I have extreme mixed feelings about school uniforms. When I see kids wearing them I can't help but singing to myself 'poor unfortunate souls' and swirling in my black attire. At the same time I am against the typical school segregation according to the most random criteria. I understand why they say a uniform is the only way to make this division less likely to happen because everyone looks the same, really, I do, but at what cost!
Italian schools have a no uniform policy and when I was studying we barely even had clothing guidelines. The only issue we had,
thanks to Britney Spears, was the daily reminder from our school principal to, at least, cover up our belly button. Can you imagine the hassle to enter from the secondary door in order to avoid the principal standing on the main stairs? The one thing that prevented me from looking like the majestic gothic lady I felt on the inside, was the lack of gothic attire, which, to be fully honest, was not up to me. Ten or fifeteen years ago, having no paypal and knowing very little English, online shopping was hard. All I could do was dream over Deviantart images and experimenting with purple eyeshadow.
You see, all that trial and error with fashion and styles was very helpful to form my own identity, and to understand the meaning of acceptance. It was not uncommon to have a classmate storm into the classroom one day and declare they turned punk, or preppy, or hippie. It happened constantly and now I can't imagine growing up without that side of social life. Through our diversity we learned that we don't have to all be friends, and when you had all sorts of styles in your posse, then you knew your friendship was deep and not only based on the brand of your denim jacket.
Apparently Britney set the style rules back then.
I don't see the point in school uniforms from a formative point of view because they don't prepare kids for the real world. In 'real life' there is no one telling you what to wear, also did uniforms prevent social and economical inequality from happening? Rhetorical question. From a personal point of view, school uniforms don't teach kids the importance of believing in themselves, and taking the first decisions about their life. Because we all know that what to wear is an important decision when you are sixteen. And, please, don't tell me school uniforms save energy that can be spent on books, because I managed to put make-up on, avoid the principal, and still be a top student.
Let me write down a list of pros and cons of uniforms based on my reflection:
- PRO: you won't get discriminated over clothing style or brand
- PRO: it's never hard to pick what to wear in the morning
- PRO: it takes you less than 5 minutes to get ready
- PRO: it makes you feel part of your school
- PRO: ...I have no more ideas
- CON: if you are made fun of, it will be for something more personal than clothes
- CON: you can't put your creativity to the test
- CON: it makes it very hard to spot possible friends you'd like to sit next to
- CON: people will judge you from the reputation of your school
- CON: temperature, weather, periods, shaving, none is taken into account
- CON: you will hate pleated skirts, tartan, and cardigans for the rest of your life
- CON: not a money saver