As I walked down the hallway, shuffling through the too-warm bodies of students just out of gym class, side passing boys covered in sawdust from shop class, and holding my breath through the clouds of perfume that seemed to follow certain girls; I heard a commotion of raucous laughter and the displeased voice of our school’s vice principal.
“You have to change your pants. Sweatpants with writing on the butt are inappropriate and are against the school dress code.” He was lecturing a girl in my class. Someone I hung out with. She had blonde hair, the colour of straw. She wore a white t shirt and a pair of sweats that said “Pink.”
No skin showed. No underwear. She looked nice. I wish I had a pair of those pants- they were “in” and they were comfy! The girls in the crowd scowled while the boys covered their sniggers and sneers with hands. My brain was numb- from the realization that I would be judged for my looks and fashion choices more so than my brain or personality, or from the overwhelming scents of Victoria’s Secret, Bath and Body Works body spray or the cans of Axe that were sprayed in the gym lockers before break.
I’ve never realized that what I wore mattered before, and I didn’t understand why those four letters were so offensive. I regularly saw boys wearing their jeans so low that one could see their Aeropostale patterned boxers. How was that more acceptable than the word “Pink?”