Lauren Wiggins is a 17-year-old high school student who was hit with detention for wearing a dress that she says officials at Harrison Trimble High School in Moncton, New Brunswick called “inappropriate” and “a sexual distraction to the young men in my school.”
But the Canadian teen — who actually turns 18 on Friday this week — not only says there was nothing wrong with her dress, she blasted back at the school’s dress policy itself as an example of “unjust standards that we as women are held up to.”
“I’m tired of the discrimination against our bodies,” Wiggins wrote on her Facebook page. “I’m absolutely fed up with comments that make us feel like we can’t be comfortable without being provocative.”
Here is the exact dress that was deemed “sexually distracting” and earned Wiggins a stint in after-school detention — a dress that left most commenters on her own Facebook page scratching their heads over why the school felt this particular piece of attire crossed the line.
As if getting slapped with detention wasn’t enough, when Wiggins wrote a letter to the principal criticizing the school’s dress code, the school responded by suspending her from school for a day.
Wiggins acknowledges that the school’s dress code bans dresses that leave a female student’s shoulders exposed but says that the way the policy is applied singles out young women. The policy also bans other forms of attire, such as bandanas and pants with frayed cuffs — yet those other rules are not enforced as students show up wearing those prohibited articles of clothing all the time.
“The fact that authority figures, especially males, can tell young women they must cover up their shoulders and their backs because it’s ‘inappropriate’ and ‘a distraction’ is very uncomforting,” Wiggins wrote in the letter. “If you are truly so concerned that a boy in this school will get distracted by my upper back and shoulders then he needs to be sent home and practice self control.”
Wiggins’ mom backed up her daughter, saying that Lauren recently wore the same dress to a job interview — and got the job.
Wiggins is far from the first young woman in high school to be disciplined or sent home for wearing a dress that school officials considered “distracting.” Cases number in the dozens, including one teen last year who was kicked out of a prom because fathers who were, for some reason, attending the dance found themselves “distracted” by her attire.
In April of this year, an honors student in Texas was disciplined for wearing a shirt dress that did not extend below her knees, even though she was wearing solid black leggings that covered her legs to the calves.
Officials at the Canadian high school where Lauren Wiggins was disciplined have yet to comment publicly on the controversy over her allegedly “sexually distracting” dress.
[Images: Lauren Wiggins Facebook]