An Illinois high school has been accused of body-shaming after a 21-slide presentation about acceptable prom attire was published online.
Boylan Catholic High School’s guide says that girl’s dresses should not have necklines low enough to show cleavage, and that the skirts of the dresses should hit below the mid-thigh.
Critics have taken issue with a line in the guide that suggests different standards will be applied to girls with different figures. “Some girls may wear the same dress, but due to body types, one dress may be acceptable while the other is not,” the guide reads.
It includes 11 slides of pictures with examples of dresses that are “acceptable” and dresses that aren’t.
Only two slides are dedicated to the male students’ dress code — one sentence and four pictures.
The dress code guide was released in mid-January, Boylan senior Alex Symonds said.
The school took the girls and the boys into two separates rooms to give them the same presentation. But the girls’ presentation started off badly, she said.
“All the girls immediately booed the teacher, which was really awful,” Symonds said, adding that the teacher “did say some offensive stuff.”
“One girl wearing one dress is not the same as another girl wearing the same dress,” the teacher said, according to Symonds.
One of her peers stood up and told the teacher, “That’s body-shaming.”
Symonds said that the guide made it difficult to figure out what to wear. “There’s just so much about the girls,” she said. “It’s hard to pick out a dress.”
You can read the school’s guidelines for yourself here.