“What Not to Wear” by Morgan Cooley of Southborough, Massachusetts, offers a powerful stance on the topic of dress codes. Overall, Morgan has a negative stance on dress codes, from personal experience as well as what she has observed. Her own negative experience entailed her being looked down on by a teacher from wearing shirt that was too revealing for school. Because the teacher did not approve of her outfit, Morgan walked around school for the rest of the day ashamed of her outfit that she had been excited to wear earlier that day. Morgan mentions that she’d decided that she was the problem. She was the one wearing “explicit” clothing, and was therefore in the wrong. When Morgan switched school districts, though, her dress code changed and so did her perspective. She could now where anything she wanted as long as it was within reasonable limits. This new choice of clothing opened up a whole new mindset, which was the inspiration for this article. Morgan explained that dress codes are in place to prevent distractions in school, but these distractions are mostly the male students looking at girls around them who are baring even a little bit of skin. Dress codes imply that the girls are the problem in such situations, not the boys. In reality, it is the boys that are the problem. If girls were allowed to wear clothing of their choice with reasonable limits, boys wouldn’t be so compelled to look for the faults. The real problem is in the dress codes. They are what pushed the ball off the edge of the flat surface, and now it is rolling down a very steep hill.
Personally, I agree with this article. I believe everything that Morgan stated in the article, and I agree that dress codes should be laxer. Harsh dress codes create a harsher environment for students, in the way that they must always abide by rules and are restricted constantly. One of my favorite parts of the article was in the end of paragraph 4, where Morgan wrote, “I figured if the school administration, full of educated adults, thought my clothing was inappropriate, they must be right. It was my fault. I was distraction.” This part really stood out because it described the mindset of many girls across the world, especially at that age, the age where everyone cares about what everyone else thinks. This quote from the article stated the conflict the article was going to be dealing with, straightforward and understandable. The problem sprouted from a teacher neglecting to be open to a student’s choice of clothing, and became the beginning of a serious topic. I enjoyed reading this article because it voiced subconscious thoughts of mine and opened them up to society. As Morgan said, if society doesn’t view this as a problem, then society itself is the problem.