A pair of Illinois teens sought out to prove how sexist their high school’s dress code is by wearing similarly revealing outfits to class — but while the male student made it through the day unbothered, the female student got written up for a violation.
Drew Jarding, 17, had already spent a few days this year going to school in clothes that he says ‘would get me dress coded if I were a girl.’
But one day last week, he upped the stakes by enlisting his friend and fellow senior Kenzie Crimmins, 17, who also violated the dress code but in a much more subtle way — and still, only Kenzie got in trouble, emerging from the office with a pink slip because she ‘showed her stomach.’
‘This is a big issue because it breaks down these girls’ confidence and sends the wrong message. Instead of “trying to help” they’re doing the exact opposite,’ Drew told DailyMail.com. ‘I would like to see the dress code change to something more reasonable and not at all sexist.
Power to the people! A pair of Illinois teens sought out to prove how sexist their high school’s dress code is by wearing similarly revealing outfits to class
Get low: Drew Jarding , 17, low-slung shorts and a short crop top, bearing most of his legs and also several inches of stomach and even hip bones
Midriff: His friend and fellow senior Kenzie Crimmins, 17 (left), went to school in a pair of blue leggings and a red T-shirt that show a tiny sliver of abdomen when she stands still
Drew shared a viral TikTok video of the experiment, which has earned 1.8 million likes on the platform.
‘Dressing the same to school to show how dress codes are sexist,’ Drew captioned the clip.
While Kenzie went to school in a pair of blue leggings and a red T-shirt that show a tiny sliver of abdomen, Drew donned exceptionally low-slung shorts and a short crop top, bearing most of his legs and also several inches of stomach and even hip bones.
‘Just so you could show how biased they really are,’ Drew told BuzzFeed.
Their school dress code mandates that ‘clothing must be modest and conducive to the school environment’ and that ‘students are expected to take pride in their appearance and to dress appropriately for focused study.’
The policy relies on the discretion of administrators, and doesn’t explicitly ban showing midriff — though it does say that clothes ‘shorter than mid-thigh length when standing at attention,’ ‘revealing garments,’ ‘see-through garments,’ and visible undergarments’ are off-limits.
No biggie! They got through most of the day without incident, and Drew said no one ever commented on his outfit
In trouble: Yet Kenzie got written up for her outfit, which the pair say is sexist and needs to change
‘Since styles change quickly, administrative discretion will be applied to determine the appropriateness of garments worn by students,’ reads the school policy handbook.
The pair filmed themselves in school, walking into the building and even doing a little dance for the camera ‘in front of like five teachers.’
But in seventh period, Kenzie got written up for showing her midriff — though Drew says no one said anything to him.
‘Honestly, it just makes me want to wear clothes like that more, because the standards are so not the same,’ Kenzie said.
Drew said that while he usually posts comedic content, he’s glad he got out of his comfort zone to bring awareness to an important issue.
‘Several of my female friends have been dress coded time and time again and for wearing the same things I wear and many other guys,’ he said.
‘This is a big issue because it breaks down these girls’ confidence and sends the wrong message,’ Drew told DailyMail.com
Activist: He’s pushed the limits before, showing up to school in several outfits that he says girls would get written up for
‘I would like to see the dress code change to something more reasonable and not at all sexist,’ he said
‘Act!’ he said. ‘Don’t be someone who doesn’t get involved, actually make a difference by protesting dress codes’
Since he started his experiment — and went viral for sharing it on TikTok — his classmates have been totally behind him.
‘Everyone at my school is very supportive and they love the cause,’ he said. ‘They have been fed up with dress codes for a long time as well as many other schools.’
Even some teachers have showed their support.
‘Certain teachers have come up to me to tell me what a great job they think I’m doing,’ he said, but added that he hasn’t heard about any change in policy coming from the administration.
Drew’s message to other teens is not to sit back and accept sexist dress codes at their own schools.
‘Act!’ he said. ‘Don’t be someone who doesn’t get involved, actually make a difference by protesting dress codes.’