Low Self Esteem in Girls: Are Dress Codes Making the Issue Worse?

Tank-top straps must be three-fingers wide; shorts must come down to your fingertips; low-cut shirts are unacceptable; leggings are not pants—these are all examples of dress code rules around the country in our schools. Recently, discussions have started on whether these dress codes are causing low self esteem in girls, though.

The argument for dress codes

Without any rules, there’s the possibility that young teens could come to school dressed inappropriately. They could have offensive sayings on their clothes or be wearing something inappropriate for their age. 
Some advocates of dress codes argue that the rules give structure to young people’s lives. It gives them something to learn to follow in order to get a feel for consequences–that it teaches respect and discipline.

The argument against dress codes

The argument against dress codes is less about the idea of dress codes and more about how they’re being implemented currently. Many claim that dress codes are actually causing low self esteem in girls because of how they’re targeted.

It’s been shown that girls are disproportionately targeted for dress code violations. It’s not because they wear more “code breaking” clothes either, because boys frequently get away with the same things girls get in trouble for.

For some girls, they feel singled out and objectified because they’re told their clothing is too provocative and distracting to the boys–instead of teaching the boys to be focused, respectful, and have enough self-control that they can take a test without being distracted by bare shoulders.

There have been many testimonies describing how dress code violations have caused low self esteem in girls. Those that have issues with current dress codes argue that they’re not against the idea of dress codes–as said before, that would lead to chaos–but they do believe there needs to be reform when it comes to them.
Having dress codes that teach teens how to properly dress and still express themselves is important for the future–but shaming girls who are in violation of ridiculous rules targeting their gender will only lead to low self esteem in girls. Especially when our reason for doing so is telling young girls that their bodies are responsible for misbehavior in males.

If you believe your daughter is struggling with an issue like low self esteem in girls, it’s critical to reach out to a professional for further guidance.

Asheville Academy is here for your family

Asheville Academy is a therapeutic boarding school for girls, ages 10-14. Our students commonly struggle with anxiety, depression, ADHD, low self esteem in girls, and other behavioral or emotional challenges.
With the help of our licensed therapists, experienced teachers, caring staff, and expertly designed program, our students move closer to a healthier life. We use the best tactics and therapeutic methods in order to build a healthy self esteem for girls at Asheville Academy.

For more information about treating low self esteem in girls at Asheville Academy, call 800-264-8709 today.