Female students at Etobicoke School of the Arts in Toronto have celebrated their own "Crop Top Day," which was a protest involving scores of students wearing crop tops and other daring tops in an attempt to fight against what the students have declared a "sexist" dress code at the high school. The students joined high school student Alexi Halket because they say that female attire ranging from their comfortable every day clothing to their prom dresses are policed by school administrators.
How did #CropTopDay begin? Meet the gal who started it all http://t.co/fWduAc28Sk via @TorontoStar #StandInSolidarity pic.twitter.com/gT0XbLhi4u"Female students are getting taken into the office because they are wearing a shirt that resembles a sports bra, but there are males in gym class and on the back field running around shirtless and that double standard is not OK," Halket told Global News. While male crop tops were becoming trendy, it wasn't mentioned whether or not the school allows male students to wear crop tops to class, but according to CBC News, on Tuesday some males showed up sporting crop tops to support Alexi.
— VUBBLE (@vubblePOP) May 27, 2015
According to Alexi, it all started on Monday when a male teacher told the vice principal that Alexi's top seemed a bit "too much like a sports bra" to be considered appropriate school attire. She was also wearing a gray skirt.
#CropTopDay #Standinsolidarity pic.twitter.com/RoLkHheQjfWhen confronted, Halket refused to change her top or cover up. She says that she was forced to defend her belief that her skin is just skin. She told her principal, Rob MacKinnon, that it is wrong to view female shoulders and midriffs as "sexual or provocative." She and the other students say that this mindset promotes rape culture. Halket says that her principal told her she couldn't wear the outfits she had picked out for the week. It is her birthday week, and she said that her chosen outfits make her feel beautiful.
— mai (@iIluminatae) May 26, 2015
Students are fighting back against school dress codes with #CropTopDay http://t.co/BYJNqdyXkW pic.twitter.com/ZxmTnzD0l4"I told him I had a line up of outfits planned out because this was my birthday week," said Halket, who just turned 18-years-old. "Because I wanted to feel very beautiful, look very beautiful and feel very confident in myself and be happy -- and they were sexualizing my outfit."
— BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeed) May 26, 2015
Tuesday was Halket's actual birthday and was also the day she invited hundreds of her peers to join her in protesting the dress code with Crop Top Day. She and her peers used the hashtag #croptopday, and hundreds said they would join her.
Wow I'm crying over 300 people that will #Standinsolidarity THIS MEANS SO MUCH TO ME IM SO HAPPY #croptopday pic.twitter.com/z5QVmpAaEuAs all the planning was underway, Principal MacKinnon was warned of the impending Crop Top Day protest and sent out a staff memo.
— Alexi Halket (@IXELAmusic) May 26, 2015
"I encouraged teachers to talk about this with their students," MacKinnon said. "It's about appropriate dress for this setting, not sexualizing students or objectifying them, but what's OK in school."
It also wasn't long before the Toronto media caught wind of Crop Top Day.
Toronto students organized #CropTopDay to protest dress codes. The Star talks to Alexi Halket about how it started. https://t.co/iGq1jxKiR6Many of the students' parents supported the students' decisions to fight back against the dress code. Students from other schools reportedly even participated. Alexi says that, in total, thousands participated.
— TorontoStar (@TorontoStar) May 27, 2015
And here's my daughter's message for #croptopday...ready to hand out at #kingedwardPS pic.twitter.com/MxG7Cbq5hG — TrusteeStiles (@maritstiles) May 27, 2015Alexi's dress code protest was also shared using the hashtag #StandInSolidarity
Make sure you find the time and read this! Stop the sexualization of females! #CropTopDay #StandInSolidarity pic.twitter.com/ApMu1IlS9b — Deni Valchev (@DivaaDeni) May 26, 2015MacKinnon says he sat down with about 200 students in the library to talk about the dress code concerns.
"I'm very proud of them for talking about what they value -- critical thinking is important in schools," he said. "It's about approaching the line, but not crossing it, which is a struggle. It's an art school, so we're always pushing the lines."
Halket refused to budge Tuesday and disagreed with her principal's suggestion that she should dress professionally at school, according to CP24.
"He said 'this is a professional environment,' so I said, 'yes, but the word professional comes from profession, meaning job, and this is your job, so I understand if you have to be professional, but I have to go to school and I'm going to wear whatever makes me comfortable.' "
#Standinsolidarity #croptopday because my body deserves the same equal treatment as a male body when showing skin pic.twitter.com/JFseJVTGTz — 1D UPDATES (@Currently1D) May 26, 2015
Students @tdsb Etobicoke School for the Arts @ESAStudCo #croptopday dress code rally. #cbcto pic.twitter.com/Cq5sYQMHSd
— Stephanie Matteis (@CBCsteph) May 26, 2015
because having my stomach/thighs/shoulders show does not compromise my intelligence or actions #croptopday pic.twitter.com/mapbSIidb9
— Hannah (@bobhannah13) May 27, 2015
because we need to show people that we have a voice #croptopday #StandInSolidarity pic.twitter.com/ifMRFYmPdK
— Ali Daschko (@alid0901) May 26, 2015
bc we shouldn't be shamed for being proud of our bodies and feeling beautiful in this #croptopday #StandInSolidarity pic.twitter.com/rWJlkJoxzi
— Kyla (@kylatrkulja_) May 26, 2015
I got uniform but I'm still supporting #croptopday (sorry if my shoulders are too distracting) #Standinsolidarity pic.twitter.com/tU5mAmO0PW
— dora (@lussowo) May 26, 2015
I'm so happy that this is happening!!!!!! #croptopday #StandInSolidarity pic.twitter.com/XwjMm1ahur
— bug (@OMokrzycki) May 26, 2015
#NotYours #StandInSolidarity #CropTopDay pic.twitter.com/zjGQ5zoAuq
— rachael ruth (@rachaeltrellis) May 26, 2015
#croptopday #StandInSolidarity a little late but oh well pic.twitter.com/nJk9Gq3np9What do you think of the Crop Top Day protest in Toronto?
— feminist gals (@feministgals) May 27, 2015
[Photo via Toronto Star video]