Markella Patounas – School Uniforms; Why?

Let’s face it – uniforms are utterly useless.

They restrict movement and generally feel uncomfortable. You cannot lift up your arms to reach something without showing some skin. The skirts are difficult to sit comfortably in, you have to assure yourself that nobody can see up your skirt. Even then, breaking in those new leather shoes you’ll need to buy every year or two is half an hour or more of fitting, and deciding which shoe fits your foot shape best is a tiring task. They scuff badly, and having to repolish them and make sure they’re still intact for school wear and standards is a difficult duty.

The uniforms are expensive. If you’re prepared to do washing every night, you’ll only need one shirt and a skirt. However, if your daily activities prevent you from gathering the energy to hang those clothes up on the line and retrieve them for wear in the morning, you’ll need to spend a lot of money on button-down shirts and some skirts for weekday usage.

In hot weather, the skirts really speak to me on an emotional level. We can all agree that if our thighs brush together, you can expect sweat forming where the skin touches. I know somebody who got second degree burns due to the extreme heat in Australia and being forced to wear a skirt around school the entire day. You may argue that she could have worn bike pants, but those make everything hotter. So, not a good idea.

In addition the shirt brings its’ own disadvantages. Comfortable bras rarely come in beige or white colours. The majority of supportive sports bras are available in fluorescent or bright colours. As the material of the white uniform top is very thin, people who require supportive bras are disadvantaged when teachers admonish them for wearing colourful bras. It’s not through choice – it’s through nature!

The hats are expensive. They can be easily left behind in public transport, and may be difficult to locate, adding to addition expense. Adding to disadvantages, the inability to fold the hat for convenient storage in school bags just doesn’t make sense. The people who have their hair up high are unable to securely fasten the hat to their head. What’s the point if the hat keeps falling off your head?

The blazers when worn on their own in the winter and autumn seasons do not provide sufficient warmth. Feeling cold leads to inability to concentrate on school tasks. Conversely, as per school rules, when the jumper is worn with the blazer this leads to overheating and extreme discomfort.

Uniforms completely destroy character and individuality that every human being is capable of possessing. This clothing prevents us from expressing ourselves and our identities and also prevents us from letting us wear material we feel comfortable in. According to studies, letting people wear what they want in a social environment around others makes them feel safer knowing that they can freely express who they are without the restriction of uniform codes or the uniforms themselves. Wearing what you want can have a major impact on the way you think about yourself.

Allowing students to wear any clothing they want (within reasonable standards) allows them more versatility to a work environment they will surely be in when they have a job themselves.

In summary, the above discussion points demonstrate the need for a review of the school uniform policy.

If we didn’t wear uniforms, I am sure nothing would change at all. The only thing that needs to change is people’s mindset on what children/teenagers should be wearing to feel safe in an educational environment.

One size does not fit all.

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