Saturday, September 3, 2016

Stop With The Body-Shaming, Already!

Report from the front lines of the ongoing dress code wars:

The AD yelled at our field hockey coach that we weren't allowed to wear just sports bras, despite the intense heat. However a ton of guys, and a few girls, were running shirtless on the cross country team. This is not okay..

I would agree: this is not okay. (I'm assuming the girls running shirtless had on sports bras, by the way.)

Dress codes should support clothing choices which are appropriate to the environment. Young men and women participating in athletics (including dance classes) should be encouraged to wear clothing which works for physical movement and the weather/environment. Sports bras are acceptable workout gear for women at the gym. Running shirtless is acceptable for men.

This should not be an issue. Period.

Over and over again I see costumes for high school dancers, poms, and cheerleaders which clearly violate the regular "enforcement" of the HCPSS dress code, but no one says a word. These outfits are most likely chosen by adults for use by students. They are "approved" by those in positions of authority.

I find it particularly offensive that those adults are willing to use their own set of rules for putting young women in front of an audience, but feel that it is somehow their business to censure what young women choose to wear in the classroom and during sports practice.

If we are going to make a concerted effort to value student voice in the school system, perhaps we ought to value and support the clothing choices of young women, especially when it comes to sports and dance. These activities should be empowering, not just one more opportunity to be controlled and shamed by others.


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