Bummin’ it to class: is it sloppy for students to wear PJ’s to class?

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When college students wake up, they are faced with the first decision of the day: what to wear to class.  This decision may be dictated by what clothes you have clean, what your major is, what class you have, or if you’re trying to impress a girl or boy on campus.

For me, I immediately go for sweats or yoga pants, but for others, dressing in professional attire is the norm.  Some say dressing more professionally makes a better impression on professors, and gives a student confidence in the classroom.

I go to class to learn, and I chose to go to college for an education.  So when I attend my classes, I do not worry about what I’m wearing.  I do not expect to be judged either.  Some students believe a professor will treat them differently if they look more professional in class.  However, my professors have never discriminated against me because of the clothes I wore to their class.  Professors have no right to do so.  If a Radford professor cannot discriminate based on race or gender, they should not discriminate against appearance.

No student should have to dress up for class because they think their professor will treat them differently.  If students are attending class and participating, why should anyone be concerned about what they’re wearing?

I wear comfy clothes to class almost every day.  Professors still know my name, and I still get great grades.  My clothes have never affected my learning because my appearance is not what dictates my education.  How I decide to study, how much I pay attention in class, and how I prioritize my college experience is what dictates my education.

Now, I am not always a bum in class.  I do dress professionally or in business casual from time to time.  I am a dance major and a communication major.  My majors do sometimes influence how I choose to dress.

As a dance major, I take dance classes such as ballet and modern during the day.  Since I dance in comfy clothing, I usually dress comfortably to the classes I have before and after dance.  However, in my communication classes, I feel like business attire is more professional.  Some communication students do dress that way, as do business students.  Again, why should it matter what students are wearing to class if they’re still learning and are engaged?

People are concerned with their appearance because it is what society is concerned with.  “Beauty bias” is a factor of organizational power and outcomes.  Our society gives power based on attractiveness, and we buy into the hegemony that is evident in the huge cosmetic industries.

It only makes sense for students to think a professor will pay more attention to them, or that other students will like them more because of how they dress.

As a final opinion, a professional job or internship requires professional clothing.  If I can dress casual in college, I will.  These are the last few years I have to dress like a bum before the real world strikes and I am in blazers, pencil skirts, and painful heels day in and a day out.

 

Email:lmartin6@radford.edu