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It's Time To Admit That School Dress Codes Do More Harm Than Good

Brittany Rae

Dress codes suck.

If you're a woman, you already know this. Being called out for a "dress code violation" is the height of humiliation, and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

So, why do we still have dress codes? Why are girls so brutally punished for merely existing? What the hell is going on here?

So, let's just be honest here: We all know who school dress codes target.

Unsplash | NeONBRAND

When I was in middle school, the dress code for boys consisted of one item: keep your pants up.

For girls, it was endless: no thin straps, no tank tops, no tube tops, no revealing tops, no skirts above the knee, no crop tops...the list went on and on. Every single part of our outfits were policed, and the punishments were strictly enforced.

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The rules offend everyone, really.

Unsplash | Anthony Da Cruz

Not only is it deeply sexist to assume that a boy's education is more valuable than a girl's, but it's also offensive to men.

Why? Because men aren't drooling robots who will derail their entire educations just to get a peek at a shoulder. It's insulting to think men are so simple, you know?

Men, would you turn hysterical at the peek of a shoulder? I didn't think so.

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The rules also unfairly target people of color.

Unsplash | Thought Catalog

Dress codes can extend to hair, wear people of color — particularly Black people — are told to wear more "standardized" hairstyles.

Essentially, they are told to change their natural hair to fit a more white aesthetic. Not only is it unreasonable, but it's also insane! Hair is often an expression of our most innermost selves, and stifling that is wrong.

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At this point, dress codes serve no one.

Unsplash | Eliott Reyna

In my mind, as long as you don't show up to school naked, you're fine. A tank top will not interfere with education — but sending a girl home for wearing one sure will.

Instead, let's focus on learning in safe environments free of judgement, outdated ideas, and sexism. The next generation deserves better.

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