This is why I’m not so hard on girls about their clothing choices.

A middle school student was waiting in the office this morning, and asked us what kind of consequences his infraction usually carried.  As both myself and the school secretary are new and didn’t have any idea, we gave him the handbook to read.  He found what he was looking for and, having nothing else to do, kept reading.

“What’s a midriff?” he asked me.

I explained, without mentioning by name the middle school student whose midriff is always bare. (Victory!)

“What does ‘plunging neckline’ mean?”

I told him.

He read some more and then he said, “Wow.  There are a lot more rules for girls dressing.  Boys only have one, and girls have a ton.”

And this picture illustrates why.  The student in the office wasn’t wearing a cowboy hat, but he was just as covered as Mr. Brad Paisley.  There is very little men’s fashion that involves exposing skin.  And look what the girls have to live up to.  Aside from hosting an awards show, this outfit isn’t practical for anything.  It’s too skimpy on top, too short from the bottom and those shoes are not made for walking.

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At my previous school (an elementary school) some girls wore skirts that were too short to sit cross legged.  They also wore heels, even though walking, PE and recess were still a regular part of their day and they wore quite skimpy shirts.  We had to revise the dress code and the burden of meeting our dress code requirements fell on the girls, not the boys.  Male clothing is appropriate for most anything, women’s isn’t. When girls are constantly given images of women wearing clothing not realistic for daily activities, it is those images some of them emulate, and not the clothing that the women around them wear for daily activities.

3 thoughts on “This is why I’m not so hard on girls about their clothing choices.”

  1. I have seen one little girl in Lucy’s preschool class who wears little heels to school! And the only requirement for their clothes is that the child needs to be able to run and participate in class and play. I think it has a lot to do with the parents going up to middle school about what sort of clothes they wear.

  2. I think part of the problem is that, since most of us no longer make our own clothes, it’s difficult to find more modest stuff because most of what’s out there isn’t very modest. For example, as someone who prefers to dress modestly, I have a very difficult time finding skirts/dresses that are longer than mid-thigh (I prefer them to be approximately knee length), unless they’re maxis of course. And forget finding any shorts that I feel comfortable wearing.

    On the other hand, I hate the rhetoric that women MUST dress modestly so as not to be a “distraction.” I hear that a lot in the media and I think it’s gross.

    It’s a complex issue. I’m not sure what the right answer is.

    1. Well, to simplify things, maybe men could stop treating women as objects… 🙂

      Bummer about not being able to find correct skirt lengths.

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