Run With Me

Imagine

 

credit: Tucker Sherman
credit: Tucker Sherman

It’s a beautiful day. You went to bed late, because homework piled high on your desk and spilled onto the white shaggy rug your mom bought you for your birthday. Your alarm rang loud, “All About the Bass” shook you awake and you dashed to the shower.

You worried about the pimple you could feel emerging on your chin and wondered if it would be gone before the dance on Friday. You remembered you had to print out a paper before leaving for school, so you did a quick dry on your hair and pulled it into a high bun.

You yanked on a pair of yoga pants you’d worn last night after a strength training session at school. Your coach was putting all the girls through the wringer this year and you thought maybe you’d quit, but then, you kinda liked the way your arms were looking, so maybe Coach wasn’t a total moron.

In the kitchen, you crammed some Lucky Charms into your face while opening the document you wanted to print. Your mom reminded you that you had to pick up your brother from school, which was both totally stupid and kind of cool that she trusted you with that, but you weren’t going to tell her that. You rolled your eyes at her and dashed for the printer.

While the paper printed, and of course, your mom hadn’t replenished the ink cartridge, your paper was now printing with blue ink instead of black, you hollered at her and pulled on your Nikes, thinking what a happy coincidence that they happened to match the t shirt you grabbed.

You grabbed your laden backpack, straining at its poor seams with the burden of AP Calc and AP Language and AP History. Kiss Mom on the cheek, holler at Dad to have a good day, tousle brother’s hair and dash to school.

First hour, you dump your gear and get to work. You turn in your desk to talk to your friends. The homework was hard, it was easy, it was stupid, someone didn’t do it. The same. Boys and girls chatter and hem and haw. They reluctantly take their seats and the teacher begins to talk.

You like this class. You like all of your classes. You like your school, and your teachers and classmates. You do well. You work hard. You have fun.

Third hour, you are summoned to the office. Your clothes are a distraction. You have to either change or leave the building. You have nothing else to wear, so you call Mom, who stammers on the other end of the phone. She doesn’t understand.

One of the teachers decided your clothes were inappropriate. They say the boys can’t concentrate. They say you’re taking them away from their schoolwork, so you have to leave, taking you away from your school work. They say those pants show your body.

Your body. The one that keeps you alive, the one you use to win games for them, the one you challenge in the gym, the one that holds the brain that does the advanced work you do. The way you look makes work too hard for the boys.

Your cheeks burn bright red. You are embarrassed. A group of men in authority are telling you that you can’t stay at school dressed LIKE THAT. You want to pull your shirt over your head and disappear. You want to hide your curves. What you had felt so great about just hours ago is now dirty and awful and something to hide.

Your choices are limited. If you want to dress like that you can’t come to school. If you want to learn, you must conceal and cover and cower. What kind of message do you want to send? Is that the kind of girl you want to be?

***

Don’t be ashamed of your strength. Don’t be ashamed of the body He gave you.

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