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One teenager’s letter to her school about their “unjust standards” is gaining international attention.
Lauren Wiggins, 17, received detention after her vice principal informed her that her full-length halter dress was too inappropriate for her to wear at school.
The vice principal told Wiggins that her dress was “inappropriate” and a “sexual distraction,” to fellow students, according to CBC.
She then took to Facebook to vent about the incident.
Today I received a detention because the outfit I am wearing is considered inappropriate and a sexual distraction to the young men in my school. Enough is enough. I’m tired of the unjust standards that we as women are held up to. I’m tired of the discrimination against our bodies, and I’m absolutely fed up with comments that make us feel like we can’t be comfortable without being provocative. It’s time to change the worlds mindset. Now.
Along with the Facebook post, she included a picture of the dress she was wearing the day she was suspended and a letter she wrote to the vice principal.
The letter read:
I have a concern I would like to bring to your attention. In today’s society, a woman’s body is constantly discriminated against and hypersexualized to the point where we can no longer wear the clothing that we feel comfortable in without the accusation and/or assumption that we are being provocative. This unjust mindset towards women is absolutely absurd.
The fact that authority figures, especially males, can tell young women they must cover up their shoulders and their backs because it’s “inappropriate” and “a distraction” is very uncomforting. Schools are the social building blocks in an adolescent’s life meant to teach them how to communicate and develop relationships with others and also learning about themselves and who they want to be. It’s preached upon us to be individual, to be ourselves.
The double standard here is that when we try, we are then told we’re wrong. We may not truly dress, act or speak how we want because authority figures, and I use that term very loosely such as yourself, tell us we can’t. Yes, I understand there are restrictions to how much and how little of your body that shows, but that applies when people show up in their bikinis or bra and panties. Though I do believe women should legally be allowed to publicly be shirtless considering males are, it’s mindsets like yours that keep that as something that is shamed upon.
So no, Mr. Sturgeon, I will not search for something to cover up my back and shoulders because I am not showing them off with the intention to gain positive sexual feedback from the teenage boys in my school. I am especially not showing them to receive any comments, positive or negative, from anybody else besides myself because the only person who can make any sort of judgment on my body and the fabrics I place on it is me.
If you are truly so concerned that a boy in this school will get distracted by my upper back and shoulders then he needs to be sent home and practice self control.
Thank you, have a nice day.
The letter earned Wiggins a one-day suspension, according to CBC.
Wiggins response is gaining national attention.
She says she hopes her school will make a change to their dress code policy.
— CBC News (@CBCNews) May 14, 2015