Angry parents criticized a high school for replacing mirrors in girls’ bathrooms with signs calling makeup a “harmful drug” that makes women feel “ugly.”
‘Motivational’ messages about inner beauty are plastered on the walls of the bathrooms at Christopher Whitehead Language College in Worcester.
They warn girls that the use of cosmetics can make them feel ‘ugly’ and compare the use of make-up to drug addiction.
One says, ‘If all girls started wearing comfortable clothes and no makeup, guys would have no choice but to fall in love with girls because of their natural beauty…’ While another says, ‘Dear girls, makeup is a harmful drug. Once you start using it, you will feel ugly without it. Another states: ‘Beauty is nothing without brains.’
One angry parent said: ‘Is the school really telling girls that putting on lipstick is as bad as shooting heroin or taking crack? Yes, girls need to be taught about inner beauty, but this approach is just plain wrong.
Today, the principal, Neil Morris, admitted that the decision to place the “anti-makeup” signs in the girls’ bathroom was a mistake, as he tried to quell protests by parents and their students.
An image shared online shows that mirrors in a bathroom at Christopher Whitehead Language College have been replaced with “motivational” posters.
He said: ‘The mirrors were temporarily removed after a period of misuse in which the toilets became a congregational social area with older students blocking the way to the toilets, as they socialised, often late for lessons.
‘The English department had used this as an opportunity to provide argumentative discursive letter writing.
‘They put up some provocative posters in a bathroom area in their hallway before the lesson.
“This has produced some frantic and powerful writing and debate.
“In hindsight, the posters should have been placed in their classroom area, not in a bathroom.”
Morris also said the doors to the restrooms had been removed to allow teachers to see the laundry areas.
He added: ‘The school is a large site with seven buildings and nine student toilet areas.
“We don’t have an exterior door in eight of the restroom areas, which allows staff to see the sinks, not the cubicles.
‘We have removed the ninth exterior door from the boys’ bathroom area.’
Male students at the 1,500-student school have also complained after mirrors and an exterior door from the boys’ toilets were removed.
The school wants to have positive messages for students that promote inner beauty and intelligence
The school clearly wants to use positive language about beauty and intelligence, but parents say the posters are “condescending and demeaning” and have demanded they be removed immediately.
A parent with a child at school, who did not want to be named, said: “The school has removed all mirrors from the bathrooms (including the boys), however in the girls’ bathrooms they have covered the wall instead of the mirror with ‘inspirational quotes’ however they are far from that.
Quotation marks are demeaning. This is not the message we want to send to extremely impressionable girls as young as 11.
“In the children’s bathrooms they have clogged some urinals, leaving only two available, in addition to removing the bathroom door completely, leaving no one to look in.”
Another parent of a student at the school said: ‘It was poorly thought out and implemented.
“They should promote individuality.”
Another parent said: “Far from motivating girls, these messages are patronizing and blame the girls who do want to wear makeup.”
Parents were not consulted about this change. Surely it is our job to teach these values to our children instead of having this propaganda literally shove them in their faces every time they use the bathroom.
‘Why are these signs only in the girls’ restrooms and not in the boys’ restrooms, too?’
One person who commented on Facebook said the posters “shame the girls”, not praise them.
They said: ‘How is telling girls that they are going to feel ugly anything but negative, when they see their mothers, sisters and grandmothers made up?’
Other commenters pointed out that many people, women and men, wear makeup to boost their confidence.
Another wrote: ‘This is a disgusting comparison that breeds sexism and misogyny. Yes, girls need to be taught about inner beauty, but this approach is just plain wrong.
But a couple of people said they approved of the posters, with one adding: “The corporate brainwashing of girls’ body shapes starts well before year 7, and anything that curtails that should be applauded.”
The school, an academy that teaches children aged 11 to 19, was rated “good” by Ofsted in its last inspection in 2018.
Last month, the principal, Mr. Morris, spoke about the funding cuts, revealing that the school employs three counselors to help students and staff deal with their mental health.
He also said Britain’s schools were “broken” with starving pupils resorting to stealing food and coming to class without shoes or coats.