Back in the day, I attended a private middle school that banned ankle socks and handed out dress code ‘demerits’ to students who wore them. They basically shamed us for ‘showing skin’, so I definitely resonated with this yearbook quote from West Milford senior, Tori DiPaolo. “I’m sorry, did my shoulders distract you from reading this quote?” Iconic!
The ironic part is that she was able to go against school rules for her yearbook photo… with a school issued off-the-shoulder smock. Oooh, scandalous!
According to her high school’s dress code policy guidelines, “halters, half-shirts, shorts, or sweaters and blouses that expose breasts or stomachs,” are prohibited. The policy also states: “the length of the pupil’s shorts or skirt must reach to, or below, the tip of the middle finger when the pupil is standing straight up with arms straight at his/her sides. … No article of clothing is permitted that exhibits rips, tears, or holes that cause the clothing to become revealing or suggestive.”
But let us also keep in mind that in the policy handbook, they kind of contradict themselves in saying: “Pupils are responsible for their own actions and are encouraged to develop and express their own individuality.” Alrighty then…contradicting much?
This school should be a bit more realistic about their dress code rules. Clearly, there are some styles out there that are on trend but aren’t exactly offensive. A crop top isn’t going to hurt anyone… Honestly, this shouldn’t be that big of a deal!
By comparison, I developed my sense of style much later in my last 2 years of university. So I didn’t really have to worry about wearing ‘distracting’ clothing. I’m pretty sure I actually did wear ripped jeans to high school before and nothing bad ever came of it. Crazy, right? But if I felt restricted by my school’s rules, I might not have tried to wear those clothes at all, in fear of getting in trouble. And it seems as though over the years, women have become more aware of gender roles and the sexism that our society faces.
Tori: 1— Addison Gæ (@underboob_) June 13, 2017
Dress code: 0 pic.twitter.com/1HHgjg84AE
In an interview with Teen Vogue, Tori expressed her feelings towards the dress code saying how she felt like the rules were not equal. She said: “The only people that ever got dress code violations were girls, so I just found it unfair and sexist.”
She also went on to talk about the distracting factor regarding outfit choices. “The general reasoning behind dress codes is that exposing too much is ‘distracting,’ but in reality, everyone knows shoulders don’t distract anyone.”
Lastly, in the interview, Tori said: “I think if a girl gets dress coded and she feels it’s unfair because she’s not dressed inappropriately, she should stand up for herself, respectfully of course, and address why she feels it’s unfair,” she said, explaining that she got out of suffering consequences by doing this. “We do need to follow rules, but we also have rights and freedom that shouldn’t be infringed upon by people’s sexist rules.”
Props to Tori for choosing this as her quote and spreading gender-equality awareness! A true inspiration and we are pretty confident in the fact that she’s creating a movement in the right direction.