Monday Memories: Dress Code Discrimination?

I read about this controversial dress code from Delightfully Ludicrous and I just knew that a rant had to happen.

So I thought I could make it more fun by offering you my very own dress code story and incorporating it into Monday Memories.

Monday Memories

So today, friends, Monday Memories is all about dress codes.

First and foremost, I want to state for the record that it’s a sad sad state of things when the dress code of a child in kindergarten is considered compromised. The fact that it needs to exist at all? Baffling.

I got in trouble in grade school for wearing a tee-shirt featuring Spuds McKenzie, because it represented beer.

But never in a million years would my mother have let me out of the house in a freaking push up bra at 7. Or a thong. A freakin’ thong. I see younger and younger girls at Victoria’s Secret every time I stop in. (Which is a lot, because I have an obsession. And it’s not with their underwear. Yoga pants. Yoga crops. Yoga leggings. Yoga shorts.) But these little girls are buying thongs.

I STILL don’t like thongs.

So back to dress codes. After watching the news clip of the little girl who got in trouble for wearing a hello kitty outfit with a skort and tights (for the skort being “too short”), I was appalled. And annoyed. Because school administrators are very picky about who has to turn their shirts inside out, who has to wear their gym clothes, who has to be sent home. I feel like they may have discriminated against this girl. Not necessarily because of her race, but for anything. Maybe the school didn’t like the way her mother dressed. Maybe the school admins didn’t like the mother. I don’t know, but I don’t like it.

It happened to me once in high school. Because I was the chubby girl. Now in high school, I wasn’t fat. But I was bigger than a lot of the other girls. One of my favorite go-to warm-weather clothing items (when I wasn’t wearing pajamas to school-which I did a lot) was a tube top and overall shorts. I know. Classy. But I liked it. I thought I looked nice. My mom thought I looked nice. The overalls had straps that fit the school’s dress code criteria and lots of girls dressed that way. It wasn’t revealing. At all.

But one day I got pulled to the side by an administrator who politely informed me that it was gym shirt or get sent home. I had a sweatshirt in my locker that I was able to throw over my outfit (though I was sweltering) and I made it through the day. She was discriminating against me, because I was the chubby girl with boobs. She basically told me it was because girls with chests shouldn’t wear clothing like I was wearing. There wasn’t even cleavage showing (well, not any more than the skinny girls showed, anyways).

dress code discrimination

This was not the set in question. This was actually MORE revealing than the one that got me in trouble. I wore this on the last week of school as a “Fuck You” to the administrator who called me out the first time. Guess what? No one said a word. So they pick and choose their battles.

I was pissed, but I survived. And fortunately so will the little girl in her Hello Kitty cuteness. Let’s just hope she doesn’t start shopping and A&F or Victoria’s Secret for bras and thongs next year when she’s 7.

Go visit Lily at It’s a Dome Life for more dress code memories!

So what about you guys? Ever felt like someone in charge was calling you out because you were different?

 

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30 Things Before Thirty: Looking Back I Am…Among Other Things…A Fashion Maven…Maybe.

Comments

  1. Dresscode stuff always seemed really, really arbitrary at my high school. Mostly, you could get away with anything if it was “for spirit” and otherwise it was a crap-shoot. I do remember when I was younger the Coed Naked sports tshirts being popular but banned so a lot of guys went around wearing them inside out (I guess they were so cool that even knowing you’d have to turn it inside out it was still worth wearing?) but given that my mom’s dress code for me was stricter than the schools (no tank tops once I got boobs, so tube tops were totally out of the question) I never heard a peep about what I was wearing from any school official.

  2. I got a little ranty on this topic today. I think it’s sexist. The little girl…that got me riled up!

  3. I’ve decided that school administrators with common sense is an oxymoron 😉 They’re largely in business to protect their butts and cushy pensions. So when they see something that their pea brained little minds tell them that somebody could complain, they circle the wagons and act like Dilbert’s boss. Anyway, in high school I would have appreciated your tube top 😉

  4. I hate that you were discriminated against for your clothing choice. It’s become an all-too-common phenomena, and seems like another form of bullying to me. One of the saddest parts is that most of us “bully” ourselves, as kids. We feel “fat,” “ugly,” or all around awkward. I wish positive body image and individuality were emphasized more in schools. Thanks for this post! (Timely, for me/my blog. :))

    • Thanks August. It’s too true that we feel that way. I was such an awkward kid. And thought I was fat. I look back now, and know that I was bigger than the other girls, but far from a fat kid.

  5. Pretty much all schools have uniforms here in Australia, so being called out for wearing something inappropriate never happened to us, but maybe that’s why I found it so strange.

  6. I hate dress codes. They usually don’t make any sense at all. Why would a company here in Florida require women to wear pantyhose? Some do and that’s crazy.

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