Leggings have managed to generate a bad reputation, whether worn through the streets or the hallways at school. Along with a number of other everyday wardrobe staples, schools have targeted the stretchy pants.
Most recently, a South Carolina principal issued a warning to female students wearing the tight bottoms. “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,” Heather Taylor, the principal of Stratford High School, was recorded saying on Wednesday during a discussion with ninth and tenth graders, WCBD News 2 reports.
According to the dress code published on the school’s website, “leggings, tights, yoga pants and spandex must be worn under clothing that cover to mid-thigh.”
Lots are upset by Taylor’s statements and have taken to the school’s Facebook page to comment on the situation, with many saying the administrator should be fired.
“I am going to say this until I am blue in the face, it is NEVER okay to body shame ANYONE, and ESPECIALLY young teenage girls,” Jackie Caldwell wrote. “This is absolutely terrible. Teenage girls need better leadership than this. Totally unacceptable behavior. Dress code and body size shouldn’t even be discussed together since the dress code applies to EVERYONE,” Jena Procter added.
A parent with a daughter at the school did note that the principal “apologized almost immediately and profusely.” Taylor also assured students she is “one of their biggest fans and invested in their success,” a statement from the Berkeley County School District noted.
Other schools across the country have taken different approaches to policing leggings. Glenwood High School in Illinois released a dress code recently saying, “If wearing leggings or yoga pants, tops must cover the entire buttocks.” Although Assistant Principal Dale Wiedeman told The State Journal-Register that the new rule had been discussed following complaints by teachers and implemented through a committee, a lot of people are unhappy with what has been put into place.
A senior at the school, Claire Farnsworth, took part in drawing up the amendment, where she was outnumbered in her vote against the dress code. She then took to change.org to create a petition to raise her concerns, where she’s received more than 2,200 signatures. Along with the petition’s description, Farnsworth included an image of the reminder placed each classroom’s door within the school.
“Please check the following before entering the classroom!” a sign on a classroom door reads. “If you are wearing leggings or yoga pants, does your top cover your entire buttocks?”
The use of “buttocks” is something that the school’s administration decided upon when reviewing other more vague dress codes that might lead to more confusion. But it’s more the idea behind the restriction that Farnsworth takes issue with.
“By censoring the bodies of young girls for the comfort of others in a place that is supposed to be safe like school, we teach them that their body is a problem,” she wrote. “By making girls hide their bodies so they don’t distract their peers, it perpetuates the victim shame cycle.”
Restrictions against leggings have come up throughout dress codes since the summer of 2015, when schools in Cape Cod began to require that the stretchy pants be covered by shorts or a skirt. Although people were already angered, issues surrounding the trend would continue to make news.
Later in that same year, over 30 female students were sent home from a Tennessee high school for wearing leggings, which the school deemed a distraction to their male classmates. And suddenly more rants surrounding the bottoms came to fruition.
The issue then extended to a middle school, where an 11-year-old girl was forced to wear sweatpants over her leggings. Her mother then took to Facebook to show that her daughter’s outfit was more than appropriate, but the school’s dress code was revised to have leggings banned for being too revealing.
A war on leggings is certainly still ongoing, with instances that have restricted the fashion from places outside of schools. Back in March, two girls were barred from getting onto a United flight for wearing the tight-pants, leading many to wonder when this will no longer be an issue.
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