Do uniforms stop us from expressing our individuality?

“Yes of course. The Campion College uniform is dull and untidy. White clothing is easily stained and is hard to wash.” — Liam Boyle, year 11, Campion College.

“I would wear my cat shirt most days which would probably upset some people. At least with uniforms we are not judged for what we wear but how you wear it. For example, some girls like to express themselves with the length of their skirt. But yes our uniforms are ugly!” — Quinn Sidney, year 11, GGHS.

“Free school uniforms for everyone! It removes a barrier between rich and poor. But it shouldn’t matter what you do with your hair or other parts of your body. If you have a necklace or something that means something to you. Keep it tucked away, under clothes. That’s what I do.” — Sam Munday, year 11, Western Heights’ School (Rotorua).

“I think that we should be allowed to express ourselves individually. Especially over here in Rotorua. We can’t even have mufti days because of all the gang related stuff in our school. So I suppose having uniforms is good but we at least need more days where we can express ourselves as individuals and not robots. It’s not fair that teachers get to wear whatever they want.” — Bex Gillette, year 11, Western Heights’ School (Rotorua).

“We are all forced to wear school uniform even if it’s ugly. But if we get to choose what we wear, it might offend someone or we might be judged. We have the weekend to wear what we want.” — Jack Sanders, year 11, LHS.

“I think uniforms are pretty rad because you can just get up and chuck it on, but there should be more variety for the different seasons. We have to wear skirts all year round. The alternative is black pants but the teachers pull you up for that even though it is part of the uniform. Honestly, enforcing skirts is borderline sexism. We have to go to Boys’ High for classes and I know a few people who feel a lot more comfortable having their legs covered when around males and stockings don’t keep you warm in winter.” — Halaena McKeague, year 11, GGHS.

“For something that is usually made compulsory, it is also expensive. In the majority of places, schools tend to charge a large amount for their uniforms, which is usually more than what it has cost to be made in the first place, potentially making a lot of money for the school, which in my opinion is pure robbery. Especially in lower decile regions/areas. On the other hand, uniforms are a way to subside the negative judgements and stigmas surrounding fashion, but only to a certain extent. People will always judge. If they can’t find a large fault, they will emphasise the minor things. Uniforms can prohibit, not only individuality, but also cultural diversity — at least that is what I see happening in society.” — Darcy Spraggs, year 11, GGHS.

“We get told being ourselves is the greatest thing we could ever be and then it kind of just gets thrown right back in our faces. At risk of sounding like a total hipster, uniforms are really just a conformist agenda. Sure, having a uniform is great, I don’t have to worry about wearing the same jeans everyday for a week. I don’t think the uniform itself is the problem, it is the ‘uniform code’ or ‘standards’ or whatever. I think we should be free to wear our uniform as we please (within reason of course). A few pieces of jewellery or a jersey that actually keeps us warm is not going to jeopardise our learning. Whether or not our shoes have a back strap is completely irrelevant. If you want to add some flair or whatever to your uniform, it is not going to mean anything in terms of how well you do in school. Individuality is a sacred characteristic. We shouldn’t kill it with some lame uniform code.” — Lucy Anderson, year 11, GGHS.

“Well, I think it does to a point. If we wear what we want then we can express who we are and what we are like through what we are wearing, but you can still express yourself in other ways.” — Leighton Heikell, year 11, Campion College.

“Yes and No. Not really because your clothes are not the only way you can express yourself. On the other hand it kind of can because the image of someone is your first impression of that person.” — Manaia Hutana, year 9, LHS.

“Yes they do. With our own clothes we have our own style and choices of clothing, but with a uniform we don’t have much room left to express who we are as individuals.” — Madison Dohrman, year 12, GGHS.

“I think they stop us from expressing our culture and beliefs, although it makes us all one. That’s what I think.” — Garde Barbarich, year 12, GBHS.

“No, there are more ways to express ourselves than through what we wear. Uniforms help us identify each other more on our personalities.” — Dylan Ratapu, year 12, GBHS.

“I guess, yeah, but I prefer having uniform. I think that even if you did not have a uniform, wearing clothing wouldn’t necessarily mean you can express yourself. Some people may be poor, some rich. Therefore these different outfits may cause problems. But also outfits can express our individuality in the way that someone may be girly or a tomboy.” — Kennedy Heikell, year 13, Campion College.

“Yes of course. The Campion College uniform is dull and untidy. White clothing is easily stained and is hard to wash.” — Liam Boyle, year 11, Campion College.

“I would wear my cat shirt most days which would probably upset some people. At least with uniforms we are not judged for what we wear but how you wear it. For example, some girls like to express themselves with the length of their skirt. But yes our uniforms are ugly!” — Quinn Sidney, year 11, GGHS.

“Free school uniforms for everyone! It removes a barrier between rich and poor. But it shouldn’t matter what you do with your hair or other parts of your body. If you have a necklace or something that means something to you. Keep it tucked away, under clothes. That’s what I do.” — Sam Munday, year 11, Western Heights’ School (Rotorua).

“I think that we should be allowed to express ourselves individually. Especially over here in Rotorua. We can’t even have mufti days because of all the gang related stuff in our school. So I suppose having uniforms is good but we at least need more days where we can express ourselves as individuals and not robots. It’s not fair that teachers get to wear whatever they want.” — Bex Gillette, year 11, Western Heights’ School (Rotorua).

“We are all forced to wear school uniform even if it’s ugly. But if we get to choose what we wear, it might offend someone or we might be judged. We have the weekend to wear what we want.” — Jack Sanders, year 11, LHS.

“I think uniforms are pretty rad because you can just get up and chuck it on, but there should be more variety for the different seasons. We have to wear skirts all year round. The alternative is black pants but the teachers pull you up for that even though it is part of the uniform. Honestly, enforcing skirts is borderline sexism. We have to go to Boys’ High for classes and I know a few people who feel a lot more comfortable having their legs covered when around males and stockings don’t keep you warm in winter.” — Halaena McKeague, year 11, GGHS.

“For something that is usually made compulsory, it is also expensive. In the majority of places, schools tend to charge a large amount for their uniforms, which is usually more than what it has cost to be made in the first place, potentially making a lot of money for the school, which in my opinion is pure robbery. Especially in lower decile regions/areas. On the other hand, uniforms are a way to subside the negative judgements and stigmas surrounding fashion, but only to a certain extent. People will always judge. If they can’t find a large fault, they will emphasise the minor things. Uniforms can prohibit, not only individuality, but also cultural diversity — at least that is what I see happening in society.” — Darcy Spraggs, year 11, GGHS.

“We get told being ourselves is the greatest thing we could ever be and then it kind of just gets thrown right back in our faces. At risk of sounding like a total hipster, uniforms are really just a conformist agenda. Sure, having a uniform is great, I don’t have to worry about wearing the same jeans everyday for a week. I don’t think the uniform itself is the problem, it is the ‘uniform code’ or ‘standards’ or whatever. I think we should be free to wear our uniform as we please (within reason of course). A few pieces of jewellery or a jersey that actually keeps us warm is not going to jeopardise our learning. Whether or not our shoes have a back strap is completely irrelevant. If you want to add some flair or whatever to your uniform, it is not going to mean anything in terms of how well you do in school. Individuality is a sacred characteristic. We shouldn’t kill it with some lame uniform code.” — Lucy Anderson, year 11, GGHS.

“Well, I think it does to a point. If we wear what we want then we can express who we are and what we are like through what we are wearing, but you can still express yourself in other ways.” — Leighton Heikell, year 11, Campion College.

“Yes and No. Not really because your clothes are not the only way you can express yourself. On the other hand it kind of can because the image of someone is your first impression of that person.” — Manaia Hutana, year 9, LHS.

“Yes they do. With our own clothes we have our own style and choices of clothing, but with a uniform we don’t have much room left to express who we are as individuals.” — Madison Dohrman, year 12, GGHS.

“I think they stop us from expressing our culture and beliefs, although it makes us all one. That’s what I think.” — Garde Barbarich, year 12, GBHS.

“No, there are more ways to express ourselves than through what we wear. Uniforms help us identify each other more on our personalities.” — Dylan Ratapu, year 12, GBHS.

“I guess, yeah, but I prefer having uniform. I think that even if you did not have a uniform, wearing clothing wouldn’t necessarily mean you can express yourself. Some people may be poor, some rich. Therefore these different outfits may cause problems. But also outfits can express our individuality in the way that someone may be girly or a tomboy.” — Kennedy Heikell, year 13, Campion College.

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Me - 9 days ago
Uniforms suck. They cost too much and are so uncomfortable.

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