Student suspended for wearing a 'too revealing' floor-length prom gown

May 4, 2015 at 1:30 p.m. ET

When girls who wear long-sleeved gowns that sweep the floor to their prom and are still told to cover up, we might need to reevaluate how ridiculous school dress codes are getting.

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, teenager Alexus Miller-Wigfall was facing an in-school suspension for her "revealing gown," but her mother believes the reprimand came because Alexus is plus-size. I have to agree. Take a look at the gown below, and decide for yourself.


Image Credit: Indian FRAMES/YouTube

Let's see. Miller-Wigfall's school's dress code explicitly states that prom dresses have to cover "breasts, upper thighs, crotch, buttocks, etc.," a dress code that both Alexus and her mother are well acquainted with, considering that Alexus' mom sewed her daughter's dress herself. She says she kept the dress code in mind while she worked.

She did a fabulous job. Alexus is stunning — and covered. From one angle, you can see a little bit of cleavage, so I'm sure there will be contention over that, but speaking as a thick, big-breasted woman who was once a thick, huge-boobed teenager, I can tell you that anything that isn't a nun habit is going to flash some flesh. Seriously. I'm wearing an extremely modest long-sleeved tee as I type this, and when I glance down, I can see the girls.

Hi, girls!

By no stretch of the imagination is Alexus dressed in a "revealing" manner. Reasonable people can see this. Unfortunately dress codes are not created or enforced by reasonable people.

We see this double whammy of body policing more and more now, a stringent dress code coupled with uneven enforcement. Conventionally pretty girls get a pass while plus-size teens are punished, even as prom dresses get sexier and sexier. In some cases, body shape doesn't even play a role, and disciplinary actions for breaking dress codes are handed out completely arbitrarily. Every inch of female skin is policed and scrutinized, while male students are given fuzzy instructions like "dress like a gentleman."

Fortunately Alexus didn't have to serve her in-school suspension. Someone somewhere down the line realized that this entire ordeal was stupid and actually, literally, ripped up the referral.

We shouldn't need to use a ruler to decide whether someone with large breasts is breaking an outdated modesty code. And girls who have no control over their breast size shouldn't be shamed of it. I can't tell you the number of times I was made to feel dirty just for having the audacity to have gone through puberty.

Alexus looked lovely on prom night. It's only fair that she didn't have to serve her suspension. It's just too bad she was ever reprimanded to begin with.

More on prom dress codes

School dress codes are officially out of control when girls in floor-length gowns are barred from school dances
Are prom dresses too sexy?
Catholic high school demands preapproval of prom dresses