A couple of Illinois teens tried to prove just how sexist their high school dress code is by wearing similar revealing outfits in class — but while the male student got through the day undisturbed, the female student was charged with a violation.
Drew Jardingo, 17, had already gone to school for a few days this year in clothes that he says “I’d give myself to dress code if I were a girl.”
But last week he raised the stakes by bringing in his friend and fellow senior Kenzie Crimmins (17), who also violated the dress code, but in a much more subtle way – and yet only Kenzie got in trouble when he got out of the office with a pink slip for ‘showing her belly’.
“This is a big problem because it damages the confidence of these girls and sends the wrong message. Instead of “trying to help,” they do the exact opposite,” Drew told DailyMail.com. “I would like to see the dress code change to something more reasonable and not sexist at all.
Power to the people! A couple of Illinois teens tried to prove just how sexist their high school dress code is by wearing similarly revealing outfits in class
Go low: Drew Jarding, 17, low-slung shorts and a cropped crop top, which carries most of his legs and also several inches of tummy and even hip bones
Midriff: His friend and fellow seniors Kenzie Crimmins, 17 (left), went to school in blue leggings and a red T-shirt with a small strip of belly when standing 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 sexist dress codes are,” Drew captioned the clip.
While Kenzie went to school in blue leggings and a red T-shirt with a little tummy tuck, Drew donned exceptionally low-slung shorts and a cropped crop top, covering most of his legs and also a few inches of stomach and even hip bones.
“Just so you can show how biased they really are,” Drew . told me BuzzFeed.
Their school dress code dictates that ‘clothing should be modest and conducive to the school environment’ and that ‘students are expected to take pride in their appearance and dress appropriately for focused study’.
The policy relies on administrators’ discretion and doesn’t explicitly prohibit showing the midriff – although it does say clothing is “shorter than mid-thigh when at attention,” “revealing clothing,” “sheer clothing,” and visible undergarments’ are off limits.
No biggie! They got through most of the day without incident, and Drew said no one ever said anything about his outfit
In Trouble: Yet Kenzie Was Written For Her Outfit, Which The Couple Say Is Sexist And Needs To Change
“As styles change rapidly, administrative discretion will be applied to determine the suitability of clothing worn by students,” the school policy handbook reads.
The couple filmed themselves at school, walked into the building and even did a little dance in front of the camera “for about five teachers.”
But in the seventh period, Kenzie was written up for showing her midriff—although Drew says no one said anything to him.
“Honestly, I just feel like wearing clothes like that more because the standards aren’t the same,” Kenzie said.
Drew said that while he usually posts comedic content, he’s glad he stepped out of his comfort zone to bring attention to an important topic.
“Several of my girlfriends have been given dress codes time and time again and because they wear the same things that I wear and many other guys,” he said.
“This is a big problem because it damages the confidence of these girls and sends the wrong message,” Drew told DailyMail.com.
Activist: He has pushed the boundaries before, appearing at school in various outfits that he says girls would be credited for
“I’d like to see the dress code change to something more reasonable and not sexist at all,” he said
‘Act!’ he said. ‘Don’t be someone who doesn’t participate, make a real difference by protesting the dress code’
Ever since he started his experiment — and went viral for sharing it on TikTok — his classmates have fully supported him.
“Everyone at my school is very supportive and they love the cause,” he said. “They’ve had enough of the dress code for a long time, just like many other schools.”
Even some teachers have shown their support.
“Some teachers have come to tell me what a great job they think I am doing,” he said, but added that he has not heard anything about a change in the administration’s policy.
Drew’s message to other teens is not to sit back and accept sexist dress codes in their own schools.
‘Act!’ he said. “Don’t be someone who doesn’t get involved, really make a difference by protesting the dress code.”