I was judged by my teachers for wearing sleeveless
That one School Dress Drama
Today, I saw an old school friend's picture on Facebook. He used to be one of the smart kids but had a bit of a bullying streak. From what I know, he's now working at a big foreign company. Good for him, right? People should grow in their own ways. But what got me thinking was a comment from our middle school teacher on his post.
She said, "You look great!" And that got me to pull up some memories that hurled down the memory lane, almost about ten years ago. It was when we were in the 10th grade. Our school had this special day before our Durga Pujo holidays where we could wear our favorite non-school uniforms. We'd share our holiday plans, and it was usually a day of fun, no serious lessons.
Just like every year, we all wore colorful, mostly traditional clothes. Our school had some strict rules about what was okay to wear. I chose a yellow sleeveless kurti with a collar, paired with red leggings. It flowed below my knees, and I felt fantastic in it. I got compliments from classmates, too.
Back then, I was much skinnier and had none of the womanly changes I do now. But the fun came to a screeching halt when our teachers, including our in-charge teacher, pulled me and two other girls aside. Why? We were wearing sleeveless outfits, and they acted like it was a huge crime.
They told us to cover up with a scarf or they'd send us home. They were not nice about it. We felt like we'd done something really wrong. Just as we were leaving, the teacher muttered, "We can't wear sleeveless, so how can they?" I was shocked. Was it some kind of competition between them and kids half their age?
Word got out to our classmates, including the boys, and I had to borrow a scarf. It was humiliating. The way they made it seem, it was like I was wearing something super revealing. Did these teachers ever teach the boys that it's normal for girls to change during puberty? Did they ever teach them to be respectful, instead of telling girls to hide their skin? With a mindset like that, how can students grow up with healthy attitudes?
Now, back to the Facebook comment. The same teacher is praising a former student's post. Is it only because he has a good job in a foreign company? What about the rest of us from our batch or school? It took me years to come out of a cocoon of embarrassment and confidently wear any outfit I liked, whether traditional or Western.
That small incident was just one part of a bigger problem in our society. But today, almost ten years later, I'm a different person. I speak my mind, stand up against discrimination, and wear any outfit I feel great in. I'm no longer that girl; I'm a proudly curvy woman who loves her body and shows it off with confidence.
Life's too short not to wear what makes you feel fantastic. And to the teachers who tried to limit our style, I say, "Thanks, but I'm doing my own thing now!" 🙌😉
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