When I was a child, I used to wonder why we had to wear school uniforms. Those kids in the American TV shows didn’t have any sort of school uniforms and could wear whatever that they wanted to school. Needless to say, they looked really cool doing it.
Then, my mother explained to me the reasoning behind having school uniforms is to avoid discrimination e.g. rich kinds don’t get to flaunt designer clothes. Also, it helps avoid identifying oneself by clothing e.g. kids going Goth.
Now, we can argue the merits of such a restriction on freedoms of expression but that’s not the point that I’m trying to make here. The point is that our schools seemed to have lost track of the original intent and have taken things the exact opposite direction.
There are reports that a school has asked a student to NOT wear an approved uniform – the baju kurung – to school. A child has been barred from school for wearing a school uniform? Madness!
How did such a travesty happen?
At the end of the day, the government has to shoulder the blame. Through its decades of misdirected policies, our people now seem to identify each other through clothing. As an example, a Malay Muslim woman has to be covered and certainly show neither legs nor cleavage while a non-Malay non-Muslim woman should certainly show both tits and ass.
Saloma would laugh at such a proposterous notion.
While the feminists may argue that this is just further signs that our society loves to control its women, including how little girls dress to school, but that’s not what this post is about.
This post is about the the fact that we’re more than how we dress. If a man chooses to dress as a woman, biarlah. If a woman chooses to dress as a man, that’s fine too. If a non-Malay girl wants to wear the baju kurung, that’s beautiful. If a Malay girl wants to wear the Cheong Sam, that’s wonderful!
So, I actually like the idea to give our kids flexibility in wearing what they want to school, which has been implemented for the sixth-formers this year. While they’re still limited in their choices, it’s a good start.
Let’s just live and let live. Take it easy. Let people wear what they want so that we can wear (or not wear) whatever we want too.