Actress calls out sexism of high school dress codes in poignant videos: 'There's nothing more disheartening'

Morgan Greenwald

If you went to a high school with any sort of dress code, then you’ll relate to this viral TikTok series created by Nicole Ciravolo.

On July 18, the 22-year-old actress uploaded a video in which she plays a school secretary who “does not f*** around.”

In her first POV video, Ciravolo talks to a teenage girl who is sent to the office because her tank top is “distracting.”

Throughout the interaction, Ciravolo’s character expresses disbelief about the entire situation.

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“It’s a tank top. It’s 90 degrees outside. The only reason I’m not wearing a tank top is because it’s 45 degrees in this office,” her character says to the scared student.

“No, you will not be seeing the principal,” she continues. “I will actually be handling this. Don’t you worry.”

In her second video, Ciravolo’s character confronts the teacher about the incident and asks him why he would send a 16-year-old girl to the principal’s office “just because she was wearing a tank top.”

“Regardless of what she’s wearing or what she’s doing, that does not warrant you calling a student — no no no, not a young woman, an underage girl — a hooker in front of the entire classroom,” she says to the teacher on the phone. “You are her teacher. You are there to teach her, not humiliate her.”

In an interview with BuzzFeed, Ciravolo explained that she herself went to a private Christian school where her outfits were constantly policed.

“We had uniforms, yet girls were constantly being dress-coded for skirt length (or often in my case, not wearing a bra — even though that’s not in the dress code),” she said.

At her school, Ciravolo said that girls were often forced to wear spare skirts from the office or, if those skirts didn’t fit, were told to call their parents to get another one.

“It was ridiculous, especially considering it was often targeted at curvier girls like me whose bodies were inherently deemed more sexual,” Ciravolo explained.

“There’s nothing more disheartening than feeling sexualized by a male teacher and not having any female faculty defend you,” she continued. “So I wanted to create a character — sort of the wish-fulfillment hero I needed in high school — to show people how those experiences could have happened if they actually had someone in their corner.”

It seems like Ciravolo isn’t the only one who needed this badass secretary. In the comments, female TikTok users noted that the character made them “feel so safe” and offered “security.”

“I wishhh all the teachers/ secretaries were like this,” one person said.

“We need more real life situations like this,” another user added.

“That’s a freaking role model,” a third person commented.

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