Two high school students set out to prove a point at their school in a now-viral TikTok that makes a serious point: dress codes are sexist and full of double standards. Those double standards primarily impact girls.
Two students from Illinois decided to give administrators nowhere to hide, showing how unfair the school’s clothing policy is by dressing the same and recording how the school handled their outfits, which was obviously different based on their gender. The viral TikToks make it clear: school dress codes punish girls for having bodies.
According to BuzzFeed, Kenzie Crimmins and Drew Jarding wanted to prove how sexist the school dress code is. So they put on similar outfits on the same day and shared the results on TikTok. “Dressing the same to school to show how dress codes are sexist,” Drew captioned one of the first videos they created.
They weren’t dressed identically, however similarly enough. Both Drew and Kenzie wore a crop-top t-shirt, with Kenzie pairing with tight leggings and Drew opting for shorts. The subtle differences were made purposely as well.
Drew explained that he wanted their outfits to be similar but wanted Kenzie to be more ‘discreet’ with the long pants instead of shorts, and a slightly longer crop top, Drew told BuzzFeed.
Through the video, it appeared, at first, that both students were going to be left alone with no dress code violations. Until the seventh period when a teacher wrote Kenzie up for “showing her stomach.”
Nothing was said to Drew, whose shirt was shorter. “They were like, ‘Your shirt is really revealing’ and offered for me to go to the resource room to change,” Kenzie said to BuzzFeed.
In the video with Kenzie, she had her shoulders covered and pants well below the knee. Her shirt was technically a crop top, showing a small window of her stomach. On the other hand, Drew violated the school’s crop top and short length rules, and no one said anything to him about changing.
Drew had been doing a dress code series on TikTok to show the school doesn’t enforce the same rules for everyone. According to Drew, the school prohibits straps that show too much shoulder, spaghetti straps, crop tops, and ripped jeans. Also, shorts, dresses, and pants need to be below the knee.
“I had known that dress codes had been unfair for a while; I just didn’t know to this extent,” Drew explained. “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.”
The story echoes a controversy earlier in the year when a school edited yearbook photos to cover up girls’ chests and shoulders even when they were wearing clothes that were school-dress-code-friendly.
It’s clear that enforcement of dress code violations is rarely equal, and for the most part, the people who get in trouble for violating dress codes are girls or feminine-presenting. In the meantime, this means girls will be taken out of classrooms and punished while boys won’t be all for the crime of having bodies or showing off a few more inches of flesh. It’s time for outdated and sexist dress codes to go.