Dress codes are back, our freedom is gone

By Robin Bakker

After 12 years of most people having to deal with a dress code in school, going to college was supposed to end that.

The Fitness Center on campus at UT has recently enforced a dress code for girls. It states that no skin should be shown when working out and using the equipment to “minimize injuries” and “make everyone feel comfortable,” as said by Meghan Everson, coordinator of facilities and operations for Campus Recreation. 

What I took from this is that girls should feel comfortable but only in how the school tells them too. Even if they feel comfortable in a crop top, they have to feel uncomfortable when a worker kicks them out and makes them change into something they might not want to wear.

Important questions to be asking are, where are the boys’ dress codes? Does a muscle tank they cut themselves that shows their entire upper body not count as “showing skin”? Yet, a top that still covers the stomach but shows the upper part of leggings or shorts is a dangerous no-no?

For years, girls across the country have been sent home for showing their shoulders and being “too sexy” at schools because the boys can’t keep it in their pants. College is not supposed to enforce these rules. We finally broke away from parents’ rules and get to be independent and make our own decisions. Let’s not fall back into the same patterned routine.  

The media has influenced society in a lot of ways. It has normalized rape culture and shows women as sex objects. Girls are to show off their skin to boys and do everything they ask us too. In reality, girls look good for themselves. Most girls get in shape, do makeup, and dress how they want to feel good about their bodies.

A gym should not have a dress code. Different people work out in different ways. Different people need to wear different clothing to make themselves feel better about their bodies as they work out.

They choose an outfit for whatever workout they are doing that would best suit that routine. For instance, leggings are typically more preferred over shorts when cycling. 

It could be possible that the gym wants to lessen the amount of germs being spread. But, with how differently they treat the girls and guys, they are not making themselves look good. If they are worried about germs, maybe they should focus more on enforcing that everyone wipes down the equipment after each use. They would also have to make sure they make sure wipes are constantly full and ready to use.

Most workers at the gym do not know or understand the dress code and will not talk about it. All they can say is if the attire does not meet the standards they asks the person to leave. Yet, the definition of a “crop top” may differ from person to person. What may constitute as a crop top to the gym workers, even though it covers the stomach, some girls might not think the same. So, they do not think anything bad of their outfit until they go to the gym.

Dress codes in general, are the dumbest thing to enter the schooling system. I understand that people should be clothed covering most of their private areas, but people are free to wear whatever they want. 

A cartoon Netflix series, Big Mouth, shows middle schoolers going through puberty, and also addresses dress codes. The girls come together to protest how the principle makes a dress code to protect the boys from acting too crazy.

If a cartoon can address a stupid rule, so can actual college students. Even though it should not be a rule in the first place.

Robin Bakker can be reached at robin.bakker@spartans.ut.edu

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