While some schools claim that their dress codes help prevent girls from being sexualized, it's often the dress codes themselves that objectify girls by making their bodies out to be a distraction. Isabella Villegas, an 18-year-old from Kansas, understands this — so she refused to let her little sister Grace's school impose these sexist double standards on her.
Grace was excited to buy a new pink Charlotte Rousse shirt that hung off her shoulders on Sunday. But on Monday, she changed out of it because her teachers were giving her looks. "Instantly I was like — okay, I’m going to get dress-coded and I felt the need to change," she told Buzzfeed.
When Isabella heard about this, she decided to arm her sister with a response to any teacher who made her change out of a perfectly reasonable shirt. On a plain white T-shirt, she wrote, "Dress code: promotes the objectification and sexualization of young bodies, blames the wearer for the onlooker's perceptions/actions, perpetuates rape culture, is BS." Grace has the new shirt stashed in her locker in case a situation like this arises again.
Villegas isn't the first student to find a creative way to protest school dress codes. Students at Charleston County School of the Arts put scarlet A's on their shirts to call out the faculty's tendency to enforce the dress code more for girls. And in response to a rule that required dress code violators to cover themselves in big yellow shirts, students at Urbana Middle School in Maryland wore yellow shirts reading "I AM MORE THAN A DISTRACTION."
Even more students are dealing with this issue, if the responses to Villegas's viral tweet are any indication. Over 2,00o people have liked it. Several people said they wanted one of the shirts themselves, and one suggested selling it on Etsy. Maybe it'll catch on, and anyone unfairly forced to change their clothes at school will have an A+ response.