For female students at Boylan Catholic High School, picking a prom dress is going to be stressful. The Rockford, Illinois school delivered students with a 21-page packet detailing their strict dress code. Infractions include dresses that are “excessively tight”, shorter than three inches above the knee, cutouts, and more. The guidelines were released two months prior to the event, just in time for prom dress shopping.
We get that it’s a Catholic school and thus the guidelines are stricter, but looking at the boy’s section is actually infuriating. First, there’s only two pages dedicated to male dress code. Second, this is the instruction they add: “Young men are expected to wear formal evening attire that would include a tuxedo, suit with a tie, or sport coat and slacks with a tie.” That’s it.
The rest focuses on body shaming young girls and drilling the idea into their head that their physique is a distraction to men. Below, a more thorough list of requirements for female students:
“The neckline of a dress, top, or gown must be cut in a modest way without showing cleavage. Spaghetti straps or strapless dresses are allowed, as long as they are not low cut.”
“The cut of a dress in the back and sides must not be cut below the naval (below your elbow).”
A dress, skirt, or gown must be longer than mid-thigh … Slits in a dress/skirt may be no higher than three (3) inches from the knee.”
No navel is allowed to show.”
“Two-piece dresses are allowed if the space between top and skirt is less than two inches. The top must not show any cleavage or have cut outs (halter top style).”
“The bodice of the dress must not have any fabric cutouts in the cleavage area. If elsewhere, it must be covered by netting and less than an inch opening.”
“Dresses should not be excessively tight.” (What constitutes “excessively tight” is apparently up to administrators’ subjective judgment.”)
“No cover-ups (coats, shawls, sweaters) will be allowed over dresses that do not meet dress code.”
The guide also adds, “Modesty is admittedly a subjective interpretation, but one which we have a duty to uphold. Students should therefore err on the side of modesty and formality and not put school administrators in the difficult position of upholding school standards. Having been specifically forewarned, we expect nothing less than full cooperation from students and their parents on this issue.”
Really? It’s a prom dress… I doubt these girls are going to show up wearing just pasties. This list is excessive, highly unnecessary and rather insulting. What do you think? Sound off in the comments below.