Most teenagers look forward to the day they finally get to wear their bustier prom dress 2018 beautiful dress or their dazzling suits and dance the night away at their high school prom. Prom is with no shadow of doubt supposed to be one of the best days in a teenager’s life. You dress up, probably go with a super cool or cute date and just enjoy you a night to be remembered for a very long time/ For many teens it’s also a day that marks a transition to a new phase in life that is a bit more serious.
But for one girl, her magical night was cut short right at the door, when chaperones wouldn’t let her inside. Why? For the strangest reason of all. As you read the story, you’ll understand how twisted things can get in some situations, and this one is definitely one of those. After the whole ordeal, the girl’s story went viral and she even went on to participate in different TV shows and news stations. Having all adults and especially her friends’ dads staring at her was a very uncomfortable situation, and she will never forget that experience.
All the Anticipation
Clare Ettinger couldn’t wait for prom. She had been waiting for months to finally doll herself up and get on the dance floor. The seventeen-year-old had spent these past few months tirelessly saving up all of her tips so she could find the perfect dress for her perfect night. She was escorted by her longtime boyfriend James Thompson, who was also 17 years old and a student at Richmond. They were ready for the night that would be the end of an era, suits, dresses and all. Little did they know that it would all be cut short when the couple was simply kicked out of their prom.
A Dress That Would Not Be Forgotten
And she needed to get it just right. After searching five other stores, Clare eventually found the dress of her dreams and used her hard-earned money to pay for it. She was so excited. When Clare was shopping for her perfect prom dress, she made sure she knew and understood the prom dress code – because the last thing she wanted was to wear something completely different to anyone else. One of the requirements was that girls’ dresses had to be below the tips of her fingertips. Clare checked that her dress was long enough to pass the test, and it did! She was so happy with her choice. It really was the perfect dress.
A Woman’s Body
For months, Clare had envisioned her prom look. As a curvy and tall girl, Clare had always looked up to Marilyn Monroe as a style icon. With her curvy figure, her flawless skin and her beautiful blonde hair, Marilyn was the epitome of class, Clare wanted to be her for the night. She spent hours getting ready, primping and preening herself before she made her way to the Methodist Church down the road for her prom. But it wasn’t an easy task.
As soon as Clare arrived at the Methodist Church, she began to encounter problems. The chaperones on the door refused to let Clare in because her dress was too short and did not pass their fingertip test. Clare was quick to reject this notion and proved that her dress was within regulations. Reluctantly, she was let into the Church – but Clare was taken aback by the other girls in the hall, many of which had shorter dresses than she did.
Pointing and Staring
Despite the initial stumble, Clare didn’t want to let her experience on the door spoil her evening, so she and her friends vowed to have fun. However, their fun was rudely interrupted when the group noticed a group of fathers standing above them on a balcony, staring and pointing at Clare. Clare began to feel incredibly uncomfortable – this was only made worse when one of the prom organizers singled Clare out and called her to the side of the church.
The Dads Were Watching Her
Clare has since written a blog about her experience, stating that the prom organizer took her into a quiet area in the hallway where a parent chaperone was waiting for her. The organizer then proceeded to tell Clare that many of the dads who were chaperoning the prom were complaining about Clare and her conduct on the dance floor. They believed that her ‘provocative’ dance moves would cause their sons to think impure thoughts and were not happy with her appearance.
Clare couldn’t believe what she was hearing. She was completely taken aback by the comments – mainly because they were completely untrue. Clare began to defend herself against these allegations, telling the organizer that she had yet to step foot on the dance floor and was definitely not dancing provocatively. She then went on to tell her that she believed the treatment to be unfair and that she should be issued a warning rather than being thrown out.
She Lost the Battle
Despite putting up a good fight and saying her piece, there was no resolution, and the organizer won. Alongside her claims that she was dancing provocatively, Clare was once again told that her dress was too short and that she needed to leave. Again, Clare showed the organizer that her dress thoroughly complied with their requirements, but the organizer had made up her mind. Clare was wholeheartedly annoyed and embarrassed – but it was just about to get worse.
Friends Tried To Defend Her
As Clare was being forced out of her own prom, her date and friends tried to come to her rescue. Despite the fact they had only been at the prom for just 30 minutes, they began to tell the organizer that they would leave if Clare were kicked out. However, the organizer was not budging and told her friends that it was none of their business. They had every right to leave with Clare, but only Clare would get a refund.
No One Could Help
Clare was completely distraught by the situation, and could not understand any of the rules she had broken. Nevertheless, the organizer was defiant in her decision, and Clare was escorted out of the building. However, on her way out she asked the security guard if he thought her dress was breaching the dress code or if she had acted inappropriately. He replied that he didn’t think she had done anything wrong, but it wasn’t his call to make.
Forced Out of Prom
Clare couldn’t believe what was happening to her. Was she really being thrown out of her own high school prom? All of her hard work and excitement had now amounted to this. But she knew that she had not broken any rules, and felt angry and disrespected – and she couldn’t help but let it out. On her way out, Clare decided to flip off the security workers, and her friends offered their own services by shouting profanities at the organizers.
Don’t Test Me
Despite her protestations, the prom organizer and the prom chaperones agreed with the decision to kick Clare out of her high school prom. Ann Duncan, one of the prom chaperones agreed that her dress was simply too short. Although Clare’s dress initially passed the dress code and fingertip test, it rode up her legs whenever she moved, making it considerably shorter. She also maintained that the stretchy spandex fabric meant it rode up even more – meaning it didn’t adhere to regulations.
Couldn’t Defend Herself
Many of the prom chaperones also denied Clare’s allegations that the fathers were staring down at her and her friends – as it was such a busy and large room, they could have been looking anywhere. But of course, Clare knew in herself what had happened and continued to stand up for herself on social media, her own video blog and in television interviews. She could not believe her prom had been ruined, and she needed to defend her own actions.
In many of her interviews, Clare was asked why she thought she had been singled out and kicked out of her prom. Her answer was always that she stood out that night. With her beautiful sparkly dress, long legs and curvy body she was physically more mature than the rest of the girls at the prom, and the chaperones didn’t like it. Clare also mentioned that she was sick of people making women feel ashamed of their bodies.
Time For Revenge
The news of Clare’s ordeal went public, and the story soon went viral. She was interviewed by numerous news stations and asked to recount her story for a plethora of articles – and many readers had their own take on what happened that night. Many people believe that Clare could have been chucked out because her prom date was black. Nevertheless, the situation had already developed before the organizers had noted that her date was black – and her date denied these claims.
Following her ordeal, Clare began to speak about women and their bodies – telling them it’s okay to love and embrace your shape. She dedicated a vlog to women who realize that they may have some cleavage showing or those who struggle to find jeans that fit them properly or those who are forced to prove that they are adhering to the dress code because their body is slightly different to everyone else. Women should not have to apologize for what they look like.
A Huge Response
Just like Clare, people across the world were outraged by the events of Clare’s prom night and began to send nasty messages to the prom organizers and the chaperones. However, it all became too much, and Clare called for it all to end. She told everyone to calm down and to stop posting comments. However, the comments had the desired effect as the Homeschool Prom group on Facebook was subsequently removed and deleted from the social media platform.
Alongside the messages against the prom organizers, many readers were also reaching out to Clare to offer their support and their condolences for her ruined prom night. These people reached out through social media and her own blog posts, as well as through the TV interviews and articles. However, the media attention didn’t help her case, and the Richmond Homeschool Prom refused to speak out or speak to Clare about the event or apologize for their abrupt actions and her embarrassment.
Since the eventful prom night, Clare’s date has been the only one out of her friendship group to receive a refund – and Clare has still not received an explanation or apology. Despite this, Clare is forcing herself to move on from the bad memories and focus her attention on studying and working hard for her finals. She does not regret posting her blogs or her interviews, as she hopes they will bring attention to dress codes in the community and at school.
An Inspiring Result
Since Clare’s disastrous dress code experience, her story has inspired many students across America to bring to light their own experiences with dress codes – particularly at school. Most schools in the US do not offer specific school uniform but do require their students to wear smart/casual wear that follows their guidelines. But sometimes, these guidelines can be biased against women. Many girls from across the country have shared their own stories where they have been removed from class or suspended.
The Crew Neck
In 2017, Tennessee teenager, Tori Taylor, was removed from her classroom twice because of what she was wearing. At Tori’s school, the dress code was pretty simple; she was allowed to wear either a crew neck top or a collared top to school. And Tori did exactly that. However, she was surprised when she was removed for wearing this top to school. A crew neck top. According to her teacher, it was not the ‘right’ crew neck for their school.
The Short Straw
When it’s hot, we all want to take off a few layers and be more comfortable – especially if the aircon is broken. However, one sixth-grader from Norwalk was faced with suspension after she wore shorts to school during a 90-degree heat wave and no air conditioning. However, her mother wasn’t having any of it, and she complained to the school board and on social media, who all agreed that wearing shorts – which were just above the knee – were not breaking any rules.
When it comes to school dress codes, most schools agree that males and females should refrain from wearing any clothing that they deem is revealing. But what is classed as revealing? For one student in North Carolina, her idea and her school’s idea of revealing was very different. Summer was an honor roll student with one of the highest GPAs in her high school, but one day she was called up on her outfit – and her principal pulled her to one side.
The outfit in question included this top. Summer was wearing a loose fitting and long-sleeved slightly off-the-shoulder top when she was called to one side. Her principal asked her to put on a jacket, as her shirt was apparently leaving her ‘too exposed.’ Summer put on her jacket, but she denied the claims that her shirt was revealing, and was taken to the school resource officer and suspended from school for ten days. This meant she couldn’t even attend her own graduation.
Clothes of Shame
Many schools suspend or send their students home if they violate the dress code – but one school took it one step further and gave a student an alternative outfit to wear. One girl in Florida was called into the Principal’s office as her skirt was just above knee length, which supposedly broke their dress code. In response, she was given a shameful new outfit of red sweatpants and a bright yellow T-Shirt which read, ‘Dress Code Violation.’
Banning them Altogether
Dress code rules aren’t only common in the US. In the UK, almost all schools give their student matching uniforms that represent the school colors and logos, and all of these schools give girls the chance to wear skirts if they wish – apart from this school. One headmistress has banned the girls from wearing skirts so that they don’t ‘distract’ the male teachers and male students when they walk up the stairs or bend down. Now they can only wear pants.
But just like Clare, many girls are now finding their outfits are being scrutinized and rejected during their school dances or proms. This seventh-grader from Ohio was called to one side during her school dance and forced to put on her jacket by the Principal. When she asked why the principal told her that she was violating the school dress code by having her bare arms exposed as they were ‘sexual objects’ and distracting to the boys at her school.
Alexus Miller-Wigfall from the US was getting ready to go to her high school prom and getting herself dolled up in her beautiful red dress. However, when she turned up, she was told that her dress was ‘too revealing’ and that she was violating the dress code. Although she was allowed to stay, she was ultimately given an in-school suspension because of this violation. However, her mother complained to the school, condemning their knowledge of ‘plus-size’ figures and shapes.
However, it’s not just clothing that is causing a stir when it comes to dress code violations. One African American student in Florida was condemned for her naturally curly hair. After noting her natural hairstyle, the principal called her mother to tell her that she needed to get her hair done as it broke their school dress codes. The student and her mother were completely taken aback. It was her natural hair – how could that be a dress code violation?
When Stacie Dunn, a mom from Kentucky, got a call from her daughter’s school about a dress code violation, she was confused. Her daughter was wearing jeans, a tank, and a long sleeved cardigan over it. The problem? Her collar bone was too “distracting.” So Stacie brought her daughter a scarf to cover up the small bit of skin exposing her collar bone. But the principal still did not approve of the outfit.
Tux To Prom
Sometimes dress code violations can happen, even if nothing is too short or showy. For Claudetteia Lovehigh, a Louisiana high school student, this happened when she wanted to wear a tuxedo to prom, instead of a dress. The principal announced before the prom that all girls would be denied access if they showed up in a tux. Her mother felt that “he’s taking his values and throwing them on my daughter because of what her preference is and what she represents.”
Sometimes a dress code violation doesn’t have a single thing to do with the student’s attire at all. For example, Savannah Keesee fromWest County High School, dyed her hair from auburn to a brighter shade of red. The principal said that her hair was too bright, and was suspended from school. She ended up having to go back to the hair dresser and return it to its original red.
Bustier Than Most
Kelsey, a student at Joplin High School was called out in the middle of class by her teacher for a dress code violation. The reason? She was bustier than other girls in her class. When she asked her teacher why, she responded, in front of everyone, that “Bustier women need to wear clothing that cover their cleavage. Plus size women need to dress accordingly.”
Unfortunately, these stories like Clare’s are becoming increasingly common – with schools across the US cracking down on dress code violations specifically directed at women and overexposure. In fact, in 2017 one school in Connecticut suspended over 150 students over the course of one day because of their dress code violations. These students were singled out over the school intercom and forced to stay at home the next day after they wore sweatshirts and T-Shirts that were the wrong color.
Thankfully, staff and students alike are now calling out the dress code rules for their strict punishments – especially the boys who are seeing for themselves that they are unfair to girls. In August 2017, 50 female students were punished and suspended for wearing off the shoulder shirts at a school in California. The school had recently made changes to their dress code laws, but had not made their students aware of this change – so they did not think they were doing anything wrong.
Their male friends soon discovered what had happened to their friends and believed the whole process to be unfair. The next day, two male students turned up to school wearing off-the-shoulder shirts in solidarity for their friends. The day after that, even more of the high school boys turned up wearing the shirts to highlight the new rules – if the girls were being sent home, they would have to be sent home, too. After this, the school came to a resolution.
More than a distraction
Across the US, many female students are now fighting back at the dress codes inflicted on women because of their ‘distracting tendencies’ believing that what they were should not in any way define them or impact their learning. This group of students from Portland, Oregon decided to take it one step further and wear their own personalized uniform and T-Shirts to a meeting that testified against these rules to the Portland Public Schools Board of Education.
Making people aware
Just like Clare, these people are all making others aware of the inequality between males and females when it comes to dress codes. Clare was kicked out of her own high school prom, numerous students have been kicked out of class and some even suspended for wearing clothing that seems to affect others. However, these kids are now getting the message out that their clothing does not define them or sexualize them – and they hope to continue to spread this message.
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