Another week, another sexist, body-shaming, degrading dress code for girls. We’re really doing a great job inspiring confidence in our young women, America. Feast your eyes on the end-of-year awards ceremony dress code for Biglerville High School in Pennsylvania:
“Keep ‘the girls’ covered and supported and make sure that nothing is so small that all your bits and pieces are hanging out. Please remember… that we don’t want to be looking at ‘sausage rolls’ as Mrs. Elliot calls them. As you get dressed remember that you can’t put 10 pounds of mud in a five-pound sack.” Well, I beg to differ. I do it all the time.
Senior Brianna Burtop posted the letter to her Facebook page. “You’re supposed to feel safe and comfortable here. For a letter like that to come from the administration is really appalling,” she told her local news station. The school responded to the letter with this statement:
“While we regret that the document contained some unfortunate word choices, we do respect all students and hope this does not detract from the dignity of the graduation ceremony and the accomplishments of our graduating class.”
This letter takes the usual dress code missteps to a whole other level. As if female high school students aren’t self-conscious enough, now they need to wonder whether their extra weight could be considered a “sausage roll.” 90% of people who have an eating disorder are between the ages of 12 and 25. So those of you who think that a letter like this is no big deal should think again.
Women are made to feel bad for simply having a female form, constantly. Might I remind whoever wrote this that they are addressing adults. These are 18-year-old women who are being celebrated for their accomplishments. They’re entering the “real world.” No need to address them like they don’t have eyes. They do. And they can dress themselves.
Have you seen what schools are typically rallying against when they send their female students home: spaghetti straps, shorts that don’t come to the knee, and anything considered “tight.” Well, as a girl who developed early I can tell you it’s almost impossible for clothes not to be “tight” when you are shopping in stores that hold teenagers as their demographic. If you’re not stick thin pretty much anything you put on could potentially be considered “immodest.” It’s a joke.
The modesty police really need to take a rest — especially at an event celebrating the achievements of young women.