The concern for overly exposed young bodies may be well-intentioned. With society fetishizing girls at younger and younger ages, girls are instructed to self-objectify and see themselves as sexual objects, something to be looked at. A laundry list of problems can come from obsessing over one’s appearance: eating disorders, depression, low self-worth. Who wouldn’t want to spare her daughter from these struggles?
But these dress codes fall short of being legitimately helpful. What we fail to consider when enforcing restrictions on skirt-length and the tightness of pants is the girls themselves—not just their clothes, but their thoughts, emotions, budding sexuality and self-image.
Instead, these restrictions are executed with distracted boys in mind, casting girls as inherent sexual threats needing to be tamed. Dress restrictions in schools contribute to the very problem they aim to solve: the objectification of young girls. When you tell a girl what to wear (or force her to cover up with an oversized T-shirt), you control her body. When you control a girl’s body—even if it is ostensibly for her “own good”—you take away her agency. You tell her that her body is not her own.
When you deem a girl’s dress “inappropriate,” you’re also telling her, “Because your body may distract boys, your body is inappropriate. Cover it up.” You recontextualize her body; she now exists through the male gaze.
I got to see Elena tonight and hang out for 2 hours and go walking together and make dinner and talk about our lives and feelings and I feel SO MUCH BETTER than I have in several days and so happy and socially fulfilled and in love with her I missed her soooooo much and i hope to goddess we get to hang out more regularly now because she is soooo important to me because
Like a meteor crush
I’m gonna tell the world
Been a million years full of tears
But I found my girl (x)
My forest soul, I have truly missed you. Spending time with you today has been a blessing and I need you like one needs the whispering trees surrounding one, to let know they are not alone. Forrest Soul, I am bonded to you forever.