argument top image

Should school uniforms be mandatory?
Back to question

School uniforms negatively affect students' self-image

School uniforms can have negative psychological effects. We all have different body types. Forcing students to wear clothes that don't match their body time can create feelings of embarrassment.


Being a teenager is difficult enough. Your body is growing. What looked good on you as a child no longer fits. You are highly self-conscious and are still finding your way when it comes to clothing.

The Argument

Everyone's body is different. What suits a particular body shape does not suit another. Applying a one-style-fits-all approach with a school uniform will inevitably create feelings of embarrassment and discomfort for some segments of the population. This is unpleasant for some students and downright torture for others. Consider a teenage transgender student who knows that skirts, dresses and blouses make them feel uncomfortable. Forcing these students to wear a school uniform is cruel and can have significant impacts on their self-esteem.[1] One study carried out at Arizona State University confirmed this. It found that students from school without a school uniform policy had a higher self-perception than those from schools which forced students to wear uniforms.[2]

Counter arguments

Because uniforms reduce bullying and teasing based on fashion choices, indirectly, they contribute to increasing students self-esteem. A study from Oxford Brookes University among year 7 and year 9 students found students reported heightened feelings of anxiety on non-uniform days. This indicates that far from damaging students' mental health, school uniforms actually have a positive impact on students psychological welfare.[3]



[P1] Not everyone feels comfortable in the same types of clothes. [P2] Forcing these people to wear a generic uniform will make them feel anxious. [P3] Students should not be required to wear a uniform.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] But others get anxiety about having to choose their own clothes. [Rejecting P3] Both options give students anxiety. It is school. People are going through puberty. Everyone is anxious all the time.


This page was last edited on Thursday, 24 Sep 2020 at 10:44 UTC

Explore related arguments