Breaking the dress code

Chevmonay Gaines | Staff Writer

From kindergarten to ninth grade, I was accustomed to wearing uniforms.

In 10th grade, a whole new world was opened for me at Loudoun County Public Schools. In this new world, I was finally free after being a victim of an outdated and insulting uniform for 10 straight years. However, the dress code and consequences were still pretty enforced.

I understood because it’s high school. We were still minors, so that was valid.

However, I would be lying if I said I was expecting the same at a university.

Let me be the first to say – I do not abide by anyone’s dress code. Sorry not sorry, but at the age I am now, I would expect myself to be able to self-govern.

Let’s be clear, I believe in dressing accordingly at a career fair, job interview, church, etc. However, if I feel like wearing my pajamas and du-rag to my 9 a.m., then so be it. Usually, I am exhausted and proud of myself that I even made it to class before that five-minute grace period anyways.

“We are at an age where we should be able to determine on our own if something is appropriate or not,” senior Kennedy Maldonado said. “With that being said, we should definitely be responsible enough to respect different scenarios where wearing a certain outfit is and is not OK.”

Sometimes the argument is made that certain attire affects the learning experience of others. However, if my outfit being too bomb may distract a student or teacher, I feel that isn’t my fault.

“If my appearance interferes with your ability to learn, then you obviously weren’t very interested in learning in the first place,” senior Alexis Weston remarked.

A junior from Virginia Commonwealth University, Isabel Colella, agreed with Weston.

“Appearance doesn’t interfere with my learning experience,” Colella said. “Half of the time, we’re in a huge lecture class and don’t know who anyone is, so what they look like or wear doesn’t really matter.”

Also, why are most dress codes super focused on women being modest and respectful? How does my attire reflect my integrity?

“The obsession with women being ‘covered up’ is sexist and perpetuates rape culture,” Weston said. “It basically tells us in order to be deserving of respect, we have to cover up.”

I believe that very few violations are to be considered too far. Revealing your entire chest or buttocks is too much. Otherwise, I am all for creative expression through clothing.

“If someone is wearing something extremely revealing, like a bra as a shirt or shorts, where their butt is literally hanging out, I guess that could be seen as too far,” Colella explained.

At the end of the day, we are all adults here. College dress codes are pointless.

And, unfortunately, if you are not able to differentiate between appropriate and inappropriate dressing in the right settings, you have a lot of maturing to do.


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