Parent fury after school replaced mirrors in girls' loos with posters

Parent fury after secondary school replaced mirrors in girls’ toilets with posters calling makeup a ‘harmful drug’ which makes women ‘feel ugly without it’

Angry parents have slammed a secondary school for replacing mirrors in the girls’ toilets with posters branding makeup a ‘harmful drug’ which makes women feel ‘ugly’.

The ‘motivational’ messages about inner beauty are plastered on the walls of the bathrooms at Christopher Whitehead Language College in Worcester.

They warn girls that using cosmetics can trigger them into feeling ‘ugly’ and compare using makeup to drug addiction.

One reads: ‘If all girls started wearing no make-up and comfortable clothes, guys would have no choice but to fall for girls because of natural beauty..’ While another says: ‘Dear girls, Make-up is a harmful drug. Once you start using it, you’ll feel ugly without it.’ Another states: ‘Beauty is nothing without brains’.

An angry parent said: ”Is the school really telling girls that putting lipstick on is as bad as injecting heroin or taking crack cocaine? Yes girls need to be taught about inner beauty but this approach is plain wrong.’ 

A picture shared online shows mirrors in a bathroom at Christopher Whitehead Language College have been replaced with ‘motivational’ posters

Male students at the 1,500-pupil school have also complained after the mirrors and an external door were removed from the boys’ loos.

The school clearly wants to use positive language about beauty and intelligence, but parents say the posters are ‘patronising and degrading’ and have demanded they are removed immediately.

One father with a child at the school, who did not want to be named, said: ‘The school has removed all mirrors from the toilets (including the boys), however in the girls’ toilets they’ve covered the wall in place of the mirror with ‘inspirational quotes’, however they are far from that.

‘The quotes are degrading. This is not the message we want to be sending to extremely impressionable girls as young as 11.

‘In the boys’ toilets, they’ve blocked off some urinals only leaving two available, as well as removing the door of the toilet completely leaving anyone to be able to look in.’

Another parent of a pupil at the school said: ‘It was badly thought out and implemented.

‘They should be promoting individuality.’

Another parent said: ‘Far from motivating the girls, these messages are patronising and victim-blaming girls who do want to wear makeup.

‘Parents were not consulted about this change. Surely it’s our job to teach these values to our children rather than have this propaganda literally shoved in their faces every time they use the toilet.

‘Why are these posters only in the girls’ toilets and not in the boys’ toilets too?’

The school wants to have positive messages for students that promote inner beauty and intelligence

One person commenting on Facebook said the posters are ‘shaming girls’, not praising them.

They said: ‘How is telling girls they’re going to feel ugly anything but negative, when they see their mothers, sisters and grandmothers wearing make-up?’

Other commenters pointed out that many people – women and men – wear makeup as a confidence boost.

Another wrote: ‘It’s a disgusting comparison and one which breeds sexism and misogyny. Yes girls need to be taught about inner beauty but this approach is plain wrong.’

But a couple of people said they approved of the posters, with one adding: ‘Corporate brainwashing of girls’ body shape starts much younger than Year 7, and anything that reduces that has to be applauded.’

The school, an academy which teaches children aged 11-19, was rated ‘good’ by Ofsted at its last inspection in 2018.

Last month headteacher Neil Morris spoke out about funding cuts and revealed the school employs three counsellors to help pupils and staff cope with their mental health.

He also said British schools were ‘broken’ and said hungry pupils were resorting to stealing food and turning up to class without shoes or coats.

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