How A 'Too-Short' Skirt Inspired A Leg-Baring Movement

05/20/2015 04:29 pm ET | Updated May 20, 2015

A new selfie trend is catching on -- and it has nothing to do with faces.

An unnamed law student in Algeria made headlines for being turned away from an exam because her skirt was considered too short, according to BuzzFeed. The dean of the University of Algier’s Faculty of Law, Mohamed Tahar Hadjar, stands by the security guard who denied the student entry, telling an Algerian outlet that the dress code "requires an appropriate outfit, both for boys and for girls." He also described the situation as a "trivial matter."

Within days, the Internet rallied in showing it was far from a "trivial matter." Sofia Djama, an Algerian woman living in Paris, started a Facebook group for people to protest by sharing photos of their bare legs. Translated from French, the name of the group is "My dignity is not in the length of my skirt." At press time, the group had racked up 12,000 likes since its first post on May 12.

In a status from May 15, Djama wrote about why the length of a woman's skirt has little to do with the values of a country. "The degree of a country's development is not in skirt length, but in the quality of three fundamental sectors: justice, health and education," she wrote. She also reminded readers that "it's not our skirts that you should obsess over," but rather the achievements in those sectors.

Others -- men and women -- began posting their leg selfies in solidarity:

les jambes de @hanifa rabhi qui s'en va entammer sa journée sereinement

Un compatriote courageux qui ne voit pas la femme comme un objet de tentation. Un homme qui se refuse d'être considérer tel un animal aux pulsions irrépressibles quand il voit les jambes d'une femme

Des pieds qui regardent des jambes fières

Later in the same post, Djama challenges the notion that turning women away for their skirt length does not amount to "discrimination," as the University of Algier's dean claimed. The treatment of women doesn't simply affect one group of people, she writes, but makes an impact on a much bigger scale.

"When you humiliate and commit violence against our women, you mistreat our society and, therefore, our country."

"J'aimerais que cette page devienne une veille sur ce que subissent les femmes au quotidien"Le corps de la femme ne...

All quotes have been translated.

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