Alexis Craft is a 16-year-old girl who felt beautiful attending prom in her custom-made white gown, which was designed for her by an avant-garde fashion designer named Destani Hoffman from Alabama and modeled after one worn by Kendall Jenner.
Possibly forgetting how rare it is for a teen girl to feel anything but awkward in her skin, the dean at Pensacola High School in Alabama reportedly embarrassed her when she caught sight of the gown, which features two thigh-high slits, and forced her — after she had already received the approval of dance supervisors at the entrance — to be re-evaluated for improper dress.
Dean Marsha Regina says the dress had panels in the front that "cut all the way to the crotch all the way around." When the teen walked, Regina says the panels would swing open and she wasn't wearing underwear beneath her dress.
Yikes. Even if that were true, I'd be extremely cautious about shaming a really young girl by releasing that kind of information.
But, according to Alexis, she was wearing underwear and her outfit had already been approved. Making matters 100,000 times worse, she says one of the people at the door whose job it was to evaluate her dress, lifted one of the panels without her consent, saw her underwear, and told her it wasn't "appropriate." Regina denies this happened, but the teen insists the incident made her rush off because she didn't want to cry in front of everyone.
At this point in time, we should stop for a second and check out the dress that scandalized half of the prom committee:
Here it is from another angle:
I'll admit I'm pretty lax when it comes to fashion, but I have to say: I really don't see what all of the hoopla is about where this dress is concerned. The designer obviously paid a great deal of attention to detail and the bodice, sleeves and overall construction of the gown are so fascinating. I could honestly sit and watch these videos for hours. As for the slit, OK, it's a bit revealing for a young teen. But I could argue that it's strategically revealing — which is different.
Whether or not we agree that this gown is interesting or beautiful isn't the point. Adults seem to be forgetting that most of these teens are just insecure kids who likely don't feel 100 percent confident about their bodies or sexuality yet. Prom night is one of the few times they get to be glam and to have that taken away in such an insensitive manner is sad. As for the exposed leg: Their teen role models are dressing this way and they are desensitized to it, the same way '90s and '70s teens exposed their midriffs and '60s teens rocked teeny miniskirts.
If a school wants to impose a prom dress code, great. But, given the number of students who are being denied entry at the door, they need to be incredibly clear about exactly what is acceptable and what's too short or revealing.
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