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Virginia teen sent home from prom for violating dress code

Amy Hatch began her career as a print journalist, and now works as a freelance writer and editor. She lives in Urbana, Ill. with her husband and two children.

Prom dresses too sexy, or are we too uptight?

Dads couldn't handle her "provocative" dress and dance moves, forcing a young girl to miss out on a rite of passage.

A 17-year-old Virginia girl says she was kicked out of her prom in early May because chaperones deemed her dress to be too short.

The young lady, Clare, penned a profanity-laced blog post describing the incident and shared a photo of herself in her dress for the Richmond Homeschool Prom, which was hosted for the 500 or so homeschooled teens in the Richmond, Virginia area, according to CNN.

Too hot to handle?

In her blog post, she describes her look.

I’m all dolled up, channeling my inner Marilyn Monroe with my blonde hair and bright red lipstick. I’m a tall and fairly curvy girl and you know something? I looked hot. Not trashy, but you definitely would look twice when I walked through a doorway.

However, she was a bit too much of a hottie, according to the adult chaperones, who allegedly asked her to leave the event. As Clare describes it, an adult woman made her prove that her dress met the prom's dress code, which meant that it was at least "fingertip length." The dress met the standards, but just a little while later Clare was asked to go home.

Allegedly, the teen was told that her outfit was causing young men to have "impure thoughts." According to Clare, those thoughts weren't limited just to her male peers. She writes that a small group of fathers in attendance were "ogling" the girls and some complained that she was dancing in a provocative manner. Clare says she wasn't dancing at all.

Are we concerned, or are we jealous?

I admit to shaking my head when I see some of the prom photos that pass through my Facebook feed, but it's more out of envy than prudishness. When I went to prom, I literally wore a hoop skirt, hiding my smokin' body underneath 100 yards of taffeta.

A dress can't "ask for it"

My point is that styles change. And while adults may feel uncomfortable about the current trend of short and fitted dresses, we're the ones who can't handle it. Sending a girl home from prom because she looks like what she is — a young, beautiful creature — sends the implicit message that the males in the room can't control their impulses.

Or, in other words, that dress was totally asking for it.

Aurelia Cotta is a mom of boys who lives in Toronto, Canada, and she says the dresses she's seen this year "aren't too sexy at all."

"If anything ours were much tighter," she says. "We forget what we were like."

Maybe Dad should stay home

If we really want our girls to dress modestly (and many of my social-media pals who are raising teens tell me that the gowns this year are actually more modest than they've seen in the recent past), we need to cast our collective hairy eyeball at the fashion industry, not the kids who are buying what's on the store racks.

And maybe dad should, you know, stay home.

"Why are dads at the prom, anyway?" says Susan Avery, a New York City mom of an 18-year-old girl, who also taught journalism at her daughter's high school. "Prom dresses are in keeping with today’s fashion so the standards have to come from the families. Mini dresses are just what girls wear now."

More stories about dress codes

Why one school is proposing a dress code for parents
You're not leaving the house wearing that!
Are leggings really pants?

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