If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my experiences in middle school and even throughout my high school career it’s this: thou shall not wear spaghetti straps. It’s written time and time again within school dress codes, along with the famous fingertip-length-skirt-rule. As a passive person, I’ve learned over the years to pick my battles- so I won’t go on my rant about controlling skirt lengths or acceptable cleavage (although for a big chested person- cleavage is often totally accidental.) Perhaps it’s my newly inspired embodiment of feminism, but I find the whole shoulder-gate obsession more than a little ridiculous. I know, I know, I can see your inner eye roll at the term “feminism.” But homies, feminism isn’t all bra burning and radical protest- it’s striving to balance the kilter, and helping women to stand equally next to men. However, that’s an entirely different article. Thus, I'll lead with this: what’s so sexy about shoulders?
Okay, I know the whole cover-your-shoulders idea has a vast history- and you will not see me challenging it when I walk into a chapel or religious institution (ever wonder why Kate Middleton wore a long-sleeved wedding gown?). Like I said, if I'm asked to cover my shoulders out of respect, toss me a shawl, and I will more than happily oblige. Covering your shoulders out of respect for tradition and or religion is one thing, but covering your shoulders because it’s “distracting” is an entirely different issue. Why is it so atrocious to show some shoulder in the classroom?
I refuse to believe it’s mere “distraction,” because believe it or not, most females wear bras. Yes, it’s rather scandalous but do you think we can hold our boobs up without them? It brings me back to my initial question-just what is so sexy about shoulders? Does the mere insinuation of a bra strap make us heathens? Trust me, if an adolescent teenage boy has trouble focusing in class because a girl in front of him is showing a little shoulder- that’s his issue. For reals though, that’s just weird. Why should young girls be blamed for wearing a thin-strapped shirt? Why are we sexualizing girls as young as 12?
In middle school we had a “two finger” policy for the width of our tank top straps. Besides driving my mother crazy with finding appropriate tank tops to buy at Marshalls, I also couldn’t help but note just how ridiculous the whole concept was. These 6th graders are too sexy! They’re wearing spaghetti straps! The entire shirt covers their chests, but my heavens their shoulders are showing. If middle schoolers are cropping their tops, or wearing low-cut clothing, you may have some leverage on the argument. In an ever changing society it gets difficult drawing the line on issues such as dress code. So, if you want to ban leggings, low-cut tops, short-shorts, or crop-tops, be my guest. Without necessarily condoning it, I have to say, I do see how one could craft that argument. However, spaghetti straps? Bare shoulders? That’s where you lose me.
The fact of the matter is this: by instigating this whole “forbidden shoulder” fiasco, we’re turning middle school dress into more than just middle school dress. We’re sexualizing these girls, and we’re banning items of clothing on the purpose of distraction. So for the love of God, let these poor children wear spaghetti straps! For what it's worth- it gets really hot out in September, and the spring months...just let these kids air out! A little shoulder never hurt anyone, because personally, I don’t see what’s so sexy about them.