The students' social experiment has gone viral on TikTok with over six million views.
Dress codes in schools have always been sexist. Why do schools get to decide if a child's body is too provocative? Is shaming children effective in disciplining them? Girls are often asked to cover up or change their clothes and sometimes even sent home because they could "distract" the boys in class. In England, some schools even encourage young girls to wear "modesty shorts" under their school skirts to avoid sexual harassment. Primary schools are encouraging girls as young as four to wear the shorts as an undergarment, reports The Guardian. Many people believe that this shifts the focus to young girls and is a form of victim-blaming. Some parents are even angered by the rules forcing their young daughters to cover up without addressing the real issue.
As long as we make the responsibility of what perpetrators do about what women and girls wear, we are sending the wrong message to victims.— Delphi Ellis ✨ (@DelphiEllis) June 6, 2021
Parents accuse schools of body-shaming as girls are told to wear shorts under skirts | News | The Sunday Times https://t.co/E04dvFfEJE
Body-positive activist Natasha Devon and headteacher Bryony Baynes appeared on Good Morning Britain to discuss the changes made by some schools in their uniform specifically targeted towards girls, according to The Mirror. "We need to ask ourselves, what exactly do we think we're protecting these children from? What's the worst that can happen if a four or five years old shows her pants while doing a cartwheel? Is it that there are predatory adults around, in which case, the school is failing to keep their pupils safe, or is it because of boys and unwanted touching? Laughing? Pointing? Then it's a case of that school not teaching about consent. So I'm wondering why we're asking girls to modify their dress and behavior to prevent a problem they didn't cause."
Putting this to the test, two students decided to wear crop tops to their school. Drew Jarding and Kenzie Crimmins' social experiment went viral on TikTok with more than two million likes and six million views. The duo decided to wear crop tops to school where Jarding paired his short crop top with shorts and Crimmins wore a pair of leggings and a slightly less cropped top. The two knew they were violating their school's dress code but decided to see if they would get called out for it. So they decided to record themselves throughout the day. At one point they even danced "in front of five teachers" while wearing the outfits that violated the rules. They thought they were going to get away with breaking the school's dress code. Until Crimmins got caught. She was given a disciplinary note by school staff in the seventh period for violating the dress code. But here's the twist. Jarding was not. Despite his cropped top being a lot shorter than Crimmins'. Not that either should really matter but it just highlights the hypocrisy and sexism behind these "rules."
Jarding explained to Buzzfeed, "I had known that dress codes had been unfair for a while, I just didn't know to this extent," Drew said. "I was wearing multiple outfits that were going against the code or whatever and they hadn't said a single thing to me all that week." Added Crimmins said, "Honestly, it just makes me want to wear clothes like that more because the standards are so not the same."