While walking through the halls of Ridgewood High School, one can easily notice that leggings are frequented apparel for girls of all ages. Either for comfort, style, or exercise, leggings can be worn for any occasion. In the past few years, a controversial topic has emerged into conversations at Ridgewood High School about whether or not leggings be considered inappropriate school attire. Obviously, there are many different factors when considering a restrictive dress code.
According to female students, the controversy is pointless. RHS girls claim that taking away leggings would be like taking away part of their personality. Since leggings come in a variety of colors and patterns, leggings give the wearer the opportunity to be expressive and creative: something that is difficult to do at Ridgewood High School. Junior Riley Ricciardi had a great deal to say on the subject of leggings. “They are just comfortable,” said Ricciardi. “Even if they decided to ban leggings, I honestly would still wear them; they take up basically half of my wardrobe,” she stated. “Not to mention, leggings allow for flexibility and versatility, as they can be found in so many different colors and can go with any outfit.” Riccardi, who is a double varsity athlete, also frequently wears leggings while out on the field. For Riccardi, they are a basic part of her daily life, and banning them would be an inconvenience for her and the rest of her teammates. In addition to Ricciardi, many RHS students disagree with the proposal to ban leggings, and state they will protest if it goes through.
Although many students are fond of the practicality that comes with leggings, it unfortunately is not really up to students to decide whether they are appropriate for school. RHS students may completely disagree with the notion that leggings are not correct attire, but are unaware of the negative effects that leggings suggest. Mrs. O’Brien, the junior Grade Advisor, completely agrees with the usability and comfort that leggings provide, but also thinks that leggings are mainly worn in an inappropriate manner. “I think leggings are great, they are very functional,” Mrs. O’Brien said. “But, I think the problem with leggings is that many believe they can take the role of pants.” She recalls that back when she was a teenager, leggings were commonly worn along with a skirt or a long shirt. “What we see more and more is girls wearing leggings with tops that stop at their hips, and that becomes a distraction for anyone attracted to the female body,” Mrs. O’Brien states.
Many faculty members want to enforce some rules, but that would only apply to school settings. RHS staff members are aware that students dress as they please on the weekends, and so they are fine with students wearing leggings on their own time. It is only when leggings become a distraction for students that teachers want changes to be made. As of right now, there is no restriction on the way students at Ridgewood High School wear their leggings, so continue to wear them as you like.
In my opinion, leggings should not be discouraged in the school setting. In a world where most people are taught to be similar in appearance and personality, schools should praise diversity. Leggings may be inappropriate in some situations, but mainly they promote individuality and creativity. Moreover, school systems should not see leggings as contentious and distracting, because that only reinforces the objectification of women as sexual objects. Most importantly, why does it matter what clothes students wear? Maybe instead of restricting school dress codes, and putting the blame on the young women, the high school faculty should teach students to be more respectful of other people’s clothing choices.