Men are from Mars, women are from Venus. But one doesn’t have to be an astronaut to spot all the biological differences between boys and girls. Since the dawn of civilization, men and women have been treated differently across regions and societies.
There’s always been limitations on what men and women can wear, for instance. Whether it's Kim Kardashian or Brigitte Macron, stylists (mainly male fashion designers) and presenters gossip about famous women and their attire. Due to social expectations and unrealistic ads, women often spend more time to get dressed for a night out or work. It’s not only anecdotes - surveys prove that this phenomenon is real. Stats show that for women, shopping and getting ready can add up to a few days every single year.
Surprisingly, labeling starts early on in the womb. It’s everywhere, all across the globe: pink or blue baby shower parties; onesies with dinosaurs or dresses with hearts; "Superhero" or "Princess" logos. Some stores even keep baby clothes in different sections.
These divisions and rules are more striking across educational settings where they’re known as a school dress code. Dress codes have become a controversial topic, with students, parents, and teachers being perplexed about double standards and social differences. When it comes to school dress codes,
here are 10 ways they're different for boys:
20 Pink And Dresses Were For Boys: A Journey Through Time
Pink is for girls, blue is for boys, right? Yes, but no! Looking at photographs taken only a century ago, blue onesies with dinosaurs and stormtroopers were the last things on people’s minds. In the Victorian era, for instance, practicality came before aesthetics, so all toddlers wore white dresses. Let’s admit it – it’s easier to pull up a dress to change a diaper and bleach a white garment.
In addition, pink was a boy’s color, a soft version of the masculine color red. According to jezebel.com, the entire nature of today’s dress codes changed 80 years ago, with color-coded rules still reshaping childhood.
19 "No Shorts" Policies
While in some developing countries women are not allowed to wear jeans, many girls in the West can choose either a lovely skirt or a pair of cool pants. Boys are not so fortunate, though; pants and shorts are the only things they have.
When it comes to school policies, sometimes even shorts are not allowed. Rules and dress codes, however, cannot restrict students’ creativity. More than 30 boys in Exeter, England, for instance, started a bare-legged revolution. When teachers refused to let the male students wear shorts on a day with temperatures above 100° F – when girls were allowed to wear skirts – boys just arrived for lessons wearing skirts.
18 Long Locks and Dyed Hair Are Not Allowed
In a world where males and females are still learning to interact and live in harmony, many boys dislike the fact that girls are allowed to experiment with different haircuts and colors. Even parents agree that some policies are archaic; girls can have short or long hair…but boys can’t.
Sadly, an English boy was sent home from school because of his long hair. The main reason he wanted to grow his hair 12 inches was to raise money for the Little Princess Trust, a charity which provides wigs for patients. His mother revealed, "We spoke about the Little Princess Trust and everything but the headteacher skirted around everything." Should school policies come before people’s well-being?
17 Boys Enjoy More Liberal Dress Codes
Societies are founded on strict regulations. Talking about dress codes and double standards, though, people agree that most of the dress codes and school rules apply mainly to female students. Even male students find such practices unfair. Victor Carlsson told the campanile.org, "The dress code is all about girls. The only thing it says about guys is to not sag."
Although school dress codes are not gender-specific, some boys simply enjoy more liberal rules than girls - a practice which can continue in adulthood. It’s not a secret that many men can wear shorts without being judged about their hairy legs.
16 Feminine Clothes Are Often Stigmatized
Throughout history and all around the globe, double standards are common. While in the West, girls can wear pants and khaki military outfits, boys still face numerous prejudices for wearing feminine clothes.
Although young kids have no clear concept about biological and social differences, stereotyping starts early. According to romper.com, a mom conducted an interesting experiment: she dressed her son in girls’ clothes for a week. When her husband, "always known to be progressive and super open-minded," saw their cute toddler wearing a cupcake T-shirt, he said, "You can’t let him wear that out of the house."
15 Are Heels For Kings?
Flat sneakers, moccasins, and loafers: it seems that heels are solely reserved for women. Nevertheless, high heels were originally worn by Persian soldiers as a type of riding footwear. In Europe, heels were favored by kings who wanted to look taller – aka more powerful – than the people around them.
However, while in the West boys and girls demand more freedom to express their preferences, there are students who cannot choose for themselves. Interestingly, girls at the Tajik State Pedagogical University are required to wear high heels as an integrated part of their uniform. A journalist told buzzfeed.com, "Rather than starting with high heels… it would be better to strengthen teaching... and simply give students the chance to study."
14 Wearing Makeup Is More Than A Trend
It’s not a secret that double standards affect both boys and girls. When it comes to make-up, for instance, even tweens are pressured by companies to wear red lipstick, black eyeliner, and glitter. Yet, for some boys, make-up is the only way to help them reveal their true Self – something schools do not allow.
In Texas, a male student started a petition after he got suspended for wearing make-up. The petition stated that the school "has a dress code policy in place that includes several gender-biased policies such as preventing boys from wearing make-up and earrings (both things that girls are allowed to wear). These policies are based entirely on outdated... standards."
13 Accessories Can Get Boys Into Trouble
Most schools do not allow students to wear religious jewelry, show their tattoos, or promote a brand. At the same time, girls are allowed to wear certain accessories, such as earrings. Parents and students wonder why double standards exist.
The reason is simple: nobody wants to embrace change and step out of their comfort zone. As student Navaid explains, "Though I respect everyone’s right to expressing their individuality, I also think it’s important to respect other people’s comfort zones. Especially at school. For this reason, I think it’s important to uphold a dress code just because school should be a place where everyone feels comfortable."
12 How Much Does It Cost To Be A Boy?
School systems differ across the globe. In the UK, for instance, uniforms are designed to make kids equal. This is vital for children from low-income families. Knowledge has nothing to do with a pair of Adidas, right?
So, it’s really unfair when boys have to miss a day of school because they can’t afford a new pair of jeans. A South Carolina student got into trouble because of an "emerging hole." His mother said, "He had to come home because of that, he missed an entire day of education because of that… And (the teacher) was like, well, we realize it’s not a hole, it’s what we call an emerging hole."
11 "It's A Boy!" - Cultural Differences Around The World
A boy or a girl? From online quizzes to old wives’ tales, there are many ways to "predict" if a woman is having a boy or a girl. Research shows that between 1960 and 2000, parents (from the US) appeared to prefer a boy. In countries where women are less valued than men, the gap between boys and girls is even more striking.
It’s not only dress codes and liberal clothing, though. In places, such as Afghanistan, South Sudan, Guinea and Mali, many girls have no access to education. Gayle Smith told bbc.com, "Over 130 million girls are still out of school - that's over 130 million potential engineers, entrepreneurs, teachers and politicians whose leadership the world is missing out on."
And here are 10 ways school dress codes affect girls:
10 Empowering Messages: A Step Toward Equality
Boys and girls are programmed to act differently already in the utero. Research shows that children start to believe in social myths before they turn 10. Girls play with dolls and help Mommy in the kitchen, boys play with trucks and go fishing with Daddy.
When it comes to clothes, experts reveal that there’s even a quality difference between boys’ and girls’ clothes. Girls’ clothes are not only tighter and more uncomfortable, but they’re flimsy and thin. The good news is that more and more brands are promoting clothes with empowering messages for girls, such as "Little Feminist" and "Future Leader."
9 Considering The Boys
Dress codes can be unfair. Experts, parents, and teachers agree that the rules for boys and girls differ. Principle Barnes told the campanile.org, "For the length of shorts, it applies more to girls’ fashion nowadays than it ever did for men’s fashion; there’s not a big concern for short shorts for guys."
Surprisingly, even teachers claim that teens can be a "distraction." Junior Lizzy Martinez tweeted, "I decided not to wear a bra today and got pulled out of class [because] one of my teachers complained that it was a distraction to boys in my class. My school basically told me that boys' education is far more important than mine."
8 Yearbook Pictures And Proms
School years are exciting: new skills, new friends, and new experiences. So, it’s no surprise that yearbook pictures and prom dances are special. Yet, dress codes often penalize girls. According to theinsider.com, female students can be asked to retake their yearbook photos if they wear black off-the-shoulder tops.
School dress codes can affect a student's prom night as well. Although prom dresses are beautiful (and often costly), some schools may not allow a girl to wear a certain dress. Surprisingly, a Catholic high school stated, "Some girls may wear the same dress, but due to body types one dress may be accepted while the other is not."
7 The Fit Matters
It’s not a secret that adolescence comes with lots of physical, emotional, and hormonal changes. Therefore, it’s questionable that dress codes apply differently to different students. There have been many instances of schools enforcing rules that lead to negative body image from students.
Since teens often search for identity, psychologists claim that negative comments and unfair dress codes can cause different emotional and behavioral issues. A school system based on blindly following the rules won't work.
6 Distracting Clothes And Duct Tape
The search of identity in life is a marvelous process - and fashion is a crucial part of it. It’s a well-known fact that students can be fashion-conscious. So, is it right to confine students and divide boys and girls? Often dress codes objectify females, claiming that girls are responsible for the thoughts and actions of boys. Senior Phoenix Jarrell-Desch says, "You need to teach boys to pay attention in class instead of teaching girls to cover themselves up."
In fact, a mother reported that her daughter was forced to cover her ripped jeans with duct tape. Parents and students agree that dress code violation procedures need to be revised.
5 Of Tomboys And Princesses
Boys and girls, as stated above, may face double standards. While boys are rarely allowed to wear feminine clothes, girls are programmed to be girls. "Girly" girls or tomboys - strangely, there’s no middle ground. It seems that people don't want to believe that even "girly" toddlers can play with planes, dinosaurs, and cars.
Dress codes just enforce these social beliefs. For instance, sophomore Miranda Larkin was actually forced to wear a yellow shirt that read "dress code violation."
4 Dress Codes Take Precedence Over Education
While social norms regulate behaviors, parents are pushing back against school rules. Simply because dress codes should not take prevalence over education. Often girls are sent home for showing their... collarbones.
In Texas, a mother whose child was sent home for wearing a neutral long-sleeved T-shirt dress said, "What is more important here? My daughter's skirt length, or her PHYSICS AP TEST SCORE?... She also had an [Advanced Placement US.S. history] test, and a LATIN 3 test, back to back. Don't understand how this is a dress code violation." Considering the increasing tuition and living costs, strict dress codes become questionable.
3 Celebs And Designer Clothes
Baby clothes, as explained above, are either pink or blue. The problem, though, is multicolored. Girls’ clothes are thinner and more uncomfortable. Does a baby really need ruffle lace and glitter? Trying to comprehend why baby clothes differ in quality, people agree that celebs and online influencers are reshaping fashion trends at a rapid pace.
From celeb maternity photography to the red carpet, we have to admit that celebs play a crucial role in our lives. Even kids can’t escape from designer duds. Look at two popular fashionistas - Kim Kardashian and her adorable daughter North West! It’s believed that North’s wardrobe is worth more than $1 million.
2 Cultural Differences: A Target Of Social Debates
Women all over the world are expected to show modesty and femininity all at the same time. Therefore, school dress codes can help students embrace academic and social regulations. After all, schools are educational institutions, not fashion venues.
Yet, in our diverse society full of colorful rituals and religious beliefs, dress codes should promote cultural differences. Students should be allowed to follow their own traditions.
1 "It's A Girl!" - Does A Princess Need A Prince?
From making women wear corsets and head scarves to arresting teens for wearing jeans, women have always been subjected to unusual dress codes. According to marieclaire.co.uk., throughout history, women were often told what to wear. Ads and celebs also influence girls; figures show that companies target even tweens.
At the same time, school dress codes - initially designed to promote equality and a safe learning environment - objectify students. Girls are often forced to change their behaviors and miss school due to unreasonable policies.
But no, girls do not need a prince. In the end, men and women are not different species from different planets, but human beings who have the right to wear what they want.