Most of this series of essays is about bare feet. This one is not. Sure, bare feet can be a part of non-conforming dress, but this essay is about all of it. About dreads, purple hair, tattoos, piercings and any other thing kids get in trouble about in some schools.
No matter what some people say, being dressed in an extraordinary way does not make it harder to concentrate. It is not disruptive. Sure, someone coming in with purple dreads may disrupt the class for a moment when entering, but normally this should quiet down pretty quick. Especially if such a thing isn't against the rules, because that takes a lot of the pressure off.
If the disruption does not stop, then stopping different ways of dress doesn't mean the kids will quit teasing and bullying eachother. Kids looking to bully someone will always find something. I know from experience. I didn't look different in highschool. I wore clothes that weren't much different from anyone else, yet I was often teased with other things, the way I walked, the things I did. There were kids who were dressed differently, but were more assertive, and they didn't get bullied. When I learned to be more assertive, I also started to dress more differently. Yet the bullying stopped. It's not the clothes!
Another arguement often brought up is that people will have to wear suits and confirm to dress codes when they get a job, so they may as well get used to it. Fine, first of all, aren't kids allowed to be kids? We require them to go to school but school is not work yet. They're still kids, and they shouldn't be held to the same standards as adults. Let them be free for as long as they can!
And having to wear a suit applies to some jobs, but not to all! I have a great job where I wear very peculiar clothing, and in fact a regular dress wouldn't be allowed. Okay, not everyone can work in a history theme park, but there are quite a lot of jobs that don't require suits. And not all low-paying jobs either! In the IT branch there are a lot of people who get to dress just the way they like. If freedom of dress is important to someone, they can find a job where it is okay. They should also be able to find a school where it is okay.
Last but not least, is the dress code for adults a good thing? I do not think so. Many people like to see a salesman in a nice suit, and a nice car parked out front, so they know they are dealing with a respectable company. That is one way of looking at it. I always feel uneasy because I think those people are a lot smarter in business than I am, and if I don't pay really close attention they're probably going to screw me on something.
Also, who do you think is paying for the suit and the expensive car? Think about it... In the end, you are, the customer! If someone's job requires him to wear expensive clothes and drive a big car, you bet they're gonna make sure they make enough profit to buy those things!
I prefer someone who simply wears a sweater or tshirt. It tells me that this person is confident enough not to need all the expensive stuff. They sell their product and it is good enough it sells without the fancy package. And while they may still overcharge and have a nice bank account, or an nice boat, or whatever, at least they aren't blatantly charging me for a lot of expensive and unnecessary stuff I can see right under my nose.
More barefoot links:
Index | Why NSNSNS signs are wrong | No bare feet by order of... | The dangers of bare feet are greatly exaggerated | Confrontations in stores, why it matters | Bare feet and colds | Driving barefoot and safety | Flying barefoot, comfort and safety | Bare feet, proper dress and respect | Dress codes in schools and elsewhere
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