By Charlotte S
I go to a school where the dress code states “this is a mixed environment with particular implications for the way in which female students should dress” and I have been told numerous times by the FEMALE director of sixth form that skin colour tights are ‘inappropriate’ to wear when there are boys around. Naturally, being /that/ active teen feminist who everyone thinks is a ‘dyke’, I did confront the situation but words aren’t really my forte so nothing has changed.
My thing is visual art so when I found out that the topic for my school art project was civil unrest/protest I jumped at the opportunity to use what I’m (sort of) good at to fuck shit up. What would make me protest? Sexism in the uniform code of course!!!! The aim of this project is to provoke the people in charge, to make them see the errors of their ways and most importantly I want a renewal of the dress code.
At the start of this project I got thinking; why is it so bad for a girl to wear a short skirt? What would happen if a boy dressed ‘slutty’? So I started playing around with pushing the gender boundaries. I used children’s toys to start with as there are clear gender roles presented to us through them.
My friends Alex and Greg then volunteered to do this IRL. (Thanks guys for doing what many teen boys wouldn’t!) We did actually bump into the director of sixth form while Alex was dressed like this and her response was “is there something you’d like to tell me Alex? I hope this doesn’t become a full time thing.”
One of my ultimate favourite artists is Tracy Emin seriously she is the QUEEN. In true Emin style, and because sewing is for girls dur, I’ve been experimenting with embroidery and the offending items themselves – skin colour tights.
UPDATE: Since I started writing this article the director of sixth form has told my art teacher to stop encouraging my project. In the words of Bikini Kill, REVOLUTION GIRL STYLE NOW! If you want to find out about how the rest of the project goes or any of my other artistic endeavours you should totally follow my twitter! ~ shameless self-promotion ~
P.S. Shout out to my art teachers for being totally cool and helping me fight the system.