School Dress Code: Helpful OR Hurtful?

School Dress Code: Helpful OR Hurtful?

Most dress codes say to me that a male's education is more important than mine because I need to cover an inch above my knee so that he isn't distracted.
96
views

When I was in school, I never took it upon myself to follow dress code down to the very last word. I'm not sure if there was a dress code in either of the elementary schools I went to, but our parents dressed us then so it wasn't as important. Middle school we started growing up and dressing ourselves. Western Alamance Middle School was where I first came into contact with a school dress code. I don't remember a lot of the dress code, other than for the first year of middle school, our shirts were required to be tucked in. I definitely didn't follow this rule and others around me didn't either. The rule was taken out of the dress code the following year.

After three years in middle school, it was time for me to go to Western Alamance High School. Western Alamance's dress code was a bit stricter. They had rules for the length of your skirts, dress, shorts, and shirts. As my high school career progressed they even added that you could not have any shoulders showing, four finger rule or not. I wore what I wanted to wear, that still covered everything, and went about my day. Fortunately for me, the administration wasn't strict about the school dress code, unless there was something extremely wrong.

I can only recall two instances where I was called out for my attire, one was in middle school and the other in high school. In middle school, I was wearing a dress that didn't quite reach my knee and tights underneath it. Nothing was showing, but they pulled me out of class anyway. I remember them saying that if my father couldn't bring me a change of clothes that I would have to go home. So of course, my father begrudgingly left work to bring me a change of clothes. I still think that is ridiculous to this day. The other instance was during my sophomore year. My biology teacher, known as one of the teachers who enforced dress code, sent me to the office because my dress was too short. I went to the office and they held a dollar bill above my knee. (Your dress/skirt couldn't be higher than the width of a dollar bill) They told me that my dress was fine and sent me back to class. My teacher was not pleased when I came back.

The reason that I am sharing this with all of you is because I decided to dress according to my high school dress code for three days this week. I got this idea while watching a Buzzfeed video on Youtube, called "I Dressed According To High School Dress Codes For A Week". (You should really check out Buzzfeed Youtube videos, they are pretty cool!) In this video, Kristen dresses according to seven different American High School dress codes. I may have used one school and only dressed according to that dress code for three days, but it did teach me something. It is very hard to go from being able to wear whatever you want to college classes, to being hindered by a dress code, especially when you didn't follow it the first go round.

Day 1:

I wore my knee length, long sleeved, jean dress and my chacos. I did have to change into my Sperrys for work, but it still followed the dress code. I had to walk all over campus that day and it was hot. It was 93 degrees to be exact. I walked around in the heat all day and then walked myself home. By the time I got home, I was excited to take off the dress soaked in my sweat and take my second shower of the day.

Day 2:

I wore my favorite pair of jeans, my Jurassic Park t-shirt, and my black vans. I did not have to be outside as much on day 2 as I did on day 1, but it was still hot. The temperature for the day was 94 degrees. After day 1 and day 2, I was beginning to think that I needed to do a special load of laundry for these clothes!

Day 3:

On my last day, I wore a knee length printed skirt, a black t-shirt, and my Rainbows. I again, had to change into different shoes for work, but they still followed dress code. While at work, I had to go outside three times and with it being 93 degrees, I was pretty hot. I didn't sweat as much in this outfit as I did the others. One of the downsides to doing this while on a college campus is that I wanted to wear a pair of my heels with this outfit, (it would've looked much better with heels) but with all the walking I was doing, it wasn't a good idea.

Before I started dressing according to dress code, I went online and started looking for ridiculous school dress code stories and believe me, I found them. Seventeen Magazine did a great piece on this topic. I was appalled to see what schools were calling dress code violations for and some of their punishments. This article showed me just how easy I had it.

A lot of school dress codes are centered around females. My schools dress code did not separate into gender categories, but it was simple to figure out which rules applied to girls and which applied to guys. During my high school experience, females were the majority of people sent to the office for dress code violations. A lot of time the violation was so bad that the person really needed to be sent to the office, but there were cases such as mine where it was ridiculous. Dress codes that are centered around females sends the wrong message to girls everywhere. This can add to the body image problem and can also make girls feel inferior to guys, if they didn't already. Most dress codes say to me that a male's education is more important than mine because I need to cover an inch above my knee so that he isn't distracted. I saw a picture on the internet that described this feeling perfectly.

Dress codes are important because some people don't understand what is appropriate and what isn't. However, extreme dress codes and/or dress code violation punishments are not needed. If a school feels that they need to control how a student dresses that much then they need to just go ahead and have a standard uniform. To all you girls out there who have been body shamed because of your clothes, even if they aren't provocative, brush it off. You are more than what they say.

Any Western Alamance kids reading this, realize how lucky you had or have it!

Cover Image Credit: Jezebel

Popular Right Now

50 One-Liners College Girls Swap With Their Roomies As Much As They Swap Clothes

"What would I do without you guys???"
60564
views

1. "Can I wear your shirt out tonight?"

2. "Does my hair look greasy?"

3. "We should probably clean tomorrow..."

4. "What should I caption this??"

5. "Is it bad if I text ____ first??"

6. "Should we order pizza?"

7. *Roommate tells an entire story* "Wait, what?"

8. "How is it already 3 AM?"

9. "I need a drink."

10. "McDonalds? McDonalds."

11. "GUESS WHAT JUST HAPPENED."

12. "Okay like, for real, I need to study."

13. "Why is there so much hair on our floor?"

14. "I think I'm broke."

15. "What do I respond to this?"

16. "Let's have a movie night."

17. "Why are we so weird?"

18. "Do you think people will notice if I wear this 2 days in a row?"

19. "That guy is so stupid."

20. "Do I look fat in this?"

21. "Can I borrow your phone charger?

22. "Wanna go to the lib tonight?"

23. "OK, we really need to go to the gym soon."

24. "I kinda want some taco bell."

25. "Let's go out tonight."

26. "I wonder what other people on this floor think of us."

27. "Let's go to the mall."

28. "Can I use your straightener?"

29. "I need coffee."

30. "I'm bored, come back to the room."

31. "Should we go home this weekend?"

32. "We should probably do laundry soon."

33. "Can you see through these pants?"

34. "Sometimes I feel like our room is a frat house..."

35. "Guys I swear I don't like him anymore."

36."Can I borrow a pencil?"

37. "I need to get my life together...."

38. "So who's buying the Uber tonight?"

39. "Let's walk to class together."

40. "Are we really pulling an all-nighter tonight?"

41. "Who's taking out the trash?"

42. "What happened last night?"

43. "Can you help me do my hair?"

44. "What should I wear tonight?"

45. "You're not allowed to talk to him tonight."

46. "OMG, my phone is at 1 percent."

47. "Should we skip class?"

48. "What should we be for Halloween?"

49. "I love our room."

50. "What would I do without you guys???"

Cover Image Credit: Hannah Gabaldon

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

I Woke up In The Middle Of The Night To Write About My Fears, They're Worse Than The Dark

One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.

395
views

It is one of those nights when I am tired, but for some reason, I can't seem to fall asleep. So, what do I do? I pull out my laptop, and I begin to write. Who knows where it will lead. It could lead to a killer article or something that does not make sense. I mean it is almost 2 A.M. In my mind, that's pretty late.

Anyways, let's do this thing.

Like many people, thoughts seem to pile up in my head at this time. It could be anything from a time when I was younger to embarrassing stories to wondering why I am "wasting" my time somewhere to thoughts about the future. All of these things come at me like a wildfire. One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.

The thought that is going through my mind as I write this is about the future. It's about the future of my fears. Let me explain. I have multiple fears. Some of my fears I can hide pretty well, others I am terrible at hiding. My fears may seem silly to some. While others might have the same fears. Shall we start?

1. My career

I don't know where to begin with this one. For as long as I can remember, my consistent dream job has been working in the world of sports, specifically hockey. A career in sports can be and is a challenging thing. The public eye is on you constantly. A poor trade choice? Fans are angry. Your team sucks? "Fans" are threatening to cheer for someone else if you can't get your sh*t together. You can be blamed for anything and everything. Whether you are the coach, general manager, owner, it does not matter. That's terrifying to me, but for some reason, I want to work for a team.

2. My family

Julie Fox

Failing with my family, whether that be the family I was born into or my future family, it terrifies me. I have watched families around me fall apart and I have seen how it has affected them. Relationships have fallen apart because of it. I have heard people talk about how much they hate one of their parents because of what happened. I don't want that.

3. Time

This could be a dumb fear. I'm not sure, but I fear time. With every minute that passes, I am just another minute closer to the end. With every day that passes that I am not accomplishing goals or dreams I have, I am losing precious time. It scares me to think of something horrible like "What if I die tomorrow because of something horrific?" or even worse, "What if I don't make it through today?" It's terrible, I know.

4. Forgetting precious memories

When I was younger, I had brain surgery. It is now much harder for me to remember things. I am truly terrified that I am going to forget things I will want to hold close to me forever, but I won't be able to. I am scared I'll forget about the little things that mean a lot. I'm afraid of forgetting about old memories that may disappear. I'm worried that I'll forget about something like my wedding day. That might seem out of this world, but it's a reality for me.

5. Saying "goodbye"

I hate saying bye. It is one of my least favorite things. Saying bye, especially to people I don't know when I'll see again, is a stab in the heart for me. I love my people so much. I love being around them. I love laughing with them. Thought of never having a hello with them again scares me beyond belief.

6. Leaving places that I love

Alright, let me start off by saying this- it takes a lot for me to love a place. It has to feel like home. It has to make me feel comfortable. It has to be a place I can go to and be myself. Thankfully, I have had and still have multiple places that are like that. I have also had places I could not wait to leave. I think that's why leaving places I love is so hard and something I fear so much. I am afraid I'll never get that place "back", for lack of a better term. I guess, I'm trying to say, it's like a piece of me is leaving as well.




These six things are just the start of my fears. Some of these might seem "dumb" or "ridiculous" to you, but for me, it's my life. These are the things that I think about the most. These are the things that feel like a pit in my stomach. These six things are parts of my life that mean a lot to me.

Cover Image Credit:

Emily Heinrichs

Related Content

Facebook Comments