Why You Should Never “Cover Up”

While getting her ID checked at Los Angeles International Airport, a 15-year-old was shamed by a TSA agent for her outfit. According to her father, Mark Frauenfelder, “the officer was ‘glaring’ at her and mumbling. She said, ‘Excuse me?’ and he said, ‘You’re only 15, COVER YOURSELF!’ in a hostile tone.”

She was wearing leggings, a tank top and a flannel button down. For the record, it doesn’t matter what she was wearing. She could have been wearing a see through dress and that comment still would have been so completely out of line. The officer’s comments were so wrong and inappropriate.

Fortunately, the TSA and LAX authorities are working with Mr. and Mrs. Frauenfelder and launching an investigation due to this horrendously bad behavior. A friend, Maureen Herman, wrote a response on Facebook, “‘Cover up’ is a dangerous cultural attitude that fuels more than rude comments. It’s the foundation of the oppression of women, rape culture (‘she was asking for it’), and the drive for reproductive control of women’s bodies.”


The agent said “cover up” in regards to this outfit. Really? Source: Boing Boing

I couldn’t agree more. No matter what a woman wears, it does not give anyone the right to harass her or tell her to put on more clothes. It is a terribly dangerous attitude and quite frankly, it’s really annoying.

This weekend, I wore one of those American Apparel bodysuits that has a mesh insert with some flowy pants. It’s not any more revealing than many of my v-neck shirts or low cut tops. And yet when I wore that out, people felt the need to comment. While walking down the street I had men shouting “BOOBIES!” at me like they were small children who just discovered the word “boobs” for the first time. I had girls who were with their boyfriends mumble rude remarks under their breath as I walked by.

And you know what? I wasn’t “asking for it.” I wore an outfit that I felt great in and that is no reason for anyone to harass me for it. I, like this 15-year-old girl, wore outfits that we wanted to wear. She apparently was not wearing enough while I, according to a lot of gross guys I walked by, should have taken more off.

I am so sick of this kind of behavior. What someone wears is their choice. I have never yelled at a stranger regarding their fashion choices except to ask where they got their outfit because I really liked what they had on. Why do people believe they have the right to tell someone what they should or should not be wearing?

It’s disgusting that now, in 2013, I can’t walk down the street in an outfit that I love without someone making a comment. Or that in 2013, a 15-year-old girl is harassed by a supposed professional for her outfit.

What you wear is YOUR business and not anyone else’s. You are not “asking for it” and you do not need to “cover up.”

So the next time you put on an outfit and worry that people will say something about it, don’t change. If you like it, you should wear it. Period, end of story, BYE.
Do you think your outfit means you’re “asking for it”? Has someone ever told you to cover up? Tell us in the comments!

Here are some responses to street harassment that I crafted

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  • Denise

    The only problem with other people’s outfits are when body parts start showing that the general public shouldn’t see. I don’t even care if your boobs hang out of our shirt! Only thing that gets me fired up is the booty shorts. Most of them are okay, but I’m telling you your shorts need to be longer than your vagina! Respect others at least that much! (Sorry if that was offensive to anyone, I didn’t mean it to come across that way.)

  • Madison

    This is really news/investigation worthy? If she’s so proud of her body, she wouldn’t care what a TSA office said. Drop it and move on, don’t you have bigger fish to fry?

  • Kayla

    I agree with you, somewhat. If a girl is wearing shorts where her actual ass is coming out of them… That’s when I feel you need to “cover up”. When body parts start showing. That 15 year-old was okay. She was fine. But when like your boob is literally hanging out of your dress or shirt, that’s when you need to show yourself a little self respect. You don’t want the whole town seeing your “special goods”. They shouldn’t be free! They should be for that special person and you only.

  • bikini girl

    I’m 16 and I LOVE showing off my body! I’m not a slut. I’m still a virgin (I’m not saying you’re a slut if you aren’t one). I don’t flirt with a lot of guys. I don’t even talk to many guys at all. But showing off some skin helps boost my self confidence and sometimes getting a little attention makes me feel more like a girl.

  • Gina

    I agree with Theresa. Show all you possible can in public and absolutely everything in private with those you like. If nature has been good to you the boys will be interested. Like Theresa I ALWAYS HAVE SEX AFTER A DATE and every boy knows I’m a sure thing so therefore I get asked out often so I have sex a lot. It is wonderful to be a liberated woman! I am eighteen and am so happy about my sex life. Theresa is only fifteen but already she has developed a healthy sexual routine.

  • Theresa

    I want you to know I am only fifteen years old and I am not ashamed in any way to have written “I dress appropriatly to impress boys. Nature was VERY GOOD to me and I dress to show my body in the most alluring way. I am a healthy normal girl and I like the way boys look at me and I reward them and myself with sex when I go out on dates. I ALWAYS get repeat dates!” As a matter of fact, I am proud of and happy with my sex life and it is because of the way I show nature’s best!

  • Theresa

    I dress appropriatly to impress boys. Nature was VERY GOOD to me and I dress to show my body in the most alluring way. I am a healthy normal girl and I like the way boys look at me and I reward them and myself with sex when I go out on dates. I ALWAYS get repeat dates!