Sorry, Am I Lowering Your Grades?

This photo says it all. Am I really lowering your grades?

Dress codes at school. They’re a double edged sword. They work for boys, but there’s a bit more wiggle room for girls. Believe or not, this isn’t a good thing. Hardly. Because you see, with more wiggle room comes more restrictions, which is odd, I know, but I don’t make the rules up. Things that girls wear can be too short, too low, too bright. Apparently you’re expected to cover up a bit. I’m not arguing with that little bit, as in for myself personally. I don’t really like to show myself off anyway, and when it gets cold again revealing clothing isn’t that practical, is it?

Well no. But at my school, there’s also restrictions on makeup, jewellery and hair colour. This is for the same reason as the cover up thing: so that males don’t get distracted.

Sorry, but I nearly choked on my Pepsi at that point. Distracted by what?! My shiny bracelet? Someone else’s pink lipstick? Someone else’s purple hair? Let me tell you this; they don’t even care. What do they care about my jewellery, hair colour etc.? Our school asks sixth formers like me to keep our jewellery minimal and discreet. What does discreet mean? It means you can’t see it. But why? I can see the teachers jewellery and that’s not lowering my grades. So by that logic, I wouldn’t be lowering the grades of my male classmates if I went in with visible jewellery, would I? And I’m hardly worth looking at in jewellery or out of it, anyway. Am I lowering your grades with my visible jewellery? Not really! I’m saying this because I got a lip piercing today. Is that gonna lower your grades? Nope. Will it lower mine? Nope. See how this works?

Then there’s this thing with male teachers too. When I found that the male gaze is something that male teachers do too, I was sickened. A macabre image came into my head of male teachers in the staffroom at a lunchtime discussing which female sixth formers were the best looking. I ask, why is my look any of your business? You guys are teachers, aren’t you? So what I’m wearing, naturally, is not your business and not something you should be preoccupied with. So why does it matter?

Thing is, it doesn’t. I can’t lower a male teacher’s grades because they’ve done their exams, I’m not lowering my male classmates’ grades because often they don’t care past telling you that your hair is nice today, so what am I doing?

Nothing. The answer is nothing. I’m just coming to school how I want. And that’s what I will do. Because I actually don’t think I care. They can’t make me something I’m not, they can’t trap me in an existence untouched by colourful individuality, and the best part is that they never will. I’m sure of that.

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