By Erica Mc., Delta Secondary, Delta, BC
Picture this: A pretty blonde girl struts leisurely down the narrow hall vying for jocks attention, flirtatiously smiling and glancing their way. Her skin-tight playboy shirt and pink ruffle skirt barely manage to cover her long, thin body. A few feet away, a boy stalks his way through the crowded jungle of movement. His spiked black hair shot up in contrast to his loose, baggy, black clothing. Accessorizing his ensemble, are a spiky belt, chains, metal cuffs, and a few face piercing. Two drastically different people who exist and think in different ways with the only similarity being that they are both students attending the same school.
Thus is the introduction to dress code. Words that spark debate and heated arguments wherever the subject is brought up. Most students immediately think of uniforms versus wearing what you want based on your personality and decisions. But often the issue of dress code is just the tip of the iceberg. The media creates a powerful influence on the way people dress. Models, magazines, Hollywood, and "show business" promote dressing in sexy, brand name, and sometimes mini clothes with the target message being to have self – confidence, beauty, popularity, and ironically conform to society's image of young people. Popularity and self-confidence are not guaranteed. Self-confidence comes from accepting yourself fully and loving it. You may receive more friendships and some popularity from the kinds of clothes you wear but then isn't that a shallow way to make friends?
Brand name clothing may make you feel good about yourself and make you look good but true beauty is, I think, from the inside. People should love you for your personality and who you are, not for what you are wearing! It is more important for people to love you than your clothes. Although sometimes it is hard not to get caught up in materialism, clothes are just devices that the media uses to get young audience to listen and you want to be unique and so don't necessarily follow the fashions one hundred percent. Wear what you and want and express yourself without having anyone say in his or her mind, " Put some clothes on!"
Moreover, schools often feel strongly – some more strongly about dress codes than others. Opinions are split on uniforms. Some believe that this method saves money and prevents skimpy " unnecessary" clothing according to some teachers and staff. But mostly students wish to express individuality and personality without being forced to wear a uniform that they will detest. Ironically, though, now students conform to the school's image of how students should dress and students hate that! Somehow, it takes away the freedom of expression in some ways. It is just like saying if we all were made the same, like robots, the world would be so boring because with all the same people, they would have all the same traits, personalities, strengths, weaknesses, opinions, and intelligence. It would be as though the world was looking at a mirror image of them when other people pass by.
So the question remains, "Do you want to be like robots, products designed to do the exact same things or are we unique individuals with minds and opinions of our own?" Don't let the media completely brainwash you and make you sure your school doesn't get uniforms and you have your own middle ground. As a student, think about it and realize that freedom of expression is a good thing and it should not be overlooked as the way you dress may be decided by the school that you attend.
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