Why are Dress Codes such a problem?

Dress codes have been generating controversy among high school students everywhere recently. Students have always been expected to dress modestly and dress codes have always regulated that. However, many teenagers involved feel these rules are unfair and suppress their rights.

Girls are expected to cover their shoulders, stomach, back and legs. However, the clothing marketed towards young girls fall short of meeting these criteria. The situation is a bit of a Catch 22 because if girls wear the clothes marketed to them, they risk getting in trouble for violating the dress code. However, if they shop at the stores marketed to older women, they risk being ridiculed by their peers.

Natasha Vienneau says, “For the most part, the dress code makes sense. However, some rules are ridiculous.” Dress code disputes have recently been reaching their peak. Friday at Moncton High School, a faculty member made an announcement over the intercom explaining to female students that if any of their bra strap or shoulder were visible, they had little to no self respect. The male students were simply informed that she did not “want to see the fur under [their] arms.”

This event caused outrage among the majority of the student body. The main concern was not the dress code itself, but that girls were being told that their clothing determined their value and the level of respect they have for themselves.

MHS senior Jana Giles says, “Oftentimes, if a teenage girl is wearing something that exposes any skin, it means she is feeling confident with her body that day, and that should not be punished unless taken to an extreme.”

In a society already riddled by anxieties, it’s no wonder such a statement caused the uproar it did. Mhairi Agnew, grade 10 MHS student agrees, saying, “I definitely think we should have a reasonable dress code and expect students to follow it. However, the way administrators approach the situation is insensitive and risks bringing students’ self-esteem down lower than it likely already is.”

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