Are you stressed about finding outfits that follow dress code on scorching hot days or about buying a shirt that expresses yourself, but doesn’t follow the dress code? You are not alone. In fact, a girl from Opelika, Alabama was turned away from her first homecoming dance for a dress that barely hit above the knee.
The dress code was originally just to determine rank or wealth back in the eighteen-hundreds but is so much more complex now. “Strict dress codes affect 57% of public schools in America,” according to USA Today. All in all, dress codes target females, limit individuality, and create stress for people looking for “dress code appropriate” clothing,
To start off, imagine being at school with the torrid heat of the afternoon and not being able to wear a tank top or shorts because they do not follow your school’s dress code. Does that sound like a very enjoyable day to you?
Now some may ask why does dress code prevent students from wearing tank tops and shorts. Well, most dress codes claim that tank tops show too much shoulder or shorts that are too short can be provocative. But there should be nothing wrong with showing your shoulders and as long as your shorts are not super short nothing should be wrong with showing your legs.
For the people that disagree, it needs to be acknowledged that to just find shorts that are longer and tank tops that are wide-strapped is next to impossible. Go to a local clothing store and try to five pairs of shorts that have at least a four inches inseam or five wide-strapped tank tops to get you through the week.
Today, a news show, researched and found that most people think, “Dress code is particularly stressful.” This shows that dress codes can add hours to a shopping spree, only to find one or two dress code approved outfits for hot days. Neither parents nor kids want to frantically try to find shorts or tank tops appropriate for school when there are probably only one or two things available. And this chaos is completely unnecessary.
Dress code is way too confusing to shop for and the confusion creates stress. In fact, USA Today also found that 94% of people think a dress code is too confusing. The evidence of the overly complicated dress code really puts it into perspective that since there are so many people confused, dress codes need to be changed.
Maybe more importantly, dress codes not only create a lot of stress but target females. Many girls will agree that dress code will particularly target them. According to the OC Register, “25 girls at Vista Murrieta High School in Murrieta that were pulled from class because they were told their dresses were too short. Even though in reality their dresses were not too short.” Girls are being pulled out of class and miss education time.
By pulling girls out of class to change or go home because their clothing is distracting boys is also stating that boys education is more important than girls. Dress code administrators or supporters might claim that guys do not wear clothes that show too much skin unlike girls, but some guys wear tank tops that cut very low or tank tops with very thin straps and nothing is said to them.
Also, according to the OC Register, “Daniel Castle, a student at Long Beach City College believes that…if one gender has to follow strict guidelines, the other should follow them as well. It’s only fair.” In this quote, Daniel uses the word “fair” in his opinion and even though not everything is fair, administrators can make this fair for both genders. Also, Daniel brings it into perspective that not only girls think a dress code is unfair, some boys do, too.
In addition to dress code creating stress and targeting females, dress code also limits students’ individuality. Cato Institute explains that “School officials denied student Pete Palmer the right to wear a shirt supporting John Edwards’s presidential campaign.” This evidence further explains that students are having their individuality and expression taken from them. Pete Palmer just wanted to express himself by wearing a shirt, but instead got grief and a dress code.
CNN discovered that “An Omaha, Nebraska, sixth-grader was told she could not wear a necklace with a cross to school because the rosary has become an identifying symbol for gangs…” That shows that even a sixth grader will be dress coded just for wearing something that relates to her religion. If someone wants to wear something that expresses their religion they should be able to. Students should be able to have individual personalities, whether it is about religion or political beliefs.
In summary, a dress code is very unfair in many different ways. Dress code creates stress, targets females, and takes away individuality. Dress code is important to discuss because every day students are dress coded for very unfair reasons like wearing a rosary and that is not ethical. Students should be able to wear what they would like, even if the staff doesn’t necessarily agree with it. Nobody should ever feel targeted or stressed because of dress code. School creates stress to finish assignments, but why should it also make you stressed to find dress code abiding clothes? Enough is enough and if anything is ever going to change, students need to start standing up for themselves respectfully and demanding that change.