Not a Size Two? Apparently Tights Aren’t for You!


Girls with different body types wearing leggings.

On Aug. 24, Heather Taylor, a Stratford High School Principal, was allegedly accused of fat shaming tenth-grade female students for wearing leggings. The principal voiced her opinions of the girls’ weight, shape, and appearance, which clearly is demeaning to the students. Taylor went on and said, “the sad thing is with that, ladies, if someone has not told you this before, I’m going to tell you this now, unless you are a size zero or a two, and you wear something like that, even though you are not fat, you look fat.” There was an uproar across social media platforms, parents, and students criticizing the principal while stating their opinions on the matter. Principal Heather issued many apologies, saying that she “assured them all” that she is “one of their biggest fans and invested in their success,” however, many people do not accept the apology, believing the comment was outrageous and inappropriate behavior from a principal.

Most people agree with these parents and students, finding her words and behavior insulting, demeaning, and disrespectful. A student might feel offended that someone who they look up to says that they look fat when they wear leggings.  A high school principal serves as a role model to many students and also sets as an example for the rest of the school. Something that a principal says will affect more people and in a direct way. They should choose their words more carefully and keep in mind that many people look up to them. This would prevent from anyone being offended or addressed rudely.

“The fact that principal Taylor labeled these girls as fat looking solely based on their choice to wear leggings is completely offensive. She spreads her negative opinion to these girls and had no regard for its effect on them. As a girl who wears leggings, it is not nice when someone insults you claiming you look fat. The social standards and stereotypes should not depict how beautiful we are through anyone’s eyes,” freshman Felicity Palacios said.

However, many parents and students support the principal. They have been posting messages on social media, like Facebook and Twitter, sending their condolences and unconditional support. Facebook commenter Carlos Hernandez, shared his opinion on the subject. “This is actually ridiculous. A bunch of facebook moms with nothing better to do than to flame probably Stratford’s best principal yet. As a former student, Ms. Taylor always treated me with respect and fairness. I have no doubt she has the student’s best interest in mind and whatever she said was probably an offhand comment to support the dress-code, that she didn’t make by the way. If you want to actually change something, go to the school board. This is just petty.” This person, like many other former students and their parents, believes that this is nothing but an over-exaggeration. The way they see it is, that people on social media are focusing too much of their attention on something that is not important and irrelevant. They should be paying more attention to the focal point of her presentation, and her many serving at the school, as an acclaimed fantastic principal.

Even though the dress code for the school actually states leggings, tights, yoga pants and spandex must be worn under other items of clothing that reach your mid-thigh, does not mean that the principal can express shameful remarks. The dress code does not justify the principal to say such things that impact the student body. Student Allison Veazy states, “It was really hurtful, cause I felt like my size made me look disgusting towards someone in the clothes that I wear.” Various other students stated they felt targeted by the comment. Parents worried that this statement would further fuel the insecurities of students who have low self-esteem.

“Body shaming is completely wrong and reverses progress. People tearing down people based on their body and natural features will only create a divide. People need to be positive and lift others up instead of tearing others down. It will only serve to improve our world and relationships if we support people and be positive and are open to all walks of life,” sophomore Cameron Payne said. 

Body shaming of any kind should not be done anywhere by anyone. Someone such as a school principal that serves as a voice for the school, and that many people look up to should definitely not be commenting on people’s appearance and weight. Many students and parents affected by this situation began to post comments on social media causing an uproar. Everyone should feel accepted and beautiful no matter their size or weight. Overall, no one should be body shaming anyone because we are all people and that’s all that matters. The world needs a little more love than people who body shame others.