9/26/08

Eighth Grader Fights to Wear Make-Up To School

(Photo: Jason Garrison)

I stumbled across THIS article about a 13 year old Ohio boy who was forced to wash the make-up off of his face when school administrators said it was a distraction and against the dress code.



"When I spoke to the principal," his mother said, "She told me it was distracting because of the black makeup and I said, 'Well, I'll get him pink,' and she said no, because he's a male, he's not allowed to wear it, the public don't accept males wearing make-up."

Ball and her son point out that every student is required to wear a character badge – and one of the qualities it pledges is acceptance. "It says, 'do you value the uniqueness of all students?' and they're not letting me be unique," says the young man, Matt Allsup. "I don't see why we have to wear them if we're not able to express who we are."

Matt's mother, Mindy Ball: "They're gender stereo-typing. He's being sexually discriminated against. Nowhere in the rules does it say that males can't wear make-up".

Matt and his mother plan to hire and attorney and take the issue to court.

Do you think Matt should be allowed to wear make-up or do you believe it's against the dress code?




20 comments:

Anonymous said...

damn queer

Renee Gannon said...

Actually, Anon, in no where does this article state that the boy was gay, just that he was wearing make-up.

Queers United said...

they should absolutely be allowed to wear make up and express their gender identity

Anonymous said...

It doesn't sound like a gender identity issue: Just the issue of off-beat appearance. If young women are also prohibited from wearing make-up, fine. But if it's only boys, that's a discriminatory dress code.

Renee Gannon said...

It shouldn't matter if it's a gender issue or not, discriminatory dress code is an issue no matter what the underlying reason is.

Sei said...

I could probably write a twenty-page paper about makeup in society, but really, this isn't a gender issue except that the school's dress code discriminates against any boys who want to wear makeup. Back in High School, I remember a guy getting into trouble for wearing fingernail polish. Admittedly, it was bright blood red, but he wore it, and they told him not to.

Of course, I wonder how many people want to tell Vin Deisel that he's being "queer" for wearing makeup.

Renee Gannon said...

I also find it interesting that in the original article, the Hamilton City School District spokesperson said "if the makeup is too harsh – whether on a boy or a girl – the student should be asked to wipe it off."

I wonder what their definition of "too harsh" is.

cybelline1 said...

Of course this person should be allowed to wear what he chooses, makeup or other. Schools do have dress codes to address incendiary social politics or hate messages as well they should. Recently an article in the news related that a child was sent home from school somewhere in America for wearing a t shirt that said "fu*k Obama" But clearly from this story neither males nor females are barred from wearing makeup under the code so to extend the code merely to enforce a gender conformity that the code was not designed to enforce is wrong and discriminatory in its application.

Renee Gannon said...

well said cybelline1

Cathi said...

In the 1980's men wearing makeup was accepted in school, why not now? Just because one adult's PERCEPTION of what is "normal" doesn't mean they are in the majority. Check with the PEERS and what you may find will surprise you.

Hahn at Home said...

Freedom of speech and expression has never existed in the schools.

And, an FYI - I believe Ohio is LAST in the nation as far as protections for the LGBT community.

teach said...

1. is this a public school. if it is, then they must let him wear makeup. i promise there are at least 30 other dudes wearing makeup to cover up their terrible acne anyway. just not as prominent as this kid.
2. a male who wants to wear makeup... let him suffer like the girls do. let him deal with upkeep, bathroom breaks for touchups, keeping the makeup in his manbag, etc... it will breed much understanding for his future wifey and children, and if he is gay or trans, all the better, may god bless him with daughters...
3. if this kid has to wear a stupid fuckin patch that says he values uniqueness of other students, but then is denied his own, well, thats a lawsuit. the end.

bee listy said...

Oh, Cincinnati-- my hometown.

Anonymous said...

what happnened to the declaration of INDEPENDANCE? I dont believe its called the Decalaration of Communism where no one can express themselves.

Sei said...

Anonymous-

It was determined by the courts that school children do not have the right to free speech as guarenteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States while on school grounds. That means that offensive shirts, offensive speech, and other things can be banned. HOWEVER, they must be codified before they can be put into action. Because the school did not codify these rules concerning make up worn by males to be clear, they are in the wrong. It can also be argued that it is discriminatory.

fourth wave said...

It seems to me that this is pretty clearly, as the mom states, a case of gender-stereotyping and discrimination. Of course he should be allowed to wear make-up as long as girls are allowed to wear make-up according to the school's dress code. It doesn't matter if he's gay, straight, bi or trans, but it's obvious that the school is reacting to the stigma of homosexuality/transsexuality regardless of the kid's actually sexual or gender orientation.

I knew a few boys when I was a teenager in the 1990s who wore make-up to school (mostly eyeliner, mascara and nail polish) and no one ever cared. Maybe it was because this was on the heels of the heavy-makeup-80s, I don't know. Perhaps people are more likely to associate make-up on boys with homosexuality these days instead of just heavy metal or punk rock. Regardless, it's absurd, but kudos to the mother for being so cool and standing up for him.

By the way, have you seen the new film Ready? Ok! about a boy who wants to be a cheerleader at a Catholic school? For some reason this story reminded me of that a little. It's hilarious. It's been making the rounds of all the LGBTQ festivals this year.

That Kid O'er There said...

If they allow make up on the girls, they should allow it on the boys. If they don't allow it on the girls, well, they shouldn't allow it on the boys either, no matter what the gender identity and stuff. As simple as that. And to the first commenter on the article, well, damn dumb comment. Lol.

David said...

The purpose of cosmetics is to enhance your face regardless of gender.

It is important to look good, as that gives you self confidence.

If the boys peers do not have a problem, then what is the issue exactly?

I am male and wear makeup, but I left school a long while ago now.

I wonder if the principal wears makeup. If so, how outrageous!!!!!

Makeup Classes said...

Dress code should not strictly enforce restrictions on grounds of gender, sexuality, religion or personal preferences. Makeup is the matter of looking and feeling good.

Annmarie said...

I personally think that if he's not allowed to wear makeup than nobody in the school should be able to...its all or nothing... it is our obligation and right to express ourselves freely and as long as we're respectful of others they should be respectful to us. He has every right to wear makeup to not wear makeup, to wear a dress or dress like a "boy", because he's an individual and the school should support that and not try to stifle his creativity...

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