Are My Shoulders Distracting You?



Olivia Culleinton lets her midriff show despite the current dress code policies.

Cole Reiser, Feature Editor


Shoulders, legs, midriffs, backs 

These body parts are all sexualized at schools all over the country. . forbidden from ever taking a breath in the hallways.

But only for women, of course. 

Individuality and self expression are dead. Like dead, she’s actually on the floor right now. The age of sexualizing young women and young men is alive and thriving. 

Skirts turn into dirty looks, bra straps showing are shame worthy and midriffs are disgusting. 

Out of 202 students, 75.4% of Knoch High School students believe that the dress code is outdated, and 66.5% feel as though the dress code is sexist. 

Why does society feel the need to sexualize young adults at such a young age? Well, that’s just because young women and men are starting to realize their voice and choice to stand up for what they believe in and express themselves, and older generations hate it.  

Knoch High School takes it to the point that shoulders and midriffs can be incriminating. 

 “Depending on the amount of exposure, they can be distracting to other students,” said Mrs. Grantz, VP. 

Take this as a rhetorical question. Why are we pointing a finger at young women for being comfortable in their own bodies and expressing themselves? Shouldn’t we be applauding them for being themselves in a society that is full of body shaming? 

According to Mrs. Grantz, the dress code promotes “school safety”. In other words, it promotes the idea that if women don’t cover up, they might be sexually harassed. 

We are promoting a culture of shaming women to the point where they feel the need to be scared to show skin because they are nervous about what other men will do or say to them. But instead, shouldn’t we be teaching young men to act appropriately around women’s bodies? 

The current dress code policies aren’t very popular among the students.

“The current dress code policies put students in a box that limits a student’s freedom to act independently from others,” said senior Sam Blair. 

All of the factors that go into the dress code policies makes one wonder, are the positives aspects of the code outweigh the negatives? Are some silly set of rules worth enough to damage students self esteem? 

“I strongly believe that when a student gets dress coded, it lowers their self esteem to a point where it could affect how they perform in school,” said senior Kayla Travis. 

However, I believe that there should be minor rules on self expression in High School. These are rules regarding clothing that could be seen as offensive; foul language, nudity and things that are not condoned by Knoch High School.  

Students rarely advocate for the complete removal of the dress code, but would like to feel respected and free to express themselves. 

Questions for Sydney Micko

1)Why are you against the dress code? 

I wouldn’t say I’m “against” the dress code. Some things I agree such as too short skirts or shorts. Some things I disagree with such as showing shoulders


2)Have you ever been dress coded? What was it for? 

Yes, I have been dress coded. A week before summer vacation my back was exposed and I was called out of class to put a jacket on. Did I wear the jacket? No. 


3)Do you believe the dress code is sexist? 

I do think the dress code is sexist. For example boys are allowed to wear tank tops but girls are not. 


4)Does the dress code make it harder for students to express themselves? 

I think the dress code absolutely hinders students from expressing themselves. When I go shopping I constantly have to stop myself from buying clothes that I want to wear but will get dress coded for. It’s a true struggle. 


5)Is there anything else you would like to add? 

I wish the school realized that we aren’t dressing to impress boys or 40 year old teachers. We are dressing for ourselves and trying to wear what we feel confident in.