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Uniforms can have a negative effect on students' self-image

We all have different body types. Forcing students to wear clothes that don't match their body time can create feelings of embarrassment.

Proponents

Context

Being a teenager is difficult enough. Your body is growing. What looked good on you as a child no longer fits. You are highly self-conscious and are still finding your way when it comes to clothing.

The Argument

Everyone's body is different. What suits a particular body shape does not suit another. Applying a one-style-fits-all approach with a school uniform will inevitably create feelings of embarrassment and discomfort for some segments of the population. This is unpleasant for some students and downright torture for others. Consider a teenage transgender student who knows that skirts, dresses and blouses make them feel uncomfortable. Forcing these students to wear a school uniform is cruel and can have significant impacts on their self-esteem.[1] One study carried out at Arizona State University confirmed this. It found that students from school without a school uniform policy had a higher self-perception than those from schools which forced students to wear uniforms.[2]

Counter arguments

Because uniforms reduce bullying and teasing based on fashion choices, indirectly, they contribute to increasing students self-esteem. A study from Oxford Brookes University among year 7 and year 9 students found students reported heightened feelings of anxiety on non-uniform days. This indicates that far from damaging students' mental health, school uniforms actually have a positive impact on students psychological welfare.[3]

Premises

[P1] Not everyone feels comfortable in the same types of clothes. [P2] Forcing these people to wear a generic uniform will make them feel anxious. [P3] Students should not be required to wear a uniform.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] But others get anxiety about having to choose their own clothes. [Rejecting P3] Both options give students anxiety. It is school. People are going through puberty. Everyone is anxious all the time.

References

  1. https://www.irishtimes.com/news/education/no-skirting-the-school-uniform-debate-1.2522619
  2. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0013124503255002
  3. https://ie-today.co.uk/Blog/the-impact-of-school-uniforms-on-mental-health/

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This page was last edited on Wednesday, 13 Feb 2019 at 20:48 UTC