At this school, girls aren’t allowed to model their own dress code so they make boys do it
‘It’s funny until it’s not’
During freshman orientation at the Carl Albert High School in Midwest City, Oklahoma, girls are told the school's dress code. It's the same rules you hear all the time: no spaghetti straps, nothing tight, no holes in your jeans and no midriffs.
While doing so, the school holds a 'What Not To Wear' fashion show modeled by its students — usually both boys and girls. But this year the girls' dress code was modeled by male students. An image sent to babe by a current senior at Carl Albert shows five boys wearing shorts, crop tops, tank tops, and a low-cut dress during the freshman fashion show.
Senior Hunter Rodgers told babe that "stereotypical popular males — the boys everybody knows — put on the spaghetti strap tank tops, Nike shorts and they parade them around the freshmen and telling them ‘this is what you shouldn’t wear.'"
"It's basically like 'we’re not going to have girls model it but it’s ok if the popular males do it because it’s funny.' It’s putting the double standard on a pedestal," said Hunter.
It's 2017!!! We should stop sexualizing women and insisting that showing shoulders and thighs makes you a slut!!! Body shaming sucks!!!!!!!
— duncan (@duncanccobb) August 28, 2017
At the time everyone thought it was funny seeing their guy friends dress up and model girl's clothes, until they realized how messed up it was.
"The fashion show has always been a funny kind of thing. This year they took it to an extreme with the crop tops and tight shirts," said junior Hannah McDaniels.
"If we can't wear it, why can they?" she said.
Another student told babe she "thought it was funny watching them act like models, but then remembered that this is what girls aren't allowed to wear because it's provocative."
"It made me disappointed that it's normalized to slut shame girls for doing stuff like wearing shorts and tank tops or 'revealing' shirts but when boys do it it's funny," she said.
According to Hannah, in previous years "they’ve had girls and guys model the girls' dress code — this year it was mainly guys."
"I guess this year they thought our legs and shoulders are too distracting," she said.
Carl Albert's dress code is receiving a lot of backlash this week after senior Duncan Cobb started a petition to change it on Monday after she was told her shorts were "inappropriate" and her "butt was hanging out". Read her full story here.
"It's funny and socially acceptable when guys wear girl's clothing, but if I were to wear the exact same thing I would be labeled disobedient, rebellious, slutty, distracting, and I would absolutely be punished for my appearance," said Duncan.
She doesn't get how the administration doesn't see it as a massive double standard.
"These boys are called 'funny' and 'cool' for being willing to dress up in girls clothes. And now I am being called all kinds of names for standing up against the current policy's discrimination," Duncan said.
The school's administration told Duncan they don't have any plans to make changes to its policy.
babe has reached out to CAHS for comment.
Some students babe spoke to have requested to remain anonymous.
This article is part of babe’s high school reporting series. If you have a story you’d like to share, please email Eleni Mitzali at firstname.lastname@example.org.