It’s undeniable that fashion plays an important part in students’ lives. It provides a way for students to express themselves and their ideals and provides individuals with a feeling of uniqueness.
“Fashion is a great outlet to express yourself, to gain job employment and to have fun,” Pflanz said.
Clothing also provides students with a sense of identity and a way to belong to a group. Unfortunately because of this fashion can exclude individuals and damage their feelings of self worth by limiting them to the way they dress. .
“You always feel like you have to meet society’s expectations of what to wear, try the next new trend which can often come at a cost,” sophomore Zach Olbur said. “When I see people wearing Supreme and other expensive brands I envy them and wish I could wear that.”
The ability to express yourself through fashion might be a burden for some students. This is especially true for people who want to belong into a group or clique because this puts them at risk for being bullied by their peers
“Bullying is just a way that the individual copes with insecurities within themselves, “Pflanz said. “Clothing is a way that you can express yourself safely and if for some reason somody is pressuring you cause you’re not wearing what they want you to wear, you just need to ignore those people.”
According to the American Society for the Positive Care of Children wearing glasses or different clothing is a risk factor for getting bullied. This stigma shouldn’t be reinforced in society, and
It’s important to acknowledge that fashion does come with a personal and moral responsibility. Clothing can be used to send both positive and hateful messages that can put oneself or others in danger . Exposing too much skin is one common way students get dress coded at school but hateful speech and political messages can often be found on clothing.
“I’ve worn a few shirts that I’ve gotten dress coded for, but I don’t really wear them anymore,” Yalda said. “I have shirts to wear for school, I have shirts to wear for church, clothes to wear for different events.”
Imposing uniform clothing would be a solution to restrict hateful and unpleasant messages and inappropriate clothing, but compromises the freedom of the students. Even though this solution sounds great at first it would make school an even less accepting and enjoyable place for students to have to go to every day.
“I’m highly against the idea of uniforms,” Pflanz said. “I’m against any type of way that clothing restricts individuality as long as the way in which the person decides to express themselves doesn’t harm themselves or put their safety at risk and it isn’t vulgar.
“There definitely has to be some restrictions because you can’t just come to school naked, but you have to be able to express yourself as well,” Olbur said.
No matter how you feel about clothing it’s important to take responsibility for what message you send through the way you dress and respect others’ right to express themselves as well.
“I’ve walked around the school and have seen people wearing MAGA hats and hoodies and shirts but i’m not judging them because that’s their opinion, that’s what they want, that’s what they believe in and who am I to judge what they’re wearing,” Yalda said
Clothing can often act as a statement that many individuals might find controversial or might not agree with. What matters is that these messages if not hurtful are respected as one’s right to free speech.
“I see fashion as silent way of expressing who you are but anything we do whether it be verbal or nonberbal we have to dictate responsibility for our actions, we have to be cognizant of what we choose no matter if we’re wearing clothing or saying things out loud, we have to be aware of what were doing,” Pflanz said.