Allow students at OSA to express themselves via jewellery, makeup, hair dye etc.

Allow students at OSA to express themselves via jewellery, makeup, hair dye etc.

151 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
Carys Perkins started this petition to Mr Hebblethwaite and

OSA New Uniform Policies      written by Carys Perkins with the help from some anonymous peers 
At Oxford Spires Academy we like to take pride in our diversity, one of many ways our school stands out is our form of self-expression through the students. Many pupils like to dye their hair, paint their nails or wear necklaces. To many, this is a way of expressing themselves.  
A study performed by Roy F Baumeister, professor of psychology, at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio, found out over several tests that students assigned to the low confidence group performed worse than students in a high confidence group. It is well known that the way you present yourself boosts your confidence. Wearing jewellery, painting your nails and dying your hair are all ways of reflecting who you are; therefore, boosting your confidence. 
The following paragraph is written by a student who would like to be kept anonymous. Jewellery and piercings are important to many cultures, those of which many of your students belong to. In Indian (Hindu) cultures, many gods are often painted wearing bangles/with nose piercings. A lot of Hindus tend to wear jewellery or get piercings because it is regarded as a form of beauty but also as an honour to Parvati, the goddess of marriage. Piercings are sacred in South Asian culture in general, seen as beautiful all around the subcontinent. In Africa, a place full of many cultures which you also have students belonging to, jewellery/beads give luck, wisdom, hope and good sense of wellbeing to the wearer. Not only that, but pieces of jewellery were emblems of ancient African gods as well. They hold a lot of significance when it comes to tribes, history, country, etc. It is plain disrespectful to ban jewellery from people when you are aware of the diverse community that OSA is. 
 along with this, I have asked a few students to write a piece about how wearing jewellery etc. has helped them. 
 “As a student, who lives with ASD and ADHD, I cannot express enough how much just wearing jewellery has helped me, at the start of my time at OSA I was extremely anxious all of the time. Trying to concentrate is already a big struggle for me and the feeling of anxiety and self-consciousness did not help at all. After starting to paint my nails and wear rings and necklaces my self-esteem has improved and helped me learn. By taking this away I am worried my education and mental health will take a massive toll”  

“Sometimes the smallest things like getting a new necklace, hairstyle and/or colour, new nails or some rings can positively boost confidence and mental health.” 

“I strongly believe that how you wear your uniform, jewellery and makeup represents who you are as a person and shows us that we have a bit of freedom to express who we are at school. Not letting us wear our uniform the way we want takes away our freedom. It stops us from expressing ourselves and school is about learning, and I think that it doesn't affect that, so why should we change?” 

“I used to be very insecure, every day I would wake up and stare at the mirror, hating every part of my appearance. At school, anytime anyone laughed, and I didn't hear the joke I would assume they were laughing at how ugly I looked. It got so bad I dreaded going to school each day. Then I started wearing eyeliner, painting my nails, wearing necklaces and bracelets. I'm getting my ears pierced soon and will hopefully dye my hair in the future. All these things have made me stop hating my appearance and helped me appreciate myself. Yet taking away these things will make me revert to how I used to be. Makeup, hair dye, piercings: these are all forms of self-expression that can help people learn to love themselves. We should be allowed to have them in school too” 

“I believe that banning jewellery, makeup, painted nails, dyed hair etc takes away people’s self-expression. This means that nobody can feel like they can express themselves and be who they are. This takes a toll on people’s mental well-being; For example, expressing ourselves in diverse ways makes us feel happy because we are showing our true self and not hiding as a “different” person. Having these uniform rules also influences self-confidence because people should be allowed to feel confident being who they are and not being made to hide/feel ashamed of themselves and their identity.” 

I hope that after reading this you can take time to think about it and abolish this rule, thank you for taking time to read this. -the oxford spires students 

151 have signed. Let’s get to 200!