Girls feel uncomfortable in PE uniforms – here’s why


Sofia Oyarzun

Trouble on the Track: Freshman, Sophia Abraham runs along the track during gym class.

Riley Shankman, Columnist

Gym uniforms can be described as baggy, unflattering, and if we are being honest, ugly. This is especially true for the girls at South who have to wear uniforms more tailored towards boy’s body types. 

Historically at South the gym uniforms have consisted of a loose-fitted grey t-shirt and baggy blue shorts. This uniformity is nice in theory, because it creates an environment where everyone fits in. That is until girls are forced to wear ill-fitting clothes that damage their morale and comfort, because the uniforms are not made for female body types. 

Over the years I’ve seen a trend where the standard of gym uniforms is masculine based. This stems off of the idea that gym class and athletics in general have a masculine focus. This is seen in more places than the gym uniforms, for example men’s sports is the gold standard while women’s sports is inferior. 

  When first changing into my gym uniform I felt a wave of self-consciousness wash over me because of the uniform’s awkward fit. The shorts that fall when I move, and end halfway down my thigh, and the shirt that fits in some places and scrunches up in others. 

Over the past few years, South has Attempted to make gym uniforms suitable towards all genders by making alterations to the uniforms, such as changing the length of the shorts, or changing the material of the uniforms from dry fit to cotton. Although these alterations are  a great step towards solving the problem, it is not enough. The change is minimal, the difference being mere inches, and the uniform is still geared for boy’s bodies. 

There is an argument that the uniforms should be the same to make everyone feel included, and like they fit in. This environment comes at the cost of the girls who take gym class, who are forced to wear baggy uniforms that don’t fit their body type properly. There needs to be a way  to have a healthy environment in gym class, and a separate girls uniform.

This damage to morale ruins the gym experience, which should be fun because of the many activities  and the break from the stale air of a classroom . In the girls uniform I feel resigned, and discouraged from trying new things in gym class. This is caused by the lack of self confidence that comes with wearing the girls uniform.  Gym is a time to try new things and work hard, not to doubt your confidence. 

South needs to create separate uniform that is comfortable and flattering, for girls. The best way to create a uniform geared towards girls, is to ask students what they would prefer to wear during active activities. This way girls would be more comfortable during gym class, creating a better more confident environment in the PE environment.