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Updated on Jul 26, 2020. Posted on Jul 23, 2020

These Viral TikToks Point Out How Sexist Dress Codes Are And I Feel So Supported

I WISH it had actually been like this.

If you're a girl who's gone to school, you've probably gotten in trouble for breaking dress code.

Netflix

My blood boils just thinking about it.

In recent years, students have been calling out how gross it is for (often male) teachers to call female students out of class because their lack of clothing is "distracting" to other students. But when I was younger, I didn't hear anyone talk about this.

The CW

Sorry for the angsty Vampire Diaries GIF, but it's true. Girls would gripe about dress code, but it was rarely met with support, and we didn't always have the language to describe how we felt. It's an awful thing to feel so sexualized as a young adult, especially when you are just getting used to your body. It's also really frightening because adults you're supposed to trust are dismissing men not controlling their sexual urges as not only normal, but your fault. This is an incredibly scary and damaging lesson to learn as a young girl.

If you've ever been sent to the office for a dress code violation, you know it can be a humiliating experience. But...what if it wasn't? That's what actor and screenwriter Nicole Ciravolo explores in a series of viral TikToks.

In a TikTok that has been viewed over 12 million times, Nicole plays a school secretary who is NOT here for girls being called out of class for things as dumb as wearing a tank top.

@nicoleciravolo

POV: you get sent to the principles office for dress code but the secretary does! not! f*ck! around!

♬ original sound - nicoleciravolo

Nicole told BuzzFeed she was inspired to make these videos after spending 13 years at a private Christian school: "We had uniforms, yet girls were constantly being dress-coded for skirt length (or often in my case, not wearing a bra — even though that's not in the dress code)."

The TikTok starts by pointing out how ridiculous it is that a girl was called out of class for being disruptive to male students' learning, when in reality the only disruption to learning was happening to her, as she was now missing class.

the secretary saying "And what were you doing in class at the time that he sent you? Test prep? Well, how are you gonna pass a test if you're not in there for test prep?"
@nicoleciravolo / TikTok

According to Nicole, at her school, if a girl's skirt didn't go past her fingertips, she had to go to the office and wear a spare skirt. If none of those skirts fit, she'd have to call her parents and have them bring her another one. Nicole told BuzzFeed, "It was ridiculous, especially considering it was often targeted at curvier girls like me whose bodies were inherently deemed more sexual."

She also points out that it's extremely hot outside, and that she'd be wearing a tank top too if the office wasn't "45 degrees."

"Well, it's a tank top! It's 90 degrees outside!"
@nicoleciravolo / TikTok

Apparently, a girl in a tank top is more distracting than being unbearably hot. Not only does this prioritize boys' learning over girls', but it teaches boys that they should not learn to control their sexual urges and girls that they should always adjust their behavior to make men more comfortable.

She also points out how inappropriate it is that a male teacher called this out and humiliated her in front of the class.

"And he said that to you in front of the entire classroom? Wow. Okay. No, you will not be seeing the principal, I will actually be handling this"
@nicoleciravolo / TikTok

According to Nicole, at her school, the office staff were normally nice, but always made girls feel bad about dress code violations. "There's nothing more disheartening than feeling sexualized by a male teacher and not having any female faculty defend you. So I wanted to create a character — sort of the wish-fulfillment hero I needed in high school — to show people how those experiences could have happened if they actually had someone in their corner."

Nicole continued the series with a phone call with the teacher, where she calls him out for referring to an underage girl as a "hooker."

@nicoleciravolo

part two of... POV: you get sent to the principal’s office and realize the secretary does! not! f*ck! around!

♬ original sound - nicoleciravolo

"You are there to teach her, not humiliate her. And if you keep calling me sweetheart we're gonna have a much bigger problem!" AMEN. I'm about to slap Ron and he's not even real.

She remarks that it's pretty creepy that he called her out, especially when none of the boys actually complained.

@nicoleciravolo

#POV part 3 — I think we’re gonna make this into a series!! 🥳 but... she needs a name! I’m thinking Linda but would luv to hear ur suggestions 🥰

♬ original sound - nicoleciravolo

She also points out the double standard of male teachers calling out only female students for dress code violations.

"You have sent us 4 separate girls for dress code violations this past month. And 3 of the boys that we've gotten for dress code violations have actually passed through your classroom, meaning you are only sending the girls"
@nicoleciravolo / TikTok

At Nicole's school, she said boys were rarely dress-coded, especially when it came to athletes: "They could show up to school completely out of uniform all day and not hear a word."

Not only are these videos hilarious, SPOT ON impressions of school administrators (The accent!! The typing! The jangling of the bracelets! The ice tea! The jar of candy!), but they're also helping girls who have been through something similar.

comments saying "imagine if this actually happened at schools instead of getting detention," "you make me feel so safe," and "I am extremely comfy"
@nicoleciravolo / TikTok

Nicole said, "The responses have been amazing. Lots of people go out of their way to tell me they felt safe in this space and this character somewhat eased the damage dress code encounters had on them when they were in high school."

Follow @nicoleciravolo on TikTok to see more!

Keep fighting the good fight, Nicole!

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