At this point, we're the last people who want to remind you that corrupt school dress codes are still a thing, and that the people who enforce them are just as backwards. But, alas, it's still very much a thing, and here's just the latest in why-is-this-still-happening news. At Stratford High School in Goose Creek, South Carolina, principal Heather Taylor was recorded saying that students should not wear leggings unless they are a size zero or two. Why? Because it makes them "look fat."
In a recording given to WCBD, Taylor let students know her opinion on leggings, which included who should be wearing them, and the consequences if you do. "I've told you this before, I'm going to tell you this now: Unless you're a size zero or a two — and you wear something like that — even though you're not fat, you look fat," she can be heard telling students. The comments were allegedly shared during a meeting at the start of the school year focused on appropriate dress for school.
The local news station polled Stratford High School students on how they felt about Taylor's comments. Sophomore Allison Veazey pretty much summed up how we feel: "It was really hurtful because I felt like my size made me look disgusting toward someone in the clothes that I wear," she said. "Because I wear leggings outside of school and I wear leggings when I go and hang out with my friends. And to think that someone would think that I look like a stuffed sausage? That was kind of hurtful."
What makes the situation worse, as People reports, is what Stratford High mother Lacy Thompson-Harper wrote on Facebook (in a post that's since been deleted or was not made public to viewers outside her friends list), which revealed a conversation between herself and Taylor that, well, didn't go so well. "Body shaming teenage girls is uncalled for, inappropriate and unprofessional," she wrote. "When I spoke with [Taylor], she talked around the issue, and made excuse after excuse, effectively calling all of the students liars. This has upset many, many more students than just those in the 10th grade. My daughter is in the 11th grade, and is livid. She has been ridiculed by students for her body, and shouldn’t be subjected to it from teachers."
Thompson-Harper said Taylor agreed to apologize to the student body, though the staff at Stratford High has told any parents who are concerned with her message to give them a call. The principal also posted her contact information to her Facebook in the for-sure case that anyone has something to say.
Apart from the general life lesson that you just can't go around calling people fat, the risk that she's enhancing the already-sensitive mindset of how young women feel about their bodies is even more dangerous, and could result in long-lasting effects. According to DoSomething.org, upwards of 58% of college-aged women feel pressure to be a certain size. While we hope this doesn't escalate into another #leggingsgate, we do hope it serves as yet another example that body shaming dress codes have no place in schools.