Oversexualized Dress Code

Isabella Tercero, Writer

Schools all over the country have specifically targeted their dress-codes at girls. No thin straps, no stomach showing, no strapless shirts, no “over-the-top” hair colors. 

Most school dress-codes are clearly aimed at defeating the “distraction” factor for other students. But, when they say students, they don’t always mean everyone. They’re specifically talking about the male gaze. Dress-codes need to demolish the objectification of girls’ shoulders and stomachs. Being called out in front of dozens of people for small portions of skin showing is humiliating and unfair to anyone. The idea that choice of clothing can “distract from learning” even when women are just trying to be comfortable in their own skin is incredibly inappropriate. Stop putting girls in the wrong and controlling what they can and cannot wear. “The dress code is obviously directed towards women, which is sexist and oppressive. Parts of the dress code sexualize young girls’ bodies that should not be [viewed] as sexual,” says student Gretchen Ream (Sophomore). 

Dress code sends the message to girls, especially young girls, that what they wear is “distracting to boys.” Not only is this sexist and demeaning, but it also tells boys that it is okay for them to sexualize women as well. What a girl wears does not dictate her intelligence nor respect from others. “Midriff and shoulders are considered a distraction to class, but if anything, my education is the one being disrupted by me being pulled out of class because I need to change my shirt. The school should focus on punishing the students who find skin a distraction or can’t control themselves when a girl wears anything the slightest bit of revealing,” says an anonymous student. Aiming all of this attention at girls’ skin potentially influences teenage boys to becoming predators. 

Sometimes, wearing certain tops and too short of shorts can be inappropriate. Yet, being dress-coded for minor offenses is humiliating and irritating. If schools oversexualize these girls, so will the boys attending there. Schools around the country need to readjust how they view their dress-codes and how they make their students feel. No one’s stomach or shoulders should “distract” somebody, or make them “uncomfortable.” Simple exposed portions of skin need to stop being fantasized.