How dress codes affects girls 

Lily Hodson

Student staff reporter

Currently some form of dress code is used throughout all schools in Canada, for students. The dress code for girls is used to keep boys undistracted, and teachers comfortable. This has often left girls feeling objectified, and embarrassed.

Grade 10 student Elika Shafa “In my former school Bramble wood Elementary. Starting in the fourth grade, girls had to have a tank top strap of a minimum of 4 fingers. So that the shoulders couldn’t be shown completely.” This rule follows with many others. Later going into middle school and high school, that rule is still valid. Yet starts to become more serious, this involves boys and girls. Boys can’t wear clothing that looks like it involves gang activity, nor anything that gives a racist or homophobic impression. These rules are seen to keep people safe, and happy.

Dress code impacts boys and girls differently. For girls, dress code is mainly focused on (no visible bra straps, or cleavage.) This is to keep boys undistracted, and teachers comfortable. Grade 10 student parnia hp “in the 8th grade. I was dress coded in gym for my stomach showing. Boys should be taught that if a girls body is showing, that’s none of their business. Instead of us needing to worry about what we’re wearing.” Girls needing to cover up natural womanly parts, gives boys and girls the idea that normal parts aren’t civilized enough. To be shown at all. This is only objectifying girls more. If these normal parts, would be shown as “normal” this generations society would see it as that.

Grade 10 student Valentina Mena “one day in my former school, it was really hot out. Girls were wearing clothes that showed more skin to stay cool. I watched about 4 people get dress coded that day.” In the winter time, it’s easier to cover up to follow dress code rules. During the summer, clothing that covers these rules are harder to find. Wearing something that shows a little more skin, also prevents heat stroke. Teachers should be more open minded about this. Grade 11 student Annette Davidson “the first time I had been dress coded, I was in the fifth grade. This was because my shirt was a little short. This was highly embarrassing because my peers heard me get dress coded and I was made fun of.” As a child, or a teenager. Being put on the spot in front of your peers, can cause embarrassment and humiliation. Possibly to the point where children and or teens could start skipping class, or not wanting to come to school. Teachers should be making sure they talk to students in private, rather than in front of peers.

Since ten years ago, dress codes have changed. And so has this generation of students. Students are encouraged by social media and fashion industry’s, to buy the clothing that they wear. Yet don’t seem to be aloud to wear them. Girls use clothing to express who they are. Not being able to, causes a more negative attitude towards the idea of school. Grade 10 student Lorenza Punzo de la torre “The way you dress doesn’t affect the way you learn. School should be more about learning like it’s supposed to be. Rather than being so focused on what we choose to wear.” Schools encourage students to be independent, girls being able to pick their own clothing is the first step to independence.