Why I love uniforms
I know some parents think that uniforms are boring, bland, reminiscent of austere public school days, and even filled with stigmas. Personally, though, I think uniforms are great. My view comes not only as a new parent, but as a kid who once had to navigate the difficult world of being a newly arrived immigrant with not that much money among kids who had way more resources and, by extension, way more clothes.
Yes, uniforms are the "great equalizers," but my views on them are much more personal than pragmatic: I was mercilessly teased when I was younger because my parents couldn't afford the designer brands so popular among kids. A uniform would have been a symbolic life-saver for me!
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Oh no, my parents couldn't afford the Nike, Reeboks, L.A. Gear sneakers that were so cool in my day, or the expensive Esprit and Benetton tees and sweaters that I used to die for. No, I had to wear what we could. And what was even worse was when I wore clothes my mom would sew for me. So yeah, a uniform would have really helped!
My neighborhood's public schools implemented uniforms some years back. I was sad not to have been in school when this went into effect, but happy for the kids who could take advantage. Coming from an area with such a high number of immigrants, I understood why the school system did this: to level the field in some ways and save parents money. Sure, the teasing thankfully didn't cause me irreparable harm (although I do joke that it's the reason I have so many clothes today!), but some kids may not be so lucky. I see little ones going to school in their burgundy polos and khaki pants and I think they look so cute!
I can honestly say that once my son starts school, I'll be happy to send him to a school that requires a uniform. In his case, it won't be because of the risk of teasing and bullying because of cheap clothes or clothes made by his mom (Ha! I can sew a button and that's about it!). No, in Sebastian's case, I think he'll probably have way too many clothes, because his dad and I dote on him in this way now. So he won't have to endure any teasing, but I also don't want him feeling superior to anyone EVER because of the brand of sneakers he rocks or the expensive shirt his parents can afford. I want him to be a level-headed kid in many ways, and this certainly will help.
Image via Mr Moss/Flickr