Dress Codes: How Everyone Gets it Wrong


Countless articles have been penned by girls in America—maybe even the world—screaming injustice at what schools have called the “dress code.” Basically, the Bethpage High School dress code is unfair towards girls, but I also feel that some girls go overboard with their selection of clothing.

Now I’m sure you’re all very familiar with our school’s dress code, even if you haven’t been dress coded. Just to be sure we’re on the same page, the dress code is located conveniently in your agenda on page 26. The informative paragraph describes what the school perceives as appropriate clothing.

Now, I must tell you that I don’t have a problem with most of it—except number four, which states:


“Student dress shall not include items that are vulgar, obscene, libelous (publicizing a false statement), or denigrate others on account of race, color, religion, creed (set of beliefs), national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.”


I don’t know if you pay attention to other people’s clothing much in the hallway, but I’ve seen many boys wear shirts with pictures of girls in revealing clothing. As a girl in this high school, I feel that these shirts violate our dress code under number four, because these shirts are obscene, and they objectify and denigrate my gender.

I must say that I’ve never been “dress-coded,” but I have friends who have been. One of my friends got dress-coded for wearing a muscle tee with a bandeau underneath. Yes, you could see a strip of her skin on the sides, but other than that, everything was covered. Muscle tees are not specifically listed under the dress code, yet she was told to change. The fact is, muscle tees are made for girls AND boys, yet I’ve never seen or heard of a boy dress-coded for a muscle tee. Have you? I don’t really enjoy seeing hairy armpits—I don’t know about you, though.

Another item I question on the dress codes list is “sheer shirts.” Why are we not allowed to wear a shirt that reveals our stomach underneath? I get why you wouldn’t want belly shirts or cropped tops, but why shirts that you can see my stomach through my shirt? Explain to me why BHS basically sexualizes the stomach. Last time I checked, everyone had one of those.

Last, but certainly not least, the most controversial topic on the dress code list: short shorts. What a name, right? Pretty much every single girl is aware of the “short shorts” rule. Another famous one,”your shorts should be as long as your arms against your sides”. This rule is a little tedious, and some girls get dress-coded for stupid reasons, but this is where I direct my message towards BHS girls: Shorts are great, really, but if your shorts show half your butt, to the point where even other girls are uncomfortable, then you deserve to get dress-coded. I can’t tell you to “respect your body,” because that means different things to each person. For one person, it could mean covering up, for another it could mean showing off his/her assets.

I get what schools are trying to do: keep everyone comfortable in the school environment. I wouldn’t go as far as saying that people’s clothing choices ‘interfere with the educational process’, because that is a huge over-exaggeration and should be reworded. If you notice boys staring, well, everyone stares. How is it the girl’s fault that boys aren’t paying attention in class?

Sadly to say, there will always be a fight against the dress code as long as everyone has an opinion. People will always have an opinion. This was just mine.