Audaces fortuna juvat

Working towards my dream

Skirts for Girls

Posted by C Moon on December 7, 2007

Since my family relocated to Korea from the USA when I was five, I studied under the Korean public school system for ten and a half years until I entered Korean International School as a junior. Differently from US schools, Korean middle and high schools require their students to wear school uniforms: usually shirts and pants for boys, and blouses and skirts for girls.

When I reached this point, I had to make a decision. In principle, girls were allowed to substitute pants for skirts only with the school’s permission, and the few schools that adopted this new rule did it only nominally. Both the school community and Korean society considered it “normal” for girls to wear skirts. Having spent my first five years of life in the US and with my active and tomboyish lifestyle, I was more comfortable wearing pants. When I chose according to my preference, I became the only pants-wearing girl in my entire school. Initially, teachers, male students, and even female students did not understand my decision and deemed me eccentric. However, their open and covert attention on my pants dissipated over time as they got to know who “Catherine Moon” was. Many changed their perception toward girls wearing pants, showed their respect for my choice, and expressed their support, even though people on the street continued to cast disapproving eyes. At least in my old schools, I did initiate changes in school’s and students’ perception toward girls wearing pants in school.

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Photo Credits: “school girls” by SMOKEHARD on Flickr

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