A South Carolina principal body shamed high school girls to teach them the school’s dress code
Telling high school girls they look fat is a pretty horrible way to teach them the school’s dress code, but that didn’t stop a principal in South Carolina.
At two separate assemblies with 9th and 10th grade students, Principal Heather Taylor told students they shouldn’t wear leggings because they’re not flattering “unless you are a size zero or two.” Yes, this really happened — there’s a recording.
“I’ve told you this before, I’m going to tell you this now, unless you are a size zero or two and you wear something like that, even though you’re not fat, you look fat,” Taylor can be heard telling students in a recording that was obtained by local news station WCBD-TV.
One student’s mom took to Facebook to say that Taylor agreed to apologize to students, but she — and her daughter — were still livid about the situation.
“Body shaming teenage girls is uncalled for, inappropriate and unprofessional. When I spoke with her, she talked around the issue, and made excuse after excuse, effectively calling all of the students liars,” Lacy Thompson-Harper, whose daughter is a junior at the school, wrote in a private Facebook post that she provided Scary Mommy. “This has upset many, many more students than just those in the 10th grade. My daughter is in the 11th grade, and is livid. She has been ridiculed by students for her body, and shouldn’t be subjected to it from teachers. By the end of the conversation with Mrs. Taylor, she agreed to apologize to the 11th and 12th grade students during their assemblies, and to call back both the 9th and 10th grade students and apologize. Is this enough? I don’t know. But, I feel that parents need to know what was said by a woman who is an educator, and is supposed to be a role model for these kids. Right now, I’m a very angry parent, with a very angry daughter.”
Don’t teenage girls already have it hard enough without their principal, someone who is supposed to be a role model, body shaming them? Because telling an assembly full of young women that their clothes make them look fat is absolutely body shaming. What’s worse is that it teaches those girls that their primary concern when choosing clothes to wear shouldn’t be whether they’re comfortable or feel good about themselves, but how others will perceive them. That’s the opposite of the kind of self-love teenage girls need to be taught.
Student Allison Veazy told WCBD-TV that it was hard for her not to take Taylor’s comments personally, since she often wears leggings outside of school.
“It was very hurtful,” she said. “I felt like my size made me look disgusting towards someone in the clothes that I wear. I wear leggings outside of school and I wear leggings when I go and hang out with my friends, and to think that someone would think that I look like a stuffed sausage — that was kind of hurtful.”
When reporters reached out to the school district, they were told to contact the school directly. WCBD reports that Taylor posted her contact information on Facebook so parents could reach her directly.
Harper tells Scary Mommy that Taylor did apologize once she was caught lying about the situation, and the superintendent is supportive. “I spoke with the superintendent who was sympathetic with my concerns, and only said she’s continuing to look into the situation,” says Harper.