School sponsored sexulization: demolish dress dictation


Amber Roldan

Frequent dress code debates spark controversy in NC’s halls as teachers target young females, forcing them to hide their bodies. Covering innocent body parts to protect male students hurts females’ body images and teaches them that their bodies exist to please others.

Amber Roldan, Editor in Chief

In the twenty-first century a multitude of stressors weigh on the minds of teenage girls. With hormone levels constantly fluctuating, trying to navigate love lives, and staying on top of school work, the thought of covering up their stomachs and shoulders does constitute a top priority. From the time a girl enters the public school system, adults constantly require her to cover up her body. However, hiding one’s body at the cost of pleasing society reaps copious consequences. 

Teaching young, impressionable girls that they should hide their bodies creates mass confusion. Society teaches girls that their shoulders, stomachs, and thighs look inappropriate and should remain hidden in a school setting. Schools across the nation require girls to wear clothing that hides these innocent body parts in an effort to create a “distraction free academic environment”. By banning the visibility of these innocent body parts, girls learn that their bodies exist to please men. 

“Rules like fingertip length [shorts] and no shoulders overly sexulize the female body, the rules are not inclusive of all body types,” NC magnet senior Abigail Nwachukwu said.

NC’s dress code frequently targets female students. The sexist handbook requires all females to wear “appropriate under-garments” that “may not be visible”. Enforcing the use of a bra undeniably violates students’ constitutional right of Freedom of Expression as granted by the first amendment. Although frequently associated with the press, freedom of expression remains palpable through teenagers’ outfits and clothing purchases. This hypocritical regulation forces girls to wear a bra while simultaneously ensuring that it remains hidden. All females know that bra straps can become unpredictable. The flimsy straps struggle to stay perfectly positioned. Punishing students with a visible bra strap compromises their rights, violates their privacy, and deems a universal under-garment as inappropriate.

The vague NC dress code guidelines advocate for “appropriate shorts, as determined by the school administration”. This discrepancy allows girls to interpret the rule in numerous ways. Not having specific short-length requirements creates chaos. While the administration may deem a pair of shorts appropriate for one student, they can just as easily rule the same shorts as inappropriate on another student. Various body types make enforcing a uniform dress code unrealistic. This hypocritical statement not only fosters confusion but also promotes a specific body type. This can create deteriorating body image issues for teenage girls who don’t conform to what society identifies as the ideal and appropriate body type.

Aside from humiliating girls as teachers eagerly hand out dress code violations, students forced to change clothes miss valuable instructional time. With a block schedule at NC, one class period covers a vast amount of prized information. When missing class to change clothes, girls learn that covering their bodies remains more important than their education.

In reality, it remains unfeasible for teenagers to abide by impractical dress code regulations. High school resembles a war zone where teenage girls serve as dictators. Staying in fashion allows teenagers to fit in while salvaging their popularity and social lives. Local malls and boutiques stock only trendy clothing in sizes that accommodate teenagers. In recent years, crop tops changed the fashion market entirely. Revealing one’s abdomen became a trend that ceased to fizzle out. Crop tops hang on shelves and displays at every store, finding a full-length fashionable shirt poses a task more challenging than calculus. 

Compromising a young girl’s education to teach her to cover her body instills a multitude of misogynistic morals into impressionable minds.

“It’s difficult to conform to dress code regulations because most clothing that is in style and trendy is typically frowned upon by dress code, even if the clothing isn’t revealing,” Nwachukwu said.