Today my school was shown this video. So sad how ONLY girls are shown as the violators. I understand why my school has a dresscode, but what about the boys who wear shorts, or show their shoulders? It’s 2018...Why are we still over-sexualizing teen girls? pic.twitter.com/fCXymYAIEG— cat (@catmoring) August 16, 2018
Back-to-school season is upon us, and so are the sexist and discriminatory dress codes issues.
In addition to private schools turning away students due to their ethnic hairstyles, there is at least one public school that sparked uproar over its dress code informational video that singled out female students.
Marcus High School in Flower Mound, Texas, reinforced its dress code for the incoming school year by sharing a video skit featuring actual students and faculty, ABC News reports. Although the production included real members of the campus community, it was anything but relatable.
The clip only depicted girls walking around the school wearing short athletic shorts with large T-shirts covering them and being sent to detention for dress code violations.
Toward the end of the clip, the girls were instructed by a faculty member to recite the words “I will not wear athletic shorts,” which are also written in marker on a dry-erase board in front of them.
Last Thursday, senior Catherine Moring posted the video on Twitter along with a caption criticizing its tone-deaf nature.
"Today my school was shown this video,” Moring wrote. “So sad how ONLY girls are shown as the violators. I understand why my school has a dress code, but what about the boys who wear shorts, or show their shoulders? It’s 2018...Why are we still over-sexualizing teen girls?"
According to ABC News, Moring said that she felt the video was “blatant sexism” immediately after watching it.
"The first thing that came to mind was the blatant sexism and lack of diversity,” she said. “Not only were there no boys but there were no people of color, plus-sized individuals or people that identify as gender non-binary; all people who wear athletic shorts.”
She noted that the school itself is “pretty diverse,” which is why it shocked her to see such a small, specific group representing the entire student body.
"My issue was never the fact that my school wanted us to have a dress code,” she said. “My issue was the fact that nobody in administration or the student body involved was able to see this video before they showed it to everyone, and recognize that this shouldn’t be shown.”
Although she claims she didn’t expect to garner so much attention with her tweet, she said the responses she has gotten have given her hope.
“I never did this with the intention that it would gain national attention,” she said. “Seeing people from around the globe interact and agree with me on Twitter has made me so hopeful for the future.”
School principal Will Skelton issued an apology the day after the video was shown to students in which he admitted the clip “absolutely missed the mark.”
"I’m a firm believer that when you make a mistake, you own it, you apologize, and you make it right," Skelton wrote. "Please accept my sincere apology for not ensuring our video achieved its intended purpose — to remind ALL students of our dress code expectations."
Any way you spin it, the video was insulting. It insinuates that thin, white girls are the only people who break dress code rules, which is sexist and offensive to that group.
Also, featuring only these teens inadvertently suggests that this demographic is a representation of the entire school, which is a slap in the face to the rest of the student population that do not identify as such.
The apology from Skelton was a nice damage control attempt, but it seems the school, overall, is in need of a serious reality check.
Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Getty Images, Zero Creatives