Angelica Florio
September 03, 2017 6:26 am
Paramount Pictures

Every once in a while, an institution takes a stand against sexism. When it happens, it’s so, so powerful. Evanston Township, a high school in Illinois, recently instituted an anti-body shaming dress code that has us cheering. It will likely change the way high school girls learn to view their bodies for the better.

All too often, dress code policies shame young women into thinking their bodies require jurisdiction forcing them to cover up. Female high school students are frequently sent home from school for violating the dress code. What’s more is the confusing policies usually don’t make sense in the first place. They illuminate the sexist double standards that women are subject to from a young age.

How are women supposed to embrace their bodies when they’re constantly being told to cover up?

That’s why we’re giving a standing ovation to Evanston Township’s new dress code.

The school adopted a more laissez-faire approach to their dress code. It provides hope for how schools will approach the matter in the future. The dress code section of the school’s handbook opens with a commendable mission statement.

This is so good already. The policy goes on to be very specific in listing the only body parts that require covering at all times: genitals, buttocks, breasts, and nipples. The policy adds: “Cleavage should not have coverage requirements.”

That is music to every large-breasted woman’s ears, because:

Evanston Township’s dress code policy continues, specifically listing acceptable clothing. The list of acceptable items includes ripped jeans, pajamas, tight pants, tank tops, halter tops, and religious headwear. These items are commonly contentious among dress codes.

As if that’s not great enough, the dress code also allows “visible waistbands on undergarments or visible straps on undergarments worn under other clothing.”

Translation: bra straps.

In addition to this revolutionarily inclusive list of acceptable clothing, there’s also a list of unaccepted apparel. It helps reinforce the school’s anti-discrimination opening statement. Students cannotwear clothing with hate speech, profanity, pornography, and violent language or images.

Perhaps most importantly, the dress code also bans “images or language that create a hostile or intimidating environment based on any protected class or consistently marginalized groups.”

Wow. If only everyone could be a student at Evanston Township.

The Illinois high school’s intolerance for the shaming of women based on their clothing is an important step toward terminating rape culture. Evanston Township’s policy gives us so much hope! Other high schools, take note.