For wearing THIS!
Body policing and unattainable physical standards are something that everyone, women and men alike, have had to deal with for centuries. There is often one ideal form of beauty that can boil down to body types, skin tones, and physical features that simply aren’t attainable to everyone, nor should they be. Recent movements have been pushing to disband such standards, and social media has played a significant role in doing so. But when this teenager was kicked out of her school classroom due to her size, it proved that there’s still a long way to go when it comes to social standards.
Luckily, she had a strong woman in her corner: her mother. Her post in response to the school’s decision has gone viral and is bringing awareness to the unfairness of these standards.
Dress Code Violation
Melissa Barber received a call from her daughter’s school, informing her that her daughter was in violation of the dress code. The call was alarming enough, but the details concerning the violation soon had Melissa furious.
She took to Facebook to share her experience, writing, “I received a call from the school about my daughter being sent to the office for a dress code violation. I was told that the teacher was being unreasonable and obviously made a mistake. My daughter was speaking to the counsoler and I was asked to attend a meeting with her and the principal. (A different principal than the one I had just spoken with.) She was sent to the office by her Child Develoment teacher Mrs. Morris. ”
When her daughter asked what code she had violated though, the counselor revealed the true nature of the rules. Melissa writes, “When my daughter asked why she was being sent to the office, this teacher told her ‘bustier women need to wear clothing that cover their cleavage.’ Then followed it up by saying ‘Plus size women need to dress accordingly’. My daughter has just been called ‘Busty’ and ‘Plus Size’ in front of the entire class.”
She continues, “I was called to come to the school for a meeting with a counsoler (female) and a principal (male). This principal continued to defend the teacher by saying ‘Well, we have never had a problem with her before.’”
“I began explaining that my daughter was just sexualized by her teacher in front of the whole class. She was embarrassed and horrified. She requested to be removed from the teachers class. He said no. He continued to defend the teacher. I could see we were getting nowhere. I was close to loosing my temper,” she recalls.
She points out that this isn’t just a matter of body standards but of gender inequality. She writes, “I took my daughter by the hand and we left. I refuse to put my daughter in a situation where her self esteem is completely destroyed. She is there to learn. This whole time she was missing out on an education while we were all sitting in a room discussing her boobs. How often does this happen to your sons? Seems like another way to keep girls uneducated.” She finished off the post by hashtagging it “#sheisnotadistraction” and “#letthegirlslearn.”
Melissa’s post soon went viral, and it’s not hard to see why. She added a picture of her daughter’s outfit, which has sleeves down to her wrists and modestly covers her chest. She also added a picture of her daughter with another girl, wearing a lower cut shirt that revealed her stomach, and wrote, “Only one of these girls got a dress code violated today.”
When she picked up her daughter for her violation, she talked to a student who had some more evidence of the school’s inequality to share. The student says that one of his male classmates wore a shirt that said, “Our erections are harder, stronger, and last longer.” He said that, although four different teachers saw him wearing the shirt, he didn’t get sent home or receive a dress code violation.
Melissa’s opened up about seeing a lawyer to take legal actions against her daughter’s school. Needless to say, she’s received huge amounts of comments on her update, most of whom are from people who are enraged by the school’s decision. One commenter wrote, “Teacher should be hauled over the coals for treating the pupil in a most humiliating manner, and for even commenting whether in was in front of others or not. Totally and utterly unacceptable. If they (the school) are not going to have a uniform policy then they need keep such unacceptable comments to themselves.”
Another wrote, “ Lucky young lady, having a smart, sensible and supportive mother like you, she’s never going to have a problem knowing that she can still respect herself even when others don’t. Good Luck to her and you, and I hope she gets the best academic education possible, she’s already getting the best social and emotional education from her mum.”
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