Why I want to wear white at my graduation

by Christine Nappi, Copy Editor

At graduation this June, the tradition of boys wearing red and girls wearing white will be broken, for all students will be wearing a red cap and gown.

Girls wearing white has been a tradition ever since the first class graduating class of 1959, and many students are enraged that it’s changing.

There are many reasons that the administration has decided to do this. For one, the singular color is more gender neutral and will eliminate discrepancies of separating colors based off of gender.

But, when did wearing red or white define who we are?

The original tradition of wearing a color based off your gender is flawed, but making all students wear one color is not the solution to this. I applaud the school in their attempt to create a more accepting community, but this isn’t the approach that should be taken. Students should be able to wear the color they want regardless of their gender.

If a student associates themselves with the opposite gender, they should be able to wear either color accordingly. Even if a student doesn’t associate with a certain gender, they should be able to wear the color they desire. If a guy wants to wear white at graduation he should be able to, and if a girl wants to wear red, then allow it. But if I want to follow the tradition and wear white at my one and only high school graduation, I should be able to. I have seen class after class receive diplomas in the elegant, white cap and gowns, and I have been looking forward to it. But now my chances of ever getting to do that are gone.

In a sense, it’s ironic that we all have to conform and wear the same color. Another reason why the administration has decided to do this is so the senior class is “united.” But how does wearing the same color unite us in any way? It merely creates a facade that we are united. By this statement, I’m not saying that the senior class is divided. We are already united, but at the same time we are all unique, different and diverse, and that is what I love about the school.

Throughout our education in Glen Rock, we have been taught that diversity is a good thing, and it helps us learn. Most importantly, our differences make us who we are. The red and white gowns demonstrate that we are a unique community, and we should not be discouraged from being ourselves by wanting to wear a certain color.

With all our differences, we have learned to accept each other for who we are, and that’s what makes us united- not some silly color.

I understand that red is one of our school colors, but so is white. Not to exaggerate, but having the girls conform to wearing the color the guys would previously wear feels like a slap in the face. The girls now have to conform to men once again, which is something I thought our society was past. All throughout history and up to today, women have had to fight for their rights. Like many women, I have been taught to be independent and stand up for myself, and wearing red defeats that. In a way, having to wear red is demeaning to us girls because we feel as if we are being told to conform to the more “dominant” species. This not only contradicts the lessons that need to be taught for girls to be strong and independent, but it weakens our self-esteem. I understand this argument is more extreme than the rest because red is simply a school color, but it prompts me further to fight for my right to wear white.

I also already paid for my senior portrait in a white cap and gown so there goes that.