And does it need to be true to be important?
This book is a fun read… https://www.amazon.com/Dress-Codes-Laws-Fashion-History/dp/1501180088/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?crid=KP8T9C77481U&keywords=dress+code+book&qid=1697350501&sprefix=dress+code%2Caps%2C457&sr=8-3
When I was young and foolish I would have advocated the demise of dress codes. Now that I am old and wise I advocate them, but - (of course there is a "but"): those who advocated for the absence of dress codes in public schools back in the 60's and since have a point: Public schooling is compulsory - that is, compelled by the government. And that conflicts with a broad interpretation of the right to "Life, Liberty..." set forth in our Constitution. Those who challenged the dress codes back then and progressive challenges to where we now have schools pretty much requiring nothing (like learning, for example) had a point. My conclusion is that the idea of compulsory public schooling is, on it's face, contradictory to our right to "Life, Liberty...".
Sweet baby Jesus, these answers. 😳 Setting the blatant misogyny and classicism aside, it’s very clear that most, if not all, respondents ascribe to the superficial markers of “professionalism” as opposed to the substance of the professional. The performance of professional, if you will. You can get away with anything if you look the part. How many members of congress come to work in bespoke suits while simultaneously flouting decorum? But it’s how they look that matters, right?
The concept of “professional” is narrowly defined by white male standards. It doesn’t matter how sharply dressed a person is. If they don’t meet those narrow standards, they are not professional. There’s a reason why things like the Crown Act exist, because we’re fighting against this narrow definition of professional. As a woman my curly hair isn’t professional because it “looks messy.” If I don’t wear makeup I look sick, but if I wear too much it’s “not professional.” Flats are not professional enough so it’s strongly encouraged I wear heels despite the fact that they’re torture on my feet. I’ve seen dudes go so far as to get vociferously angry that women “have the luxury” of wearing street shoes into the office and can change them out. One, wear the street shoes, my guy. No one cares but you. And two, walk on ice in four inch stilettos and let me know how that works out for you. Stilettos that I’m strongly encouraged to wear because they’re more professional. How professional is a walking cast for a broken leg?
Younger generations are done with the play-acting professional. We see through it. We see that your value to the thing is an illusion. It’s a performance. There is no substance to it and it’s functionally useless in today’s world. Nowadays you need to prove that you’re more than a finely pressed suit. Because if you’re wearing that suit and can’t so much as print to PDF, we have no use for you or your theatrical professionalism. I’m all for people not looking like they rolled out of bed in public. But even then, you have no idea what’s going on with them and there is literally no merit in judging them based on looks other than to make yourself feel somehow superior. So just mind your own and carry on with your day. While you’re at it, expand your definition of what professional could and should look like.
Thank you so much for this piece, Anya. It's very important that we continue debunking these myths because sometimes It is not ignorance that is too bad. It is the things that we know that ain't so(myths). A myth which persists in the education sector is the existence of learning styles. Despite all the research showing that it's false, majority still think it's true. I debunked it in this article: https://open.substack.com/pub/thevaluejunction/p/you-dont-have-a-preferred-learning?r=2knor6&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=Web