Sunday, September 9, 2018

Misguided Outrage Over School Dress Codes

In the weeks preceding the return to school there were numerous articles decrying school dress codes as being discriminatory towards or objectifying women, with students and parents claiming that placing restrictions on how one dresses body shames them. WTF! Really!! I'm sorry, but that is total bullshit. That argument is an excuse for wearing "play clothes" to school.

School is a place of learning, not Fashion Week. Emphasizing individuality and comfort over teaching appropriate dress for a time and place fails to prepare young people for the real world. Try showing up to a typical office for work wearing spaghetti straps, bare midriffs, micro miniskirts, shorts, tennis shoes, denim of any kind, graphic tee shirts, hoodies, off-the-should tops, leggings, or   flips flops and expect to be sent first to Human Resources and then home with pay docked for the day and a warning not to make the same sartorial choice again or to find another job. Men are expected to wear shirts with a collar, long pants, and socks with shoes that are not sneakers. Why should the required dress for school be more informal than what is required for playing on most golf courses? 

One can express oneself through fashion at the beach, the mall, while hiking, at home, when out with friends, at after school events, on vacation and on weekends. School is the workplace for young people. Dressing appropriately is about respect ~ self respect, respect for institutions, respect for learning and respect for others. 

I am certainly not advocating for a return to the olden days of my childhood {when I walked 12 miles to school through wind, rain, tornados, & blizzards up hill both ways}when girls had to wear dresses, nobody was allowed to wear jeans {not that we had them} and nuns walked around with rulers to ensure our skirts were not shorter than two inches above the knee. Nor am I an advocate for requiring school uniforms, although uniforms solve many of the problems associated with sartorial freedom. 

But if you want a style icon, look to tasteful examples such as the Duchess of Cambridge or Megan Markle, Zendaya, Lily Collins, Gigi Hadid, Paris Jackson or EmmaWatson. 

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