After coming back from Orlando, Florida Lizzy Martinez, 17, a junior at Braden River High School, had a terrible sunburn. When Monday morning came and she had to get dressed for school, Lizzy’s bra felt painful against her burnt skin. So she ditched the bra and purposely wore something dark and oversized as to not draw attention to her chest.
But around 10 a.m., she was called for a meeting with her Principal and Dean. They asked her why she wasn’t wearing a bra. Even after she explained she had a severe sunburn, they insisted she was violating the dress code. She was forced to change into an undershirt and after she had changed into it, the Dean instructed Lizzy to “stand up and move around for her.” Lizzy’s mother, Ms. Knop, later said “I got a text from Lizzy saying, ‘This is not a dress code violation and I feel completely attacked.’”
In an article from the Huffington Post, girls say that when they’ve been dress coded they feel “attacked” and “called out.” Most teen girls are already self-conscious about their bodies and in a survey conducted by Fox News, 96 percent of teen girls said they would change their body if they could.
Most dress code regulations are targeting girls and sexualizing their bodies at a young age. Some school officials will even use the term “boys will be boys,” in trying to justify their reasoning behind these overly strict codes. Victoria Schantz, 17, was interviewed about her experience with her school’s dress codes. She states she has been battling her school dress codes since she was in third grade. “I didn’t see my body as a sexual thing at that age and they were making it into one.”
A quote from Huffington Post says, “Too distracting for boys’ is giving us the impression we should for guilty for what guys do.” These schools are giving girls the wrong idea about their bodies. They imply that girls should feel guilty about boys inappropriate actions. The U.S is the 13th highest ranking for rape in the world. And maybe these codes could be a reason why.
Young girls all around the country are beginning to take action regarding this unsettling issue. Girls in Indian Trail High Schools “Women’s empowerment club” decided to take an aim at their school’s sexist dress code. After lots of hard work, they seceded, and the board ruled to change the dress codes bias against women. I would like to see more people “step up to the plate” and take this challenge head-on. After all, how will anything change if we don’t become the change we want to see.