Why dress code may be harmful


Some people may argue that dress codes disproportionately target females

School dress code is something that many people see as a potentially sexist and unfair requirement, even though the intention is to create a positive atmosphere at school. Many students at South Hills expressed their opinions on dress code. Questions were raised on whether or not the dress code disproportionately targets females more than males, and if body type also plays a factor in increased dress code violations (or is this a form of body shaming?).

“I think the dress code is wrong and oppressive,” Angelica Quinonez (11) said. “It’s targeted towards girls and objectifies them.”

Many girls at South Hills have expressed that most of the guidelines in the dress code target them, while some of the boys have said they have not felt targeted at all. Everyone in school should have equal guidelines when it comes to school dress code. Therefore, there would be no room for a divide among anyone. 

Although many students may not agree with the dress code guidelines, they have also expressed that they understand the staff is simply just doing their job, they aren’t the ones who created the dress code. It’s not a personal attack on that person getting dress coded, it’s solely them following the rules that they were given.

Some students’ concerns typically reside on the school campus, while one staff member at South Hills was also concerned for students’ safety off of school grounds, stating that potential harassment could happen to girls when they are walking home.

Girls should not feel as if they need to cover up “unharmful” parts of their bodies, such as their shoulders.  It is not their fault that other people see it in a sexual way.  It’s immature to have this idea that everyone will assume something sexual from a girl wearing a simple tank top. It can open doors to other issues as well. If a girl is sexualized they might feel as if they will get used in a relationship for their looks.

Those opposed to the dress code say it can induce a negative self-image. Some individuals are sensitive to how they appear to others. If someone is constantly dress-coded solely based on how their body alters their outfit, they could start feeling out of place with their body.

According to an article from USA Today, opponents of strict dress codes say punishing students for their clothing is a form of shaming that can result in body-image issues. Not only that, rules are inconsistently enforced.

In conclusion, students should not be afraid to wear what they want to at school, especially females. Dress code could be harmful because it objectifies girls, causing the focus to be on their appearance. Females should not be shamed for others sexualizing parts of their bodies. Shouldn’t the focus of school be on students’ academic performance rather than their looks?