from the pay gap and the fact that women earn 70 cents to the dollar, to the fact that even in congress women are shushed and interrupted whereas their male counterparts are not. Male actors, when interviewed on the red carpet are asked questions about complexities of their roles or world events, whereas Female actors are asked what they are wearing and how long it took them to get ready!

Is it possible our dress code is targeting and objectifying our female students? While it is not the intention, it can feel that way. Particularly for females with curvier body types. There are many instances where female students with certain body types are called out for wearing the exact same outfit as another student sitting next to them with a different body type. A sophomore girl who has never been dress coded says “I think almost every week I’ve been out of dress code but the teachers don’t notice. Please don’t use my name because then they will start to dress code me”.

I think we can all agree it has been incredibly hot this quarter, and it would be nice to wear a light tank top to be comfortable. We buy standard tank tops and basically if you have anything over a B cup you will be in detention. Students feel shamed and singled out just because of their natural body type. “It’s not like people make their own tank tops” declared one junior who also prefers to remain anonymous. For curvier, or larger girls, the dress code feels discriminatory. It is basically saying that girls with mid-sized or larger bodies can’t wear tank tops.

For curvier, or larger girls, the dress code feels discriminatory. It is basically saying that girls with mid-sized or larger bodies can’t wear tank tops.”

The fact that every single student interviewed requested to remain anonymous is perhaps part of the problem. Students are fearful of voicing their feelings and concerns. We, at The Bull, would like to open a dialogue that is respectful and positive to hopefully bring awareness to how people are feeling. I propose that we come up with suggestions for things we would like to see changed, and hopefully make a new code that is fair and everyone can agree on.

What are your thoughts? Please share in the comments.

If you wish to remain anonymous you can email us at the [email protected]