Dress code discrimination

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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.

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.

After watching the news clip of a 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 my outfit didn’t fit the dress code and it was a 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 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, anyway).

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.

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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14 Responses

  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’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 😉

  3. 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. :))

    1. 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.

  4. 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.

    1. As long as they don’t require men to wear pantyhose 😉 Who knows though. In some parts of the country it’s probably coming.

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