Although widely praised, dress code in public middle and high schools can ruin young girls' self esteem and confidence. It diminishes creativity and causes girls to retreat to some not as comfortable or stylish clothing. The cause of this? Their first options were deemed "distracting" or "inappropriate" for school. If our male classmates cannot handle seeing something as innocent as a shoulder or a bra strap, than maybe they should be the ones being told to "act mature in the learning environment". Boys are able to be mature, so why can't the administration be mature and believe that we can handle this type of freedom?
As a feminist, I believe that women should be treated equally and exactly the same as men, no other ludacris and naive rules just because of our differences. Boys do not have as much of a struggle, because although they do wear longer shorts, they still cannot wear tank tops.
Another reason is weather. In Texas, it gets up to 100 degrees in August, and apparently we are expected to not wear shorts? That's insane and completely appalling. So then, after we go through all of the trouble to buy clothes that fit the dress code (which isn't cheap) it's already winter. By the time we can actually wear the clothes and it is decent outside, they don't even fit! That's completely and utterly berserk!
Imagine walking down a hallway wearing your favorite outfit. Does it fit dress code? Now imagine being taken by a teacher to talk to your principal, and being overly embarrassed because you feel as though your body is being put under a microscope and examined because you wore shorts. This impacts girls' body images and confidence, and sometimes makes them feel that they are being discriminated upon based on their height weight, or looks.
Some people may say that dress code creates order and causes many people not to be distracted by clothing, and I can see that side, so I looked into a few stories about the topic, one said: "Some people support the idea of dress codes. School officials say that dress codes often improve discipline and lessen teasing and bullying. Students focus on schoolwork instead of fashion." says one parent interviewed by Scholastic on the topic. I also believe that students will be more focused if they are not stressing over whether or not what they are wearing is dress code, and if they are comfortable in their own clothes!
I think that no matter what, America is a free country , and the first amendment states that everyone has the right to freedom of speech and expression. I believe that this applies to everything, including clothing, fashion, and the ability to speak up about this issue that many people put off as "frivolous". And no matter how old, or how young, read this to your teacher, mom, school principal, or even the school board. You can have a voice and you can speak up, because no one got anywhere by wearing leggings in the spring!
"Why Dress Code Is Ruining Girls." The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, n.d. Web. 09 Feb. 2017.
"The Right Fit: Should Public Schools Have Dress Codes?" N.p., n.d. Web.
"Girls Fight Back Against Gender Bias in School Dress Codes." NEA Today. N.p., 01 Sept. 2016. Web. 09 Feb. 2017.