Wake up. Brush your teeth. Comb your hair. Get yourself dressed. Eat your breakfast. Leave your house.
A common morning for a student heading to school includes many steps, but the most important step is deciding what to wear. This task can take over an hour if you are a very picky person, and it is a process that can result in yelling and tears. Guys may have it easy and some girls too, but, for the most part, a girl will struggle with what to wear on a daily basis. This morning hassle could easily be resolved by implementing school uniforms across the board.
Clothes are more than just fabric; clothes represent wealth, mood, and most importantly, personality. Personality is the way you express yourself to the world. With that being said, the right outfit can change the type of person you are for the day. If you feel good in your clothes, it will show. On the other hand, having to face your peers in an outfit you normally wouldn’t dare to leave the house in can be an unpleasant event to say the least. People become worked up over their clothes, “’If it means teenagers will stop killing each other over designer jackets, then our public schools should be able to require their students to wear school uniforms.’” (Wilde). A quote from President Clinton himself, agreeing that there is a benefit to having school uniforms.
Even with school uniforms, personality can be expressed. “Clothing isn’t the only form of self-expression. Students should know that it’s what they do that counts.” (Kassab). There are multiple options on the pairing of tops and bottoms for a school uniform. Also, most schools allow appropriate accessories to be worn with the uniform. “A uniform policy is different from a dress code. A dress code outlines the do’s and don’ts of daily dress. A uniform policy dictates students wear the same style and color shirts and pants or skirts.” (Esack). The fact that schools only require the same shirt pants and or skirt can allow freedom in expression. This can be utilized to show your peers who you are through clothes without feeling misplaced. Everyone has to wear the same basic units of clothing, so the comparison factor of whose clothes are better than whose is removed.
Clothes can also cause bullying. Trends are set in the fashion world, but they set standards that not everyone wants to, or are able to meet. This can easily lead to bullying. Unable or unwilling to stay up with the hottest looks in fashion, individuals may be called out for what they are wearing. They can be isolated from others solely due to their outfit. This bullying can be eliminated by, “the uniform dress code in schools” (Umutesi) as it, “encourages and makes students relate as equals.” (Umutesi). Just like the celebrities, if a dress is too tight, too short, or maybe even the wrong color for the season, they are judged and a label is attached to them. This same ridicule is applied to the average person in schools.
School uniforms even out the fashion playing field, and remove the labels that people are judged so harshly on. With uniforms, there is no possibility of Sally having better clothes than Mary, and Mary being laughed at for it.
You may be thinking to yourself, “Well, you just told me that personality is something that should be addressed, so why should we allow uniforms to cover that up?” and the reason behind that is the fact that more negative effects outshine the positive ones. Being bullied is a far more serious issue than showing off your newest Michael Kors purse around your high school. School uniforms take away from personality a bit, but they still allow some freedom in what you are allowed to wear to school. Different styles help define who you are, but everyone is given the same options, so it lies at a fair level.
School uniforms remove the strain of picking out an outfit each day, they remove a reason for bullying, and they don’t remove personality. It is to a benefit to support the movement in making school uniforms a nationwide cause.
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