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Fashionista NOW: Black Leggings Style Tips, Dress Codes & The Male Gaze Problem

Credit | Fernanda Florez

Read what I think of the leggings drama that involves schoolgirls in Tennessee and why it is ultimately about the intrusive male gaze.

Have you heard about the hoo-hah that took place in one Tennessee high school having to do with leggings with the school demanding the female students to wear the right top or dress with them? Yup, it happened! And no, it’s not a fashion school. It’s your garden-variety high school.

Now, I don’t know about you, but it sure feels as though this school admin people have been recently reading a lot of fashion articles that have been stressing lately that leggings aren’t pants and will never be! But the thing that got some people’s panties all bunched up was that there was never such a rule implemented before in the school and thus, it came out of nowhere.

One female teacher in particular did not like what she saw and made her duty to round up about 40 schoolgirls (someone said it’s actually 80 down in the comments) who happened to be clueless of a dress code that said you cannot be wearing leggings with the WRONG top/dress. The punishment consisted of no classes to be attended for the rebels until their attire conformed!

And as much as I’d like to play dumb and say that this educator might just have an intensely flawless sense of style that she’s policing her students’ wardrobe of choice for her peace of mind, it is clear that this has much to do with making the girls wear something that is considered less distracting to boys and men. This very puke-inducing underlying idea is appalling, sexist and plain insulting.

#IamNotADistraction

While I may not like leggings worn as pants, surely, there is a better approach when dealing with a dress code issue that takes place in a school compound? But honestly, though, the school has made it such that it is teaching girls that their outfits are much more important than anything else, and that the ‘wrong’ choice of outfit can make and reduce them as a mere distraction.

Similarly in patriarchal Malaysia, stories like this are nothing new. A recent one involves a schoolgirl being relieved from attending her class for the day because she wore the WRONG undergarment, as her white blouse (which was a part of a baju kurung) was see-through.

The minds that sit behind moldy desks in schools all across the globe really need to be checked and thoroughly cleansed! Why must it always be the female’s responsibility to help reduce the occurrence of the lustful male gaze?

I shall say this: Do you want to teach men that it’s okay to be perverts anytime they happen to be in the proximity of a woman who dress in a way they (foolishly and arrogantly) perceive as is asking for the wrong kind of attention? Let us be done with this type of sexist mentality and hey, this applies to women as well! Support your sisters and yes, let us howl together: we are not a distraction!

FREE COURSES FOR Taming The Wandering Eyeballs FOR ALL, especially MALES

I, for one, don’t understand why schoolboys and all men (and teachers of all genders) aren’t rounded up and taught in-depth that just because they possess functional eyeballs and genitalia, that doesn’t give them an excuse to go around, staring lustfully at any part of a woman’s body or her luscious behind even when it’s fully and “properly” covered.

It is even more brainless to say that the LEGGINGS made your eyeballs do it.

To lighten things up, check out the Lookbook tips on wearing the staple black leggings while flashing our imaginary middle fingers to all those institutions that thrive on making women feel bad for their own choice of dressing.

Ladies and lads: Share your story of when you realized that dress codes for females are plain stupid because at the end of the day, it makes you feel ridiculously on display and not for the right reason?

“There is sexism — I’m not denying its existence. But I’m saying that I will deny its effort against me. I just pay it no nevermind and say, ‘Get out of my way.'”Julia Louis-Dreyfus

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Here on Fashionista NOW, our one and very own Miss Reverie showcases the latest in fashion trends and its various social implications in our everyday lives. You may read more of her at REVERIE SANCTUARY.

 

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