What’s Problematic About School Dresscodes?


It makes sense doesn’t it. For there to be something for children to wear, when they are incapable of choosing something that looks half decent and appropriate themselves. Even if that fails, and they somehow manage to make their outfit, or rather “uniform”, look inappropriate; then at least restrictions can be put on what they wear. You know, dress codes and the liking. But hang on a minute, because often children are left confused, not understanding the reasons behind why they have been told to wear a uniform. Therefore they certainly won’t understand any additional measures behind the dress codes. Not to mention the fact that often purchasing a school uniform isn’t exactly something that man y parents look forward to, where it can often take a large toll on their wallets. Therefore why is it that children are expected to wear school uniforms?

They Help you Learn

I know this contradicts my last paragraph, but the most obvious reason many think of in favor of school uniforms, is that they help students learn better. Yes, instead of being distracted by their surroundings, it does enable children to actually get on with their work! While they are adhering to an environment the same way to which one would be expected to dress in the workplace. In fact, 68% of parents participating in a program agreed, saying their children experienced a general increase in their academic performance, as a result of school uniform and the reason for this is thought to be mainly because they encourage students to “concentrate more on their studies and less on their wardrobe.” Now this perfectly makes sense when you think that children are really too young to know what is appropriate concerning choice of clothing, therefore a school uniform at least should put an end to the extensive period of time children would otherwise be choosing to focus on their appearance for.

“But What About school dresscodes?”

However strict the school uniform policy may be, there are always going to be ways in which students are able to get around the degree to which it aims to make people indistinguishable from one another, and instead choose to alter something else, in order for them to be able to express themselves. Thinking about it this way, there will inevitably need to be guidelines around aspects like hair styles, makeup and you know the guise, and also probably around how the uniform itself is worn. Come on, you know what I mean; skirt lengths and the like! And because children aren’t going to know what is appropriate and what isn’t concerning these things, it is only right that the schools use dress codes in order to show the children what is right and what is wrong, so that as adults they are able to choose the right clothing for the right occasion.

Running Wild

This said, if children are not able to even begin thinking for themselves at school age, then in reality, how good are they going to be at knowing what to wear and what not to wear as adults? Instead, if people have to begin thinking about the way that they dress from a young age, then surely as adults they are more likely to have the ability to dress for different occasions and dress according to their workplace. Because at the end of the day, school should be the place for learning, and if the outcome (and in this case the appearance of the students) even if it is cringy some of the time!

Furthermore, believe it or not, children do have a voice, and a good way for them to express themselves would be through clothing. An example of where this has been prevented, is when a girl was told not to wear a shirt with a pro LGBT+ message on it, supposedly as it may provoke other students to make her a target. And while this may seem petty, clothes actually play a rather significant role in a child’s life, when children lack control over most elements. Therefore, for many children, their choice of outfit may be rather significant.

Reduce Inequalities

When I was younger and was wondering what the point of a school uniform was, I was rather convinced when someone pointed out that they rreduce the chances of less well off students being teased, as a result of them making do with cheaper and a more limited range of clothing in comparison to their ffellow students ffrom wealthier families. You would also think that a uniform would take a significant toll off the worries of parents, considering that they only have one outfit to concern themselves with, rather than a large number. However, from ecperience, I know this most certainly isn’t always going to be the case. I would imagaine my old uniform, includingg the unnecessary items puirchsed in the “PE kit”, would now come to over £140, or something. This way, in reality it is probably cheeaper for many parents to simply buy “normal” clothes for the children!

Sexism

No one would want to be worried that something could happen to their daughter when they are on their way to or back from school. However, unfortunately in the messed up world wee are living in, this happens to be the case. Therefore, it could be argued that it is down to the school to make sure that the girls are going to be safe. In other words, it makes sense that schools are able to control the degree to which girls are allowed to show their bodies. Yet looking further into this, not only is it useless in that tragically girls can experience sexual assault regardless of what they are wearing, but it reinforces the view of women being as sexual objects. That’s because it suggests to girls that they should alter their choice of outfit, because boys are unable to control themselves. Further, it will soon become apparent to boys that this is the case, instead of teaching them to actually respect women! The long term impact of this is detrimental. Meanwhile, within the school environment, it means that girls are likely to be sent home in order to “fix” what they are wearing, far more often than boys, which subsequently disrupts the child’s education. Then, if you don’t think tat all off this is bad enough, I am going to finish this paragraph off with a dreadful example. Where there was a case where a high school in the USA told students not to wear leggings unless they were a size 0 or a 2 (so a size 4-6 in the UK). And while this may be an extreme example, it illustrates the extent to which teenage girls are sexualised within a school environment. Meanwhile at least in my view, discrimination on the basis off size (it’s ok not to be petite girls), is totally unacceptable. Additionally, it most certainly isn’t uncommon for girls to be

At least from my point of view, it is probably true in the case off school unifomrs and certainly true in the case of dresscodes, thatt they are not fulfilling their purpouses inn enabling people to learn. This is due to them being a reflection of some of the ills of the world we are living in. Instead, if schools choose to embrace school unirorms and/or dresscodes ffor the beneffits they provvide, they should do so while aiming to tackle some of the problems which we have att hand, so that some off the ugly “norms” relating to outffits in the UK can be challenged in the long run.

19 School Dress Code Pros and Cons – ConnectUS (connectusfund.org)

The Good and Bad of School Dress Codes – The Good Men Project

Sexist Dress Codes in Schools Are the Real ‘Distraction’ (bluenationreview.com)

Here’s What’s Wrong With High School Dress Codes (grownandflown.com)

Arguments Against School Dress Codes | LoveToKnow

Published by victoriarose002

Hiya, I am an 18 year old blogger from the UK. I generally post about topics surrounding social, cultural and political commentary although I also aim to write some personal posts too... I am currently studying A levels, and as well as writing I like music, complaining and going to cool places. I encourage any comments, constructive criticism or any blog post suggestions. While don't hesitate to contact me at vickyyrose.02@gmail.com for anything blog related :)

6 thoughts on “What’s Problematic About School Dresscodes?

  1. 💜 As Ever, Brilliant SupaSoulSis; it Reminded Me of three girls at senior school in particular, many moons ago; in order of occurrence:

    1 Being offered 5 Quid to Snog
    2 Asked for Money to Flash Knickers
    3 A friend in “School Uniform” colours being sent home to change after arriving at school in a two-tone mini skirt that corresponded perfectly with the colours of “The School Uniform”

    …le sigh; change is slow if it happens at ALL EveryOne…

    …💛💚💙…

    Like

  2. I think the fact that the Catholic schoolgirl look has been hypersexualized would suggest that uniforms alone aren’t enough to counter bigger issues around how female bodies are viewed.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. In my Catholic school (in India) we had skirts till we were 10 years old and thereafter, our uniform was kurta-pyjama (our traditional attire) to avoid the “male gaze”. That definitely didn’t stop men from leering or being creepy and totally defeated the purpose of it.
    I don’t mind a uniform but there should be options provided for kids to pick what they are most comfortable in wearing. Why is it a norm for girls to wear skirts? What if a girl wants to wear pants?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely agree, and it doesn’t surprise me that what you had to wear was useless in preventing the male gaze when women are sadly harassed and assaulted regardless of their choice of clothing.

      Like

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