Dress Code: Should it be implemented?

Dress code has always been debated in high schools, and in LT, the dress code is an ever-changing concept.

People should be able to dress how they like without worrying if their clothes are ‘too distracting’ to other people. Expressing themselves through clothing style can be hard with the many restrictions that schools set upon them.

One issue surrounding dress code is whether it affects girls and boys equally.

In schools, girls are 5.5 times more likely to get dress coded than boys. Even though there are boys wearing wife-beaters and such, it is only thought of as scandalous when it comes to a specific gender. Being subjected to a dress code as young as elementary can impact young minds, and restrict girls from expressing themselves as teenagers. 

When popular brands primarily sell form-fitting or short clothes, girls shouldn’t be shamed when they wear the same thing to school.

Whenever girls are dress coded, a popular reason is so boys don’t get distracted. But instead of teaching girls to ‘cover up’ when they are simply confident in their bodies, schools as a collective should be teaching boys to behave appropriately and treat other people with the respect they deserve as human beings.

Additionally, when girls see other people with different body types or genders not get dress-coded wearing the same types of clothes as them, it creates room for insecurities to take root. Women with more mature bodies are more likely to get dress coded as opposed to more conventionally skinnier women, statistically.

When a girl is dress coded, she is sent away from the learning environment until the behavior is corrected. In doing so, we are subconsciously telling young women that boys should not have to look at bare shoulders/midriff, etc, and that this knowledge is more important than her education.

I believe schools should implement dress codes, but not to the extent of sexualization, and all genders should be affected by the dress code equally. Schools should be focusing on education, not defending patriarchal beliefs,