Now make-up row school bans girls from wearing coloured bras under white shirts

The Mirror is reporting that a secondary school which was just in the news over a make-up ban has waded into another hot topic -coloured bras.

The Barlow RC High School in Didsbury, Manchester is now banning girls from wearing coloured bras under white shirts because it DISTRACTS the boys in their classes.

Holly Hopkins, a 15-year-old student at the school, claimed teachers are patrolling the corridors armed with wet wipes ordering pupils to remove all traces of cosmetics…

And another pupil – and a student’s mother – have come forward claiming teachers have told youngsters they can’t wear coloured bras under their white school shirts because of fears boys are being ‘distracted’…

Kerry Axon, commenting on the make-up row on Facebook, said: “My daughter goes here. Came home today saying that girls are no longer allowed to wear tight pants, tight skirts or coloured bras because it’s distracting for the boys and if they do they will be sent home.”

Headteacher Claire McCarron said: “…All pupils and parents are made fully aware of the rules we live by here in school when they first join us, and sign up to a commitment to abide by them…”

More at Make-up row school bans girls from wearing coloured bras under white shirts – as it ‘distracts’ boys


The Mirror seems to be picking this up from social media and we don’t know if the school has actually given the reason of boys being distracted.

Is this just a case of students pushing at boundaries or might they have a point – do schools have any place in saying what kind of underwear pupils should or shouldn’t wear?

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Categories: Secondary.


  1. ms_peaceweaver

    tombennett71 especially if they have used the ‘it distracts the boys’ reason which always fills me with Rage

  2. tombennett71

    ms_peaceweaver No, schools need to be desexualised spaces. Appearance should be smart, not suggestive- boys AND girls.

  3. ms_peaceweaver

    tombennett71 but there are rarely comparable policies targeting boys for sexual aspects of how they dress

  4. ms_peaceweaver

    tombennett71 frankly teenagers will sexualise ANYTHING. If there’s an issue, much better to suggest a white cami underneath if at all

  5. tombennett71

    ms_peaceweaver Not so- lots of prohibitions on boys. Also- does this tell us how much standard fem fashion is sexualised by society?

  6. ms_peaceweaver

    suzyg001 tombennett71 any school with dress codes for teachers gets a thumbs down from me – how insulting to them as professionals

  7. ms_peaceweaver

    tombennett71 they’re going to have to learn to treat women as human beings regardless of what they’re wearing *someday*

  8. suzyg001

    ms_peaceweaver tombennett71 Not saying there should be a dress code. How would you address short skirts and cleavages?

  9. tw1tter123

    tombennett71 School could (maybe did) stick to what’s appropriate not blame it on the boys’ alleged inability to work in same room as bra

  10. SDPenny1

    ms_peaceweaver tombennett71 Teenage boys should not look at Girl’s chests? Get tombennett71 to ban it. That’l work!

  11. suzyg001

    tombennett71 ms_peaceweaver When I did my ITT, many women teachers were expected to wear skirts. Challenging for early years.

  12. iQuirky_Teacher

    tombennett71 Agreed. Sometimes, you get women entering the workplace thinking that coloured bras are ok, not realising the faux pas.

  13. Trivium21c

    ms_peaceweaver suzyg001 tombennett71 top table, formal lunches, assemblies, west wing walks along corridors…

  14. iQuirky_Teacher

    greg_ashman tombennett71 I prefer to dress ‘plain’ because I want to be valued for what I say, do and believe.

  15. iQuirky_Teacher

    greg_ashman tombennett71 Many young women feel they have to dress slutty and strict school uniform liberates them from this obligation.

  16. iQuirky_Teacher

    Smithre5 greg_ashman tombennett71 Greg makes a good point. If a man walked around with his gut hanging out his shirt, I’d be distracted.

  17. indigojo_uk

    tombennett71 LeeDonaghy and the whole point of ‘underwear’ is that it’s under your clothes and you can’t see it.

  18. MiniDiscsReturn

    ms_peaceweaver tombennett71
    AFAICT, the school hasn’t cited the ‘distracting boys’ reason. That has come from a parent’s Facebook post.

  19. MiniDiscsReturn

    tombennett71 Love the hyperbole:
    “patrolling the corridors armed with wet wipes ordering pupils to remove all traces of cosmetics.”

  20. suzyg001

    MiniDiscsReturn tombennett71 ms_peaceweaver 1970s. Cultural expectation, not formal rule. I wore culottes. 😉

  21. ms_peaceweaver

    suzyg001 MiniDiscsReturn tombennett71 my mum was expected to wear skirts as primary deputy – was always terrified on her period

  22. MiniDiscsReturn

    ms_peaceweaver suzyg001 tombennett71 I thought it had to be at least the 70s. Thankfully times have changed.

  23. shelleyhepher

    melanie_jacob SchoolsImprove this wasn’t school statement but claim from student in Daily Mirror. School statement was very different!!!!!

  24. talesfromaspace

    SchoolsImprove … and where have we heard that line of argument before? They’re hormonal boys they’ll be distracted whatever!

  25. thiskidsthinkin

    To be honest, the only colour you can wear under a white blouse that isn’t seen is a flesh coloured bra, or a vest over the bra. Would be interesting to see what the actual rules are for the school.

  26. Dai_James1942

    SchoolsImprove Educating boys & girls together thro puberty is perfectly OK according to Plato, but Aristotle says there may be some issues

  27. thiskidsthinkin Nothing in rules re underwear on Barlow’s list.  It appears from website pics that pupils normally wear blazers (although they could have been asked to put on their blazers for the photos, of course).

  28. thiskidsthinkin

    Janet2 thiskidsthinkin I read that too. Teenage girls could wear a bin bag and boys would still be distracted simply because they are girls! Hormones do strange things to teenagers of both sex! We all went through it and came out the other side.If they are worried about bras being seen, they should change colour of blouse or switch to polo shirts.

  29. Catriona_O

    SchoolsImprove have I just wakened up in 1950?it’s saying boys not responsible 4their actions. Like Koln & no go zones 4 girls. Shocking.

  30. MalcolmWilson01

    MatthewOldridge Sue_Cowley I had this debate at home. Wife and daughter: “Girls shouldn’t display themselves because it’s a distraction.”

  31. MalcolmWilson01

    MatthewOldridge Sue_Cowley Me: *opens and closes mouth, goes to say something, thinks, goes to say something, shakes head and walks away*

  32. MatthewOldridge

    MalcolmWilson01 Sue_Cowley having two boys has really made me think about all the subtle (and not subtle) gender stereotypes about males.

  33. boospurgeon

    SchoolsImprove more girl shaming. Not sure boys pay that much attn tbh. Convos to be had about gender, equality n respect methinks.

  34. boospurgeon

    SchoolsImprove I can c a great protest here. Boys n girls at the sch cd wear coloured bras outside their clothes to protest shaming of grls

  35. MalcolmWilson01

    MatthewOldridge Sue_Cowley For either gender, does “show some self control” take precedent over “it’s just hormonal”? Am I getting old?

  36. AynieLR

    SchoolsImprove whatever next…please don’t answer that! Girls-wear just what you want! The problem isn’t yours.

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