Beyond the Dress Code: An Exploration of Dress Code Policies and the Disproportionate Treatment of Black Girls at Midwest High School
Teen girl in a striped t-shirt and shorts reading a book
Mbalia, (2024)


Black girls
participatory action research
school discipline
girlhood studies
dress codes

How to Cite

“Beyond the Dress Code: An Exploration of Dress Code Policies and the Disproportionate Treatment of Black Girls at Midwest High School” (2024) Journal of African American Women and Girls in Education, 4(1), pp. 61–74. doi:10.21423/jaawge-v3i2a151.


Historically, Black females have been dehumanized by the policing, hyper-sexualization, and fetishizing of their bodies. This dismissal of their humanness is rooted in enslavement and is perpetuated in society at large, the media, and in schools today. As a result, the bodies of Black girls are under constant gaze and scrutiny. This directly connects to the policing of what they wear and results in them being disproportionately dress coded in their learning spaces. This paper, written in dialogue, shares the insight of two Black, female students, and fifteen other Black female students whom they interviewed at Midwest High School as it relates to the disproportionate treatment of Black girls at their school.

Mbalia, (2024)


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