[Letters] Freedom to look fabulousSchool uniforms these days seem to have lost their status as a traditional symbol of uniformity and formality. It is quite rare to see students just wearing school uniforms anymore. From accessories to pullovers, students reveal their character in their uniforms. Many schools ban students expressions of personality, requiring them to wear only monotone uniforms. However, we should question whether school uniforms are a good choice for teens because there appears to be some disadvantages to them.
For one, school uniforms are troublesome. Because every student has to wear one school uniform every day, we run into problems when it gets dirty. When I was in middle school, I accidentally dumped my lunch on my school jacket. I did not know what to do, because I could not just put it into the laundry machine, for it could shrink or deform. Also, I could not take it to the dry cleaners because I had to wear it the next day. Thankfully, I had no school the next day. However, it was a close call.
Secondly, it is not cost effective. Students spend over 500,000 won ($400) to buy summer and winter uniforms. However, our bodies change during the three years of school: we grow taller and lose or gain weight. Thus, we may end up buying new clothes again. Many students, in fact, would rather spend such amounts to buy what they want to wear instead of buying uniforms.
Lastly, school uniforms are not quite agreeable. Everyone has different body shapes and tastes in terms of dress, and teenagers express themselves through what they wear. Moreover, students are very active. They move around and use their bodies a lot. However, schools requires students to wear very plain jackets, oppressing students’ diverse styles and tastes.
Living in a society where individual character and choice are valued and respected, I believe it is anachronistic to require students to wear uniforms that suppress their personalities. Considering the disadvantages that are mentioned above, it would be desirable for school officials or the government to reform school uniform policy.
Park Seo-hyeon, EunKwang Girls’ High School