A Catholic school in Illinois landed itself in hot water after it handed students a 21-page book of guidelines for prom.
Keeping the rules pretty simple for boys, the school requires them to wear a “tuxedo, suit with a tie, or sport coat and slacks with a tie.”
However, girls aren't as lucky. The guidelines for girls were very detailed mentioning the acceptable and non-acceptable styles. The dress code mentioned what type of tops were allowed, length of skirts, length of the slit on the skirt and “miscellaneous” instructions, including a restriction on nude-colored dresses and excessively tight dresses.
“We think it’s important as a Catholic institution to help our students see that they can be elegant and modest and beautiful at the same time,” said Amy Ott, president of Boylan Catholic High School.
According to one expert, the guidelines edge toward body shamming as the 21-page book states, “Some girls may wear the same dress, but due to body types, one dress may be acceptable while the other is not.”
Acceptable dresses and necklines were further explained with the help of illustrations.
Body image and media expert Robyn Goodman of the University of Florida calls the school's move bad for female students.
“This line in the code is discriminatory and supports body shaming,” Robyn Goodman of the University of Florida told the Register Star. “Girls do not have a choice in how their bodies were made so more voluptuous bodies are going to have more cleavage and curves. Taller girls’ dresses will hit higher up on the leg than a shorter girl. It’s nature.”
According to Kaleigh Brauns, Boylan student council president, some students are upset about the rules. in fact, some of them said they will not attend the prom this year.
“We must understand that being part of a Christ-centered community means holding ourselves to a higher discipline in the way we speak, in the way we act and in the way we dress,” she added.