Super strict school dress codes that unfairly target girls are BS—that’s the message that 22-year-old actress and screenwriter Nicole Ciravolo sent her fans by posting a series of viral TikToks. Ciravolo called out the sexism present in schools where girls are sent to the principal’s office and chastised for ‘violating’ the rules by wearing tank tops and other ‘inappropriate’ clothes.
But what if things were different? What if there was somebody to stand up for you? Well, that’s exactly what Ciravolo showed in her videos as she took on the role of a school secretary: how people should use their common sense to react to dress code ‘violations.’ Scroll down and have a look for yourselves, dear Pandas. Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below and read on for Bored Panda's interview with the actress.
"I was mostly inspired by the treatment I received as a high school student from faculty when it came to dress code," Ciravolo told us what pushed her to make the viral TikToks. "I often felt shamed by female faculty and sexualized by male faculty. I wanted to create a character that I wish I’d had in school because I never felt like anyone was in my corner—and that’s what Ms. Connie has become. I never in a million years would have expected it to blow up like it did, but I’m not surprised that many people relate to wishing there was someone in power on their side in school."
In the actress's opinion, school dress codes are enforced "for the benefit of faculty," not students. "They often have elements of racism and sexism disguised as 'professional' (i.e. sagging pants or no bra straps showing). In my own experience, skirt/shorts length or bra straps don’t distract other students but instead the teachers. It’s sickening to think back to being a 15-year-old minor and getting sent to the office by a man in his sixties because my shorts made him uncomfortable. Those types of people should not be teaching minors."
Ciravolo also told us a bit more about herself. "I’ve been in acting classes since I was in second grade. Though I loved the Disney channel like any other 8-year-old, it was really sneaking into my parents' room to watch SNL that drew me to it: I so desperately wanted to make people laugh for a living, and that hasn’t changed!"
People absolutely loved her videos and they were viewed tens of millions of times altogether. That’s how you know that the topic resonated with them and that a lot of people find the issue important and worth talking about.
Around 55 percent of US public high schools have dress codes and plenty of people believe that they’re outdated, that they reinforce gender stereotypes, and that they’re sexist against girls.
One of the most commonly known problems is that girls get called out for wearing ‘revealing’ clothes that ‘distract the boys in the class’ but a lot of people believe that there’s no place for such views in 2020. This can not only lead to girls being shamed in front of the entire classroom but it also means that some girls have to skip classes because they’re forced to explain what they did ‘wrong.’
“These rules aren't neutral: many target girls, and especially black girls, by regulating skirt length and headwraps. And the rules aren't applied equally, either. Students report that black girls, and especially curvier students, are disproportionately targeted,” a report by the National Women’s Law Center called out dress codes in schools.
Ciravolo is an actress who “accidentally stumbled into ASMR.” According to her IMDb page, she is known for her roles in the 2018 movie Melrose, as well as the 2001 film Love, Sex & Murder. She currently studies theatre at Sarah Lawrence College in New York and plans to graduate in 2021. We just hope that she’ll find the time to make great TikTok videos in between her studies in the meantime.