Facts and opinions on the dress code

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by Hailey Zheng

For some, dress code is nothing but a nullity. For others, it is a daily struggle to fit the strict guidelines. Many people believe that it is easy to stay within the dress code, but lots of kids have to wear too small hand-me-downs or they prefer to wear clothing that defies the dress code. Although some have no preference and choose to follow the dress code, everyone should be able to feel comfortable wearing what they want to express themselves.

Most of the dress code rules are ridiculous. Almost all of the rules are targeted towards girls, and this results in girls feeling ashamed of their bodies at a very young age. Many girls are just transitioning into wearing bras. There is a rule against spaghetti straps, so girls need to hide their bra straps although they are necessary. Teaching girls that bras are unacceptable and “should not be seen” in society makes girls embarrassed to wear them and creates self-consciousness. The restriction for girls being not able to wear shirts with low necklines is sexist because if a boy is wearing a shirt with a low neckline, he is ignored; but when a girl is wearing a top with a low neckline, she is considered to be wearing inappropriate clothing or showing things that “should be covered.”

These rules are in place to prevent distractions, but if somebody has an issue with another person’s outfit, then that is their problem. We shouldn’t send students home because of a “revealing” outfit. Schools shouldn’t value one person’s opinion over another’s education.

The shirts they put on dress code “violators” could be considered more distracting than the clothes they are attempting to cover up because they are often too big and blocky for the person. Oversized clothing is actually against the dress code, but the administrators seem to ignore that and focus on covering as much skin as possible.

Schools do not need to put rules in place regarding spaghetti straps because nobody is going to see someone’s shoulder and get distracted. In hot weather, which Santa Barbara is very familiar with, many girls and boys would like to wear tank tops; and most tank tops that can be found are spaghetti straps. Often times tank tops that follow the dress code (straps must be at least three fingers thick) and restricting and uncomfortable as well.

The rule about holes in jeans and shorts is excessive. Students should be able to wear pants with holes in them as long as they aren’t showing anything that could be considered offensive by the administrators.

Many students agree with the fact that the dress code is problematic. “Dress code can be found in many, many, many schools, and in some cases it’s better than others… and in some cases it is necessary, but there are factors that are limiting and frustrating and don’t necessarily need to be in a junior high [school],” states Bella Macioce, eighth grade student.

“Half of it’s reasonable, half of it’s not; but some things could definitely be changed,” says seventh grade student Charlie Hess.

“…I think that there are levels of the dress code that are kind of unreasonable to students because you can’t go out and find clothes that are not… breaking the dress code. They’re all kind of breaking it, but they’re also at the same time not being… inappropriate,” says eighth grader Emma Zavala.

Dressing up how you want is a great way to express yourself, but there are some rules that do not regard the style of clothing that is worn that should be addressed. Clothing that has inappropriate messages or gang symbols should not be allowed. Another rule that should remain is not wearing clothing with a nude woman or man on the front. The rule for that currently states that boys cannot wear shirts portraying girls in bikinis, which is quite sexist because that means girls are part of the boy’s loose dress code. If the rule is changed so it applies to all genders, then this rule should remain.

Dress code is a big problem in societies and schools all over the world, and our school’s dress code is very reserved compared to others; but most of the rules are unnecessary and could be changed altogether.

2 responses to “Facts and opinions on the dress code

  1. I agree that the dress code is demeaning to girls. My daughter was dress-coded on picture day. Her violation was showing a small part of her back on a very hot day. Her t-shirt was loose and otherwise unrevealing. She had to put on an oversized P.E. shirt, and she was made to feel ashamed. Furthermore, her yearbook picture shows her in this tshirt, and it will be a constant reminder. Who was this girl? The author of this article! I am very proud of her for writing this and standing up for the rights of girls. I want to ask this: What are we teaching our girls with this sort of body-shaming attitude? That it is better for them to feel overheated and uncomfortable?

    Further, we live in an increasingly hot climate, and our kids attend schools that are not air-conditioned. We need to be realistic about comfort and fashion alike for girls during this sometimes tricky period of growing up.

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