Sammy Nickalls
April 08, 2015 11:35 am

A few weeks ago, a photo of Rachel Hollis‘ post-baby bikini body went viral on Facebook. Thousands of women commented supporting Rachel and her brave portrayal of her “imperfect” body looking beautiful and proud.

Now, another body image oriented photo is going viral on Facebook. Unfortunately, rather than evoking happiness, it’s yielding concern.

Last Thursday, Erica Alyse Edgerly posted a photo of her sister, Macy Edgerly, on Facebook in leggings and a long shirt. Her sister was sent home from Orangefield High School in Orange County, Texas, for wearing that very outfit which was deemed “inappropriate” — at least, according to Erica’s caption.

She began her caption, “Today, my sister was sent home from school wearing the clothes in the picture below. And I’m sorry but I have to stand up for my family and for women who are degraded and judged for their bodies and clothing everyday [sic].”

Erica expressed her anger at the school system and claimed that this was a case of body-shaming on the part of the school. “People wonder why women feel insecure about their bodies or what they wear.. And it’s beause [sic] you’re told your clothing is inappropriate when you’re completely fully clothed, even when you’re not showing cleavage or anything.” Erica continued, “How about instead of body shaming women, school systems should start teaching 15-18 year old boys to stop degrading women with their eyes and contributing to the rape culture of today’s society.” The photo garnered instant attention and was quickly shared over 80,000 times. 

According to Erica, there was no problem with the outfit. “Bottom line, girls cannot go to school in comfortable clothes THAT COVER EVERYTHING because school systems are afraid that hormonal boys won’t be able to control their eyes and minds. And that is such a bigger problem than worrying about clothing.”

According to Erica, the dismissal was not only unwarranted, but an interruption of her Macy’s education: “. . . when you send someone home because of innappropriate [sic] clothing, you’re taking away from their eduction [sic],” wrote Erica. “So I guess it’s more important for boys to not have distractions (even when they’re [sic] aren’t any) than a woman’s education. When will people realize how big of an issue this really is?” 

Dozens of commenters left their two cents on the post, like Madison Woodruff, who wrote, “I have been saying the same thing that you said for so long. Why should girls have to base their clothing choices on boys who can’t learn to control themselves? Plus her whole body is completely covered so I don’t see what the problem is.”

A few chimed in supporting the school, such as commenter Sherry Singleton Windham, who explained, “She looks adorable, as always, but, not every body style can wear what she’s wearing and look cute!!!! Unfortunately we DO have many hormonal boys here. . . I have to support the School Board’s rules. They’re in the handbook even though the tiny girls look precious!!!!”

But it didn’t stop there. The photo has since been picked up by various publications, including SheKnows and IJReview.

Erica essentially made my point for me: Macy’s dress code violation was a blatant double standard,” wrote Bethany Ramos from SheKnows. “I have yet to find in the history of the internet and in all of my time as a parenting writer a case where a boy was sent home for wearing what Macy wore to school — a modest outfit that resembles a man’s baseball uniform.”

Various outlets have been tweeting about the photograph, expressing their anger at the school, such as We Need Feminism:

According to SheKnows, the school has yet to comment. “Parents, consider this story a blessing in disguise because it’s an eye-opener. Degrading double standards like this are still happening every day at your kids’ schools. And as we all know, change starts at home,” wrote Ramos.

As for Erica, she is grateful for the support people have shown her and her sister.