A simple Facbook post a sister wrote to defend her young sibling, after she was sent home for breaking her school’s dress code, has gone viral and sparked an online debate on sexism and body shaming.
Erica Alyse Edgerly, 21, from the US state of Texas, last week shared an image on Facebook of an outfit that saw her younger sister Macy, 18, sent home from school.
The offending outfit consisted of black leggings cut off below the knee under a grey and orange basketball top.
Orangefield High School's rules state that while leggings are allowed, garments on top must hang below the fingertips when hands are held straight by the sides - meaning Macy's top violated the code.
Macy, a high school senior, returned to lessons later the same day in a different outfit.
Concerned by how her sister was treated, Erica wrote on Facebook: “I’m sorry but I have to stand up for my family and for women who are degraded and judged for their bodies and clothing every day.
“People wonder why women feel insecure about their bodies or what they wear…it's because you're told your clothing is inappropriate when you're completely fully clothed.
She went on to argue that school systems are more concerned that a girl's clothing may distract boys, rather than whether sending a girl home will disrupt her education.
Erica added that instead of “body shaming women” schools should teach teenager boys to “stop degrading women with their eyes and contributing to rape culture”, adding that many schoolboys are likely not even guilty of this.
Erica also acknowledged that her sister’s shirt violated the rules and she did not want to target the school specifically, but rather “society in general”, adding that many mothers have emailed to thank her after they had similar experiences with their daughters.
The post has since been shared over 90,000 times, with commenters rallying in support on Macy and Erica.
One, Ryan Lebouef, wrote: “I mean that's like saying baseball players and softball players are trashy for dressing the way they do. I mean that's basically what that is. I think she deserves an apology.”
Another Facebook user, Sarah Thomas, wrote: "Wait.... I'm still confused as to why she was sent home? She's completely covered and looks comfortable!!! That's so ridiculous."
Stephen Patterson, superintendent for the Orangefield Independent School District which presides over Macy’s school, said in a statement sent by TODAY.com: “While the District cannot disclose or discuss the details of any student's disciplinary or educational matter due to federal and state confidentiality laws, we want to assure our community that Orangefield ISD strives to maintain a positive and successful learning environment for our students free from disruption and distraction, which includes enforcement of our student dress code."Reuse content