Dress-codes in Schools

Finley Rissanen

Dress codes were invented in the late 60s by the Supreme Court. It was created for the safety and image of students in school. However, the standards weren’t fair. Girls were given far more restrictions than boys, getting told to cover almost everything. Young girls getting sexualized by their professors, being told they were distracting. 

  Dress codes not only restrict clothing but sometimes even going to hair and jewelry. If a girl’s hair were too long, she would be asked to tie it up. In some places, a specific haircut was required for all the girls, giving them the same small cut and look. The boys were a target for their hair, as well. Unclean, not neat enough; those were items listed for the boys. People were their beautiful natural hair told to clean it up for having curls or simply small tangles. 

  As the dress code still targets women as the main part. Rules in school were made to prohibit so-called revealing body parts, such as midriffs, cleavage, shoulders, backs, and much more. Coming from experience, I was often told my short was too skirt, even going midway down to my thigh. The dress, or any shorts in general, had to be fingertip length-reaching almost to my knees. But this didn’t apply to the boys. The teachers I knew weren’t looking at what the boys were wearing. We had an eighth-grade celebration at the end of the year, and being a small private Christian school, we went to a lake. A very demanding and clear email was sent out the Monday before we left; It stated that the girls were not to wear any bikinis. I was told we had to wear a one-piece covering our back and rear. There was not one thing for the guys listed, just a firm email on the dresscode for the girls. We had arrived, and all the girls had followed the rules. However, all of the guys were wearing swim trunks and no tops. They could have their whole chest showing and any other part, but we were told to cover up for being distracting. 

  Women are often blamed because men cannot focus in class, sexualizing our clothing and what we do. More factors also play into it; being a bigger person, you will most likely be a target for being distracting. Curves and skin are standard, and an older man or woman coming up to a small girl and telling her to change to wearing tight or short clothing is not okay. Tall people have a more challenging time with the skirts/shorts rules. Longer legs and longer fingers make it hard to find any shorts that will fit the rules of what their school tells them. 

  Clothing is a way to express yourself; people use it to escape their problems. Fashion designers love designing and using bright colors to create. Being told they can’t wear it makes it harder for people who can’t afford it. 

  Suggestions of a uniform pop up after complaints from many, but is a uniform that much of a better option? Some have had to wear the same thing from kindergarten to Highschool. Women are still being targeted to wear the assigned skirts. Protests from all sorts of schools are happening to try and stop what is still happening with dress codes and sexualizing. Dress codes are ruining images of women and need to be banned in school.