On May 25th, 18-year-old Montana teen Kaitlyn Juvik was called into a vice principal’s office at Helena High School. The reason? She wasn’t wearing a bra. This felt out-of-the-blue to Kaitlyn, who People reported said she hadn’t been wearing bras all year. In this particular instance, a male teacher noticed that Kaitlyn wasn’t wearing a bra and told a vice principal that he was “uncomfortable.” She was outraged and she wasn’t the only one.
“Boys always get the excuse about their hormones, that ‘boys will be boys,'” Kaitlyn told People. “But instead, perhaps people should start teaching boys not to sexualize women’s bodies. Wearing a bra is a personal choice. It’s my body. Why is it anybody else’s business whether I’m wearing a bra, especially when I’m covered up and dressed appropriately?”
Kaitlyn hadn’t been wearing a bra all year because she felt that bras were too restrictive for her.
“When I left the office, I was so upset that I posted a picture of what I was wearing on Facebook, telling everyone, ‘If any of you are curious, this is the shirt I was wearing when I was called out.'” Kaitlyn said. “I most definitely wasn’t wearing anything against the dress code.”
In the aftermath of the event, one of Kaitlyn’s friend created a Facebook group called “No Bra, No Problem,” which, according to its description, is a “movement for gender equality, women’s rights, & being comfortable.”
Kaitlyn and her peers feel that she was singled out. However, the school’s principal Steve Thennis told People that, while there’s nothing in the handbook about wearing a bra, the school will continue to ask students “to dress appropriately and if we feel it is inappropriate, male or female, we are going to ask them to cover up.”
For the most part, however, people are totally on Kaitlyn’s side. People reported that male students wore bras over their shirts and her mother told the publication that she was “proud of Kaitlyn for standing up for herself and opening the door to start a discussion about the body shaming and sexualizing of women.”
We definitely understand where Kaitlyn is coming from because not everyone wants to or even needs to wear a bra. Honestly, whether or not we wear a bra can totally depend on the season, the time of our menstrual cycle and even laundry day!
We just want everyone to be comfortable in the classroom and not be concerned with how others are perceiving their bodies. Although this was an uncomfortable situation for Katilyn, we hope that instances like this one will make people think more about how women’s bodies should not be taboo — especially at school.