I walked into the school excited for the eighth-grade field trip to Carson Beach, right around the corner from the school. I looked around, ready for the beach day, and was pretty excited since my family and I barely go to the beach.
But I noticed a bunch of upset faces and arguments breaking out, and wondered why. It was supposed to be fun. Of course, the issue was the dress code. The typical “no shoulders showing, no tank tops, no short shorts, no open toes shoes (on the beach), and no ripped jeans.”
Every time we have the chance to not wear a uniform we always get sent home for what we wear or something dumb. When I say we, I mean the girls. According to the teacher, violating the dress code is not appropriate and a distraction to the boys.
I walked up to my friend and asked, “What’s the problem, the dress code again?” while rolling my eyes.
“You already know, sis,” she replied.
I looked around and watched many girls coming out of the bathroom with big oversized sweats from the nurse’s office and angry faces. Some even got sent home.
Female teenagers should be able to express themselves through what they wear and how they look with no problem. We deserve to wear what we want without older adults scolding us and telling us we look too “grown,” and we need to cover up. Everyone develops differently and everyone comes in all different shapes, sizes, and colors. They should accept us for who we are and what we wear. I should be able to wear lip gloss, hooped earrings, and long hair without being considered “grown.” We should be able to wear tank tops, shorts, and skirts without being considered “grown.” Us wearing makeup, red nails, acrylic nails, and extensions should not be considered “grown.”
Our judgmental society is honestly the reason a lot of females grew up insecure and unsure who they are. All their life they have been told what to wear, how to wear it, and if it is too grown for a teen.
Older adults should be more supportive and welcoming to young teen girls who are trying new styles and looks instead of shaming them into being insecure about themselves. Especially with this generation on TikTok!
There are so many new looks and ideas that teens have come up with — like new hairstyles and outfits — but when they come outside, it’s considered too much and grown — constantly brought down because of it being “too grown.”
As a teen girl, I’ll continue to uplift females and support all looks no matter what adults think. Girls, we are going to continue to dress how they want and do what makes them happy. Adults are judgmental without realizing it, and it affects teens.
Adults need to grow up and normalize teens expressing themselves in different ways no matter what we wear. We shouldn’t have to put on an outfit and stop and think, “Hmm, maybe I should change because it’s not formal enough.”
Adults honestly need to step up their game in empowering teens.