Sunday, May 31, 2015

All White Everything

5.31.15 marks the day of New Trier High School's Class of 2015 Graduation. But before a New Trier student can graduate, along with meeting all the graduation requirements, students must find the perfect dress or get fitted for a crisp white tuxedo. While at other schools in the Chicagoland area, students dress in caps and gowns and dresses of a variety of colors. But New Trier students must follow the "Dress and Tuxedo Guidelines" and dress in all white. Here is a screenshot of the guidelines below:
This unique tradition has been around since the origins of New Trier. But here's the real question, why all white? Does the color white symbolize the upper class? The color white has the connotation of being pure, clean, and blemish free. The denotation of white according to is  "of the color of pure snow." In  F.Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, white is used to describe the "rippling and fluttering" white dresses of two very wealthy female characters, Daisy Buchanan and Jordan Baker. Maybe white signifies the upper class because if you get a piece of white clothing dirty, you need to have the money to take it to the dry cleaners to get it removed.

Due to the affluent area that New Trier resides in, does wearing all white for a high school graduation signify the upper class? Is it symbolically saying that "we are apart of the upper class?"

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

"Everyday Things Women Pay More For Than Men"

How much do you pay for your everyday products? Recently I watched a Buzzfeed video that explored the price differences between women's and men's health and beauty products. You can watch that video here if you want but what I found was shocking.

For a standard Degree brand Deodorant marketed towards women, the cost was $4.69. But the cost for the equivalent Degree brand Deodorant marketed towards men, the cost was $2.99. For one stick of women's deodorant, a man could buy 1.6 sticks of his own. I also find it particularly interesting that the women's deodorant bottle was more brightly colored with light pastels and pretty blues versus the dark and harsh blues and greys of the men's deodorant bottle. This just begs to ask the question, why does this happen?

According to this Business Insider article, a California study done in 1995, "revealed that women pay $1,351 a year more for the same products as men" which proves that gender-based pricing also known as the "pink tax" is very much a real thing. Some companies defend that women pay more due to other factors such as complications in the bottle and packaging.  But why is the packaging different  for women than it is for men? Is it fair that women have to pay more for the same products as men?

This kind of related to my junior theme topic of the gender wage gap. With women already making less than men and having to pay significantly more for products, should the government get involved and do something to further make way for gender equality?