This morning when the kids were getting ready to go to school we discovered holes in the soles of their shoes again, they are good makes of shoe they haven’t had them very long, as my eldest daughter put on her black jeggings(the only trousers she will wear) and burys her hands under her oversized cardigan sleeves awkwardly with her changing enbarrassed hormonal ten year old body she would rather hide under a massive hoodie top than have to wear these unflattering thin polo shirts, and in their once bright white polo shirts that are now grey even though we replace them all the time, and most of my youngest sons jumpers have impossible to remove white board marker stains all over them.I gave a sigh.
When I was at primary school we wore very smart expensive uniform with blazers, dufflecoats,straw boaters the lot it must have cost my parents alot of money but things were better quality then and seemed to last longer it seemed and we didnt get so messy then, my husband didn’t wear school uniform at primary school at all he wore jeans and cords and jumpers and trainers.
At my senior school (a comprehensive) we pushed the rules as far as we could rolling up our skirts, putting our ties the wrong way round, as though we were trying to show our individuality or be part of the in crowd group in any way we could, shoes had to be from dolcis or barretts and carrier bags from River Island or we were the lowest of the low p.e trainers had to be nike, I didn’t agree with these things but at that age it was hard to show confidence to be myself.Uniform is meant to reduce bullying as we all supposedly then look the same but to me it made no difference to that at all nor to my being bullied, if your bag or trainers or pencil case isn’t cool you stand out anyway. If you are different you stand out anyway, at the moment at my children’s school there is a trend for oversized hair bows and handbags as school bags, children trying to show their tastes and likes through accessories in their hair because they can’t do that through their clothes, surely indviduality should be encouraged and embraced and celebrated we are not all the same therefore why do we have to conform to uniform all the time? Even as adults we often have to wear a uniform in our jobs, which I really dislike it always puts me off because I dont feel like me unless I am in my clothes, my clothes are my confidence and personality without them I do not feel like me at all, even my husband has to wear collared shirt and smart trousers for his office job which isn’t even customer facing, and people who work in primark don’t get to show off the great fashion that they sell to customers instead they have to wear horrid blue poloshirt things, it seems silly to me, though on the otherhand even in our regular clothes we often seem to have a uniform or fit into a group or style or fashion type, these groups and cliques and gangs and types would happen anyway whether we wear a school uniform or not, but then the pressure having to wear uniform is alot on parents despite it being cheap the amount we get through still makes it pricey and the state of a childs household income poverty is really evident when you look at their uniform it makes people look scruffier almost than they would if they were in their regular playing clothes,school jumpers with holes scuffed school shoes, holes in tights, stained greying polo shirts, wearing a uniform is supposed to show pride in the school that they represent and belong to but when the school photos show an array of dishevelled kids to me wouldn’t it be better if they all wore clothes from every colour of the rainbow instead, if they could wear thick robust denim jeans and pinafores or dungarees or waterproof all in ones or comfortable tracksuits for rolling about in and trainers and waterproof crocs and wellies and comfy slippers indoors or if they could take off their shoes and wiggle their toes a little bit wouldn’t they feel more freedom more relaxed and more themselves, more willing to learn in a comfortable way? I don’t know the answers but I know that I will always encourage my children to be themselves and be confident about it and to never feel like they have to look a certain way, as my favourite cyndi lauper sings “I see your true colours shining through ….your true colours are beautiful like a rainbow” and until things change in the world I shall buy more school shoes and white polo shirts and stick to the rules 😦