Culture August 24, 2017
Going through puberty is already hard enough.
Schools all over the country are imposing overly strict dress codes. Girls, particularly young tweens, are being unfairly penalized for not adhering to the strict dress codes.
For developing girls going through puberty, this is an especially pressing issue. Girls who are earlier bloomers than their classmates are being criticized for showing cleavage or too much leg, even if their outfit is actually adhering to the dress code. So why aren’t more people talking about how unfairly developing girls are being treated?
Being the first in school to start growing boobs isn’t easy, but what makes it worse is that the school then makes these girls feel badly about their body image by shaming how they dress. This problem is something girls will have to face their whole lives, but it’s even worse when the girls are as young as 11 or 12.
According to the New York Post, a high school in Staten Island gave out over 200 detentions for dress code violations. About 90 percent of these detentions were given to girls. In most cases, the students were punished for wearing tank tops or shorts on extremely hot days. Is it a crime to stay cool? No. So why are schools imposing unrealistic clothing standards?
The Los Angeles Times brings up an important point about school dress codes slut-shaming girls. Amid a heat wave in Los Angeles, one high school girl was kicked out of class because the straps on her dress were too thin.
Teachers also fear that if girls wear remotely revealing clothing in the classroom they will pose a “distraction” for boys. Girls shouldn’t have to dress for boys, ever, especially in middle school and high school.
Instead of telling girls what they can and can’t wear, why doesn’t anyone teach boys to treat women respectfully, rather than always seeing women as sexual objects?
Some schools enforce uniforms rather than dress codes, to further even the playing field of dress. But we should all be able to express ourselves through what we wear, especially when coming into adolescence.
Bottom line? The way young girls are dressing isn’t the issue. The unfairly harsh dress codes are the real problem.
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