high school principal and her ~opinion~ about leggings is almost guaranteed to make you hurl. Heather Taylor, the principal at Stratford High School in South Carolina, was recently caught on tape saying that girls who are bigger than a size 0 or 2 “look fat” in leggings, adding the caveat, “even though you are not fat.” (Gee, thanks.)
“[Leggings are] meant to wear underneath a long shirt that covers your heiny, or a long sweater of some type, or a dress. It is not meant to be your actual pants, and if you have a shirt that comes to here, then you are showing everything. Yes, everything. 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 0 or a 2, and you wear something like that, even though you are not fat, you look fat.”
Unsurprisingly, many people who heard about Taylor’s comments were not happy and, according to ABC 4, the school’s Facebook page was flooded with complaints (though they’ve since been removed). Parents and students alike reportedly wrote on Facebook that the principal’s comments came off as fat-shaming and body-shaming — not ideal (to say the least) when you’re speaking to a group of teenage girls whose bodies are changing every day.
Taylor, for her part, says she has since spoken to each class at the school and feels she was able to communicate her intentions, making peace with students. She said in a statement,
“Yesterday and this morning, I met with each class of the Stratford High School student body. I addressed a comment made during a 10th grade assembly and shared from my heart that my intention was not to hurt or offend any of my students in any way. I assured them all that I am one of their biggest fans and invested in their success. After speaking with our students and receiving their support, I am confident that, together, we are ready to move forward and have a wonderful year. Stratford High is a very caring community, and I want to thank all of our parents and students who have offered their support to me and provided me with an opportunity to directly address their concern. I am very proud to be a Stratford Knight.”
ABC 4 reported that some Stratford High alumnae commented on Facebook in support of Taylor, calling her “always fair and level-headed,” and saying Taylor “always treated me with respect and fairness.” Their comments suggested that Taylor’s quip about leggings was being blown out of proportion, and that she was being subjected to an unfair witch hunt.
The thing is, it’s never okay to body-shame anyone, particularly teenage girls. So we’re just hoping the principal’s comments haven’t done any permanent damage to the students’ confidence, and that she really apologized for her offensive remarks.