Teen in skimpy dress denied prom entrance

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175 Responses to “Teen in skimpy dress denied prom entrance”

  1. Sparrowhawk says:

    More accurately, she would be denied entry into any place that requires a formal dress code, including a few VERY formal places I know which still allow open-backed dresses or odd cuts.

  2. Xopher says:

    Lauren O 56: In broad terms I agree with you about the dress code. That said, however: She’s spoiling everyone’s fun by showing up in inappropriate clothes. The dress code aside, if she showed up in holey jeans and a t-shirt, I don’t think she should get in either.

    If they had a “Tight Pants and Titty Tops” dance, I think someone who showed up in the usual kind of prom dress should be turned away too. You don’t get into a leather bar in NYC wearing sneakers, at the White Party wearing black or at the Black Party wearing white. And so on. It’s the ambience that makes the event.

    As for the athletic shorts…you’ve clearly never seen a guy’s junk topple out of his athletic shorts, which doesn’t happen with long shorts.

  3. Santa's Knee says:

    @#58:

    Thanks, Nelson – It only took 58 posts before we FINALLY found a racist.

    You win the thread.

    \dt.

  4. flamingphonebook says:

    Here’s the problem: there are no events where it’s acceptable to dress sluttily (skimpily, daringly, sexily, whatever adverb you want to use), but unaccaptable to dress formally or respectfully.

    My rule of thumb is that when party A’s argument is that they should be able to engage in a practice or refrain from that practice, but party B’s argument is that party A must either engage or refrain, then party A is right and party B is wrong.

  5. arkizzle says:

    #39 (I know this isn’t directed at me)

    Jake, the only thing I can grant you there is the funeral. Really. Why would anyone think they have a right to be offended by anyone else’ attire? It’s just clothes, and they are the one who has to suffer it, if it’s truly awful.

    I think too many people are ‘offended’ by things that have ZERO bearing on anything, and the growing (from my perspective at least) use of ‘appropriateness’ as a way to quell undesirable behaviour is getting pretty old, pretty quick.

    Yes I can stretch my imagination to think of things that could be offensive if we wore them to certain places, but no one is talking about wearing a ProAborion tshirt to a baby shower, or a Nazi costume to a bar mitzvah, we’re talking about a girl who made her own dress (who probably thought it was the height of chic) attending her own prom, and being arrested, or at least detained and cuffed (frankly, I think it’s outrageous to handcuff someone who is not under arrest, which started my interest in this topic).

    What if it was a girl who didn’t buy into the whole prissy fashion thing and turned up in a non-skimpy, but certainly non-formal costume, not even a dress perhaps. Would that be innappropriate to a prom situation? Would that ‘disrupt’ or otherwise ruin everyone elses fun? Has no one ever made a statement about bullshit homogeneity at a prom before??

  6. sirspocksalot says:

    #120 – yes, but they’re hardly unique to the last eight years.

  7. Lauren O says:

    #57 – I think it does matter what the significance is, because the significance determines what kind of clothes are expected. When you’re specifically trying to look good in order to get laid, slutty clothes make much more sense. At a funeral, where you’re not trying to draw attention to yourself but to honor the death of a loved one, slutty clothes don’t make sense.

    #58 – It’d be hard to tell without knowing a lot more details about the story, but I think that’s definitely a valid point to bring up, especially seeing as how the everyday dress code for the school is hella racist. Though the Hooters waitress that got kicked off the Southwest flight for wearing too short a skirt was white, so who knows?

  8. Gloria says:

    If wearing a “tacky” or “slutty” dress ought to get a girl banned from a prom, I have to tell you, every occasion would be a pure sausage fest.

  9. buttseks says:

    1. Y’r drssd lk whr
    2. This is prom, not a nightclub, if I had to wear a tux, your ass better show up in a dress, not a miniskirt
    3. Gold is a shite color fr sht ppl
    4. Rosethornn gt vr yrslf. This has nothing to do with freedom of expression or transgendered people or gay people or any of the causes you champion on the vast soapbox that is the Internet. This is about a stubborn girl with no taste and an equally stubborn person refusing to just give the money back and taking it to a newsworthy level. Prom is a formal event which requires formal dress, and there are pretty clear guidelines for that.

    The long and short of it is that she wanted attention and she got it.

  10. arkizzle says:

    Regarding the ‘hella racist’ Dress code::

    During the 2006-2007 school year, 2,492 students attended Madison [4].
    58% were African-American
    41% were Hispanic
    Less than 1% were Asian
    Less than 1% were White
    Less than 1% were Native American
    66% of students qualified for free or reduced lunch.

    *from wikipedia

  11. Xopher says:

    Nelson 58: Well, I would react the same way, but I can’t answer your question overall. After reading the dress code I would almost wager that her school is at least 80% African-American, and trying to push their students away from “urban” (read: stereotypically “black”) ways of dressing. Probably it comes from a misguided effort to improve their respectability/employability or something.

    I’m about as white as white people get, and as a consequence I never go outside in summer daylight without wearing a cap. At that school I’d have to (because “HEAD COVERING unacceptable,” not “head covering may not be worn in the classroom” and some school admin would tell me I couldn’t come in).

  12. alisong76 says:

    Even in America, I doubt she was handcuffed specifically because of the dress. I think there’s more to this story that we’re not hearing.

  13. arkizzle says:

    Xoph’

    pretty close! :)

  14. Lauren O says:

    Xopher, you know, it’s funny – I just went to a White Party a couple weeks ago wearing mostly black (I was going to a differently themed party later that night) and they let me in. I’ve also been to the ballet in jeans more than once. They’ve never denied me entry. I’ve also been to costume parties where not everyone was dressed in a costume. No one’s fun got ruined as far as I know.

    People aren’t offended because she wasn’t dressed in the most traditional of prom attire, they’re offended because she was dressed slutty. You should look up those contests they have for making prom outfits out of duct tape. Those kids all get let in to their proms, even though their outfits are made out of duct tape, which isn’t really “appropriate” attire.

  15. Kibble says:

    Is this girl gay or transgendered? Was she kept out of the prom because she’s gay or trangendered?

    Are you saying that gay and transgendered people wear tacky ugly clothing? How dare you!

  16. Xopher says:

    Good thing I didn’t wager, huh? :-)

  17. Jake0748 says:

    Rosethornn @141 – Pretty much, but not exactly. More like: Prom, follow the rules or leave it (you don’t HAVE to love it). The other possibility is to try and do what you can to CHANGE the rules, but I don’t see that happening on the day of the prom.

    Geez, why am I still here? I thought I finished with this (now very boring to me) topic yesterday. There’s no escape! :)

  18. Jake0748 says:

    @39 – Ark, I don’t even know why I’m arguing about this so much, I don’t really give a shit about clothes myself (as you’d know if you saw the way I dress). Again my point is, that there were certain specifications for attending the prom (which she may or may not have known, I’ll grant). She didn’t meet the specifications, she was denied entrance. She raised a stink, somebody called the cops. The fact that she was handcuffed is way over the top, but other than that, I don’t see that she has a legitimate beef.

    Also, as someone above mentioned, if she had shown up in holey jeans and ratty t-shirt she would also have been denied entrance.

  19. Kibble says:

    I just had another thought. What do you suppose this teen girl’s ideas are on the kinds of clothing that people over 30 should and shouldn’t wear? Or that the girls who aren’t in her immediate social circle should and shouldn’t wear?

  20. Lauren O says:

    Oh, and I thought “athletic shorts” referred to, like, basketball shorts, which are actually in fashion. I don’t think many dudes are super eager to wear those short running shorts to school. But I could be interpreting it wrong.

  21. zorro869 says:

    f y wtch th lnkd nws rtcl thy shw pctr f th CNTRCT sh sgnd wth hr pymnt. t CLRLY stts 6 rls f drss cd pprprt t th prm. Sh hd t hv sn ths wks bfr gng, s dd ll th kds ttndng. T shw p n sht f fbrc hr crck-hd nt md tht blws ff 5 f th 6 rls, nd thn wnt yr mny bck s dmb. Sh s dmb. Hr fmly s dmb. Ppl wh spprt h ftr knwng th fll stry r dmb.

    Why s mrc crtng s mny dmb ppl?

    Th rrst hs t d wth hr mst lkly mthng ff lk spzd s ‘m sr sh dd whn dnd hr $25 prm f. t hs nthng t d wth hw sh ws drssd.

    Nxt tm: () Lrn t rd
    (B) Gt sm tst
    (C) Gt prnt tht sn’t blnd
    (D) Stp tryng t gt rpd

  22. Xopher says:

    Arkizzle, yeah, I forgot that Hispanics are POC too. Same racist assumptions, same Concerned Parents Trying To Make Their Lives Better while actually buying into the racism themselves.

    99% POC at that school. I can just guess at the undercurrents that led to this event. I have increasing sympathy for her, but I still think it’s rude to the other students to show up at prom dressed like that.

    Gloria 66: Heh. As a gay man, I must say that I’m rather fond of sausage parties!

  23. Chocolatey Shatner says:

    It’s so rare for a school to choose “Mad Max” for their prom theme…

  24. arkizzle says:

    Jake, me too :)

    As I say, it was the handcuff routine that got me involved, but then so many people seemed to think it was ok I got caught up..

    I suppose I just don’t see people’s fun being ruined by a differently dressed person. And I think the idea that one can just ‘not take prt’ as if this isn’t a significant part of growing up in America (the prom, not dressing formally) is unrealistic, and unfun.

  25. Lauren O says:

    “I suppose I just don’t see people’s fun being ruined by a differently dressed person.”

    I agree with this, and would like to add for what it’s worth that the straight guys there are probably having more fun when girls dress like that…

  26. Xopher says:

    TechnoGeek, are you from BetaZed?

  27. coopbabe says:

    Actually, this story was on ABC news earlier today….students were given the dress code weeks PRIOR to the event…and had to sign it after it specifically said if the agreement was broken entry to the prom would not be allowed….furthermore….they asked her to change into something more appropriate and she became irrate and violent…THAT is why she was placed in handcuffs!

  28. jccalhoun says:

    come on, obviously this girl is an orphan and can’t afford the rest of the dress. If she had a parent, then she wouldn’t have been allowed to wear that out in public…

    regarding getting handcuffed. The cops don’t just magically appear and handcuff people. Typically people will say, “I’m calling the police” and a few minutes later they show up. Plenty of time for someone to leave. Even if there were police there as security they wouldn’t just arrest someone no questions asked (assuming they were good at their job which I know is a big assumption). The prom was held at the Marriot which is private property. They say get out, you get out or you are trespassing. That is almost certainly why she got handcuffed.

    Whether the school officials were right to refuse her entry or not is a different matter.

  29. Nelson.C says:

    Santa’s Knee @62: I hope you don’t think I’m a racist merely because I mentioned her race? Or is it because I thought there might be racist overtones to others’ reactions to this girl wearing this outfit? I was asking a serious question, not making a rhetorical point. Seriously, I see all these instances of “slut” and “hooker” in reference to a teenage African-American girl, I have to wonder what’s going on in commenter’s heads.

  30. luvpumpkns says:

    why is this even a discussion? she signed a contract stipulating that she would follow the rules of the dress code. she broke them, and they wouldn’t let her in the prom. I see no problem with this. according to legal precedents, people attending school-sponsored funtions(even if not on school property)MUST conform to the everyday school rules as far as conduct, dress code, etc. this girl knew her outfit was wildly inappropriate, and chose to wear it anyway. it’s her own fault she missed out on her prom–no one else’s. actually, this may be a good thing for her. she needs to learn that there are certain social settings where you’re expected to dress a certain way. maybe i’m an old-fashioned 25 year old….who knows?

  31. Kibble says:

    “No Kibble, I won’t revise my statement. And it’s attitudes like that, that have our society so ****ed up.” Standards of dress lead to drug addiction, drunk driving, censorship, spam, the housing crisis, food shortages, pollution, and global warming?

    “So ‘we’ have decided that only the sexy people can wear skimpy clothes?” No. It’s not what I said or implied. I chose an extreme example of what nearly everyone would find distasteful to establish that nearly everyone thinks there are lines that shouldn’t be crossed.

    “And who exactly established which modes that you mentioned, were acceptable?” I said that there can be disagreement. The point I made is that nearly everyone thinks there are lines that shouldn’t be crossed, so I don’t think it’s valid to say, “There are no lines that shouldn’t be crossed” unless you really and truly never, ever think, “That mode of dress is unacceptable for this occasion.”

    “Just because some people way back when, decided someting was appropriate, doesn’t mean we have to agree.” I didn’t say anything about the standards of the 18th century, or the 1980′s for that matter. I was referring to people’s attitudes today.

    “I agree that it is fun to sometimes have a formal event, but your not agreeing and turning up in a speedo is not going to ruin my fun, it may even increase it, as I get to point and laugh.” I repeat, if you really don’t mind the leviathan in all of its billowing glory, then have at you.

  32. Jake0748 says:

    “I suppose I just don’t see people’s fun being ruined by a differently dressed person.”

    I agree with that too. I think I’m done here. Now I’ll go do something really useful, like checking out the adjustable hot sauce bottle.

    Peace.

  33. Xopher says:

    Lauren O 70: OK, I stand corrected on the White Party. Standards are falling everywhere! :-) The ballet, me too. The ballet is like a restaurant in my opinion; no one has a reasonable expectation of partying with similarly-dressed people.

    ______ 73: The fact that they contrast “athletic shorts” with “long shorts” is what led me to the conclusion that they’re thinking of the short kind of athletic shorts. They don’t want anything to show above, below, or between the students’ clothing. Let me tell you, a guy’s ass sticking out the top of his pants, covered only by a thin layer of cotton…or without the underwear, even showing a little bit of bun cleavage…is DAMNED distracting. I couldn’t possibly learn anything in the presence of such a thing, and I bet most teenage girls couldn’t either!

  34. Lauren O says:

    #78 – The first comment of the thread is about “Ghetto Prom 2,” so yeah, I think it makes sense to wonder if there are some racial undertones to people’s reactions.

  35. Xopher says:

    Lauren O 76: But the girls wouldn’t. They’d be trying to get their boys to stop ogling. Which is part of why dressing like that (when you KNOW all the other girls will not be) is rude as all get-out.

  36. arkizzle says:

    (D) Stop trying to get raped

    Fuggin’ what?!

    To quote the main man on the scene:

    “Your opinion is welcome, but could you find a little less misogynistic way of phrasing it, please?”

    ..and stop implying that all it takes for men to pounce is a little skin.

  37. Lauren O says:

    Ohmigosh, Xopher! I can’t believe you think those dresses are ugly and repellent! That is so funny. Most of those dresses are looking pretty hot to me. Of course, I don’t have the boobs to wear anything like that, and I didn’t go to my prom, either, but still. I admire people who can work it like that!

  38. Kibble says:

    “#103 — Read #44 from the blogger. BoingBoing is a blog, not a news site. It amazes me that people critique the boing as if it were their news source.”

    I never said or implied that I think of Boing Boing as a news source. I expressed an opinion.

  39. Santa's Knee says:

    @#78: As the schoolyard saying goes – “Whoever smelt it, dealt it.”

  40. So-Called Austin Mayor says:

    A word of advice for the kidz: <>f y drss lk [ ____ ], dn’t b srprsd f y r trtd lk [ ____ ].

  41. LB says:

    Did anyone even watch the video with the story? Apparently she did offer to cover up and they said no.

  42. arkizzle says:

    Standards of dress lead to drug addiction, drunk driving, censorship, spam, the housing crisis, food shortages, pollution, and global warming?

    Nope, one person trying to tell another person how that they can’t do the things ‘we’ get to do is the problem.

    Black people: back of the bus
    Brown people: stop taking photos of ferries
    Women: no voting
    Gay people: no getting married

    There is a long history (and lots of other examples) of the ‘ruling class’ telling everyone else that they can’t do the same things as they can.

    Whilst I agree there are lines, it can be quite the tricky thing to be on the ‘correct’ side indefinitely.

  43. Anonymous says:

    its strange…

  44. Xopher says:

    LB, did you even read the comments here? What does “offer to cover up” mean? I can’t watch the video, so if you can throw any light on exactly what she offered to do, we can discuss whether it made a credible difference, but AFAIK that information is not available.

  45. Xopher says:

    Well, obviously I’m hopelessly old-fashioned. Perhaps you will understand why after you view a few of these scenes from my prom.

  46. tiamat_the_red says:

    Apperantly I need to clarify my comments. I was attempting to say that I was old fashioned, hence the link between screaming children being removed and dressing up for things. I understand that performers want people to attend their performances. I used to play in a symphony, myself. I do, however, also belive that an event like the ballet or a concert warrants at the very least business casual. And that’s what I attended in when I was a broke college student. Hell, that’s what I STILL attend in, since I don’t own any formal clothing. The only kinds of concerts I attend in jeans are the ones where you end up with moshers.

    I see no reason why thinking an event deserves more care in dressing should be seen as elitist, either. After all, you can pay $500 for a pair of jeans these days, and I still think you shouldn’t wear them to a concert.

    On the original topic: Scottfree, one could argue that the prom is social education and therefore something where the school could regulate the dress code. It would be interesting to see how that one turned out, though, because that would open a really interesting can of worms.

  47. Crunchbird says:

    I just want to point out that the “standard” dress code for the high school that you all are commenting on is not, in fact, a “standard” dress code for the high school. It’s the dress code specifically for students who are attending summer school in order to not be held back. This partly explains the focus on issues like shorts and flip flops, and also sheds a little light on the restrictiveness of the code. Students who have already slipped up and failed academic subjects are being given another chance at the material … it doesn’t shock me that the administration would be more focused on “removing distractions” from learning, or have more severe standards of behavior, for that particular student population.

    Frankly, the more I see schools having to deal with these kinds of questions, the more I think that school uniforms are a pretty good idea after all . . .

  48. Lauren O says:

    #123 – There are so many things wrong with your comment I barely know where to begin. It is a perfectly defensible position to say she deserved to get kicked out of the prom for not following rules that she signed. Can’t you just express that opinion without getting all racist and sexist? “Crack-head Aunt”? “trying to get raped”? Honestly?

    Even if you weren’t offensive, though, your argument is still problematic. We’ve established in this thread that there may have been sexist/racist aspects of the school’s general dress code that she might have consciously wanted to rebel against. That doesn’t mean it’s unfair that she got turned away, but there’s no reason to blow up about it. Plus that prom ticket shit is waaay more expensive than $25, and you have no idea what her financial situation is. A decent person would have given her her money back.

  49. stanfrombrooklyn says:

    Wll lk t th gd nws. Nw “Ghtt Prm 2″ cn ffclly strt pr-prdctn.

  50. tiamat_the_red says:

    I haven’t had a chance to watch the video, but I feel I have to reply to #70. I firmly believe you SHOULD have been denied entry at the very least to the ballet.

    Manner of dress conveys your respect for the situation. Showing up to a performance of any sort in jeans says “Eh, this is kinda entertaining, but it’s not worth it to dress up.” It’s insulting to the performers and the incredible amount of effort they put into each performance. I also happen to think one should dress nicely for a nice restaurant but I’m so old fashioned I think children should behave or leave, so what do I know?

    Showing up in that dress showed that she didn’t care at all that the administration had made their dresscode clear previously. Offering to cover up is just foolish and I don’t think I would have accepted it in the administration’s position, either. It’s easy to take a jacket off, after all, and putting on a totally different dress was probably NOT what she offered.

  51. Antinous says:

    Her outfit is very old-fashioned. It’s a taffeta version of Raquel Welch’s ensemble in One Million Years B.C.

  52. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    You think that’s an outre prom dress? You need to update. The following are almost all mainstream 2008 prom dresses:

    Backless, sideless, clinging.
    Backless; sideless; neckline meets waistline.
    Bodice held in place with spirit gum.
    Maybe if she wore a blouse under it?
    Kellie Pickler’s prom dress: in my opinion, genuinely indecent.
    One layer of fine-gauge lace.
    I think I saw this one on Star Trek.
    Saved by the applique.
    Clinging, non-opaque bodice.
    Short and tight.
    Dressing on a shoestring.
    Center third of bodice is bare.
    Entirely held together by two metal rings.
    I believe it’s impossible to wear any underwear with this one.
    It’s hard to tell where that slit ends.
    Same dress, different color. See what I mean about that slit?
    Sure, you’re covered. You just don’t look like it.
    Neckline stops just short of navel.
    In my day, that would have been her slip.
    High-tech cleavage delivery device.

    Are you getting the idea? Girls aren’t fantasizing about dressing like Barbie’s dream date. They’re going for the styles they see on stars at award ceremonies.

    The amount of fuss the school made in advance about prom wear tells me that they know they’re running counter to current fashion. I’m not terribly sympathetic. I’m also not worried about the kids. It ruins the whole effect if you fall out of a dress like that. The trick is to always look as though you might, but never do it.

  53. Landowner says:

    Teen + skimpy dress + handcuffs = Dear diary: Jackpot!

  54. Djinn PAWN says:

    C’mon… would the world have REALLY ended if she was let into her prom? School officials think so, and now they are under a microscope. Overreaction FTW!

    I think what draws us to this story is that its beginnings were not because of a gun, or drugs, or a crime, but a dress. Yep… the dangerous dress.

    Most reasonable people would have either thumbs-up or shaken their heads at the dress, and let her in. It may have even caused some *gasp* gossip… but the overreaction makes it news.

    From what I’ve been reading recently overreaction is the latest thing to do when you are in authority and faced with a problem. Good thing she wasn’t drinking lemonade too, or the cops would have separated her from her parents. By the way, did anyone arrest those ‘terrorists’ taking pictures of her? Oh, wait, not the UK. You can still take pictures here… for now.

  55. arkizzle says:

    Nelson, I thought it was an important point.

    Santa, you’re being unfairly inflammatory to Nelson’s intentions.
    __

    JCCalhoun: I don’t imagine the cops just appeared magically or that she got ‘cuffed whilst innocently saying nothing.

    If she thinks she is in the right, why would she run away at the mention of the police? She would stand her ground and wait for an (assumedly bias-free) arbiter of justice to appear.

    That you can be handcuffed whilst not under arrest however, is a fairly shocking lesson on America to me.

    If you want to force my person away from somewhere, arrest me. If I am behaving illegally, arrest me. If I am not reasonable enough to walk away with you, as you explain what my rights are in the situation, you should probably arrest me.

    But the idea that you can take me into custody unofficially, on your whim, because it’s easier to handle me I don’t like. Either I’m within my rights, or outside the law.

    That being said, that was my lot. I’m going to take a leaf from Jake’s book, and retire peacfully :)
    __

    ps. CrunchBird, I made it very clear that it was the dress code for the summer credit session.

  56. Rajio says:

    The dress is hideous but I doubt its the reason she was taken away in handcuffs. More likely she was being disruptive. …Though she deserved her money back.

  57. Xopher says:

    146 is perfect. Yes, yes.

    I’d say the lesson is a little broader, though. Sometimes you don’t get what you want just by insisting, especially if you’ve made a bargain and not kept your part of it.

  58. Xopher says:

    Rosethornn, please read back. The racism inherent in the summer credit program’s dress code, and the probable sources of it, has been discussed. It’s a red herring here. We’re talking about the rules for prom.

    Male students would CERTAINLY be allowed to wear earrings at prom. Just for one example. And it may very well be that those 5 are the only rules for prom, because they’re the only things they’ve had a problem with.

    As for the head covering rule…I wouldn’t be surprised to find this school trying to be nasty to Moslem students, but it may also be that there were no Moslem girls in the summer makeup program.

  59. Lauren O says:

    #80 – I was never distracted by the preponderance of guys sagging their pants at my high school. Not at all. I thought it was stupid, I rolled my eyes, and went on my way, much like everyone at the prom would be free to do when a girl in a slutty dress shows up. I think it’s bullshit with the genders reversed, too. Guys can concentrate even if there is a girl in their class with a nice ass wearing short shorts. It is not THAT big a deal.

    And, as a straight girl, I’ll go on record saying I have no problem with other girls wearing revealing clothes around me, even when I’m not in revealing clothes, and that I think it’s immature to react negatively to someone just because they are dressed revealingly. When girls get jealous of sluttier girls around them, I think that reflects more on them than on the sluts.

    #83 – Thanks for intentionally bringing our discourse to a second-grade level! That is super appreciated!

  60. scottfree says:

    Tiamat, legally, you couldn’t argue that at all. For me personally, I argue that the primary function of schools is socialisation rather then education, but the courts aren’t going to have that. I certainly agree with you on the issue of concert attire, as a matter of respect for the performers, but I’m less impressed with the dress code at a prom. I’m cynical enough to wonder if this would have happen if the ‘prom queen’ had done it.

    Now I’ve thought about the issue, though, I think the schools make the kids sign the ‘contracts’ for a reason, and are probably advised by counsel. Otherwise, what would be the point? Someone could look into it, but I reckon the school covered its bases, actually. I wonder if it could legally deny admittance if the kid refused to sign the contract… . Probably could, actually, but not if it also accepted the money.

  61. palad says:

    Cn y sy ’5-dllr hkr’? knw y cld. Myb th schl ws frd sh wld strt tryng t trn trcks t th prm.

  62. Lauren O says:

    I chose an extreme example of what nearly everyone would find distasteful

    Does “nearly everyone” really find fat and hairy people “distasteful”? That is a weird concept to me. Your example involved some weird nudist stalking people around and invading their personal space in every venue of their life; it’s way too overblown to apply to a girl wearing a racy prom dress.

    Arkizzle, thank you for pointing out that the whole “she was asking to get raped” thing is almost as demeaning to men as it is harmful to women. It is a view that not enough people espouse.

  63. LB says:

    The dress is tramptastic but at least it matched the color of her date’s outfit, which shows that at least there was some forethought in all this. Which apparently didn’t have her thinking, “Oh, maybe I’m showing a bit too much skin.”

    But the more I look at it, the less it seems like a big deal. The school really does need to lighten up.

    Were they worried about wardrobe malfunctions?

  64. Nelson.C says:

    Santa’s Knee @83: Now, I’m going to have to assume that you’re not being serious, since I really don’t understand what you’re trying to say. Moving right along….

    What’s the weather in Houston like right now? I know it can get plenty warm there, but I don’t know about this time of year. If it’s really warm then I’d think a minimalist outfit would be more comfortable than the traditional acres of satin, especially in the close confines of a dance. If the dress-code is about confining the womenfolk in layers of suffocating material, maybe it should be rebelled against.

    And, while I think of it, you’d think the staff of a school would have plenty of experience of dealing with bolshy teenagers. Do they not believe in de-escalating trouble, or do they prefer to pass the job onto the police?

  65. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    One more thing:

    The school’s rule about “proper undergarments” really bothers me. Fancy evening dresses require specialized undergarments. Some can’t be worn with underwear, unless there are magical new underwear technologies I’m not familiar with.

    I can easily imagine girls not realizing they need specialized bras, or not being able to afford both the dress and the underwear, or not being able to find what they need at their local stores. I can also imagine girls that age not needing the underpinnings.

    Basically, this is an unenforceable rule, so I’d like to know what rules for underwear are actually being enforced.

  66. Crunchbird says:

    re: the covering up -

    The clip that I saw (CNN.com) made it look like she and her friends offered to wrap the dress’ train around her midriff and pin it there. If that’s all the coverage they were offering, I’m not too surprised that the offer was rejected. Even if she had offered to put on a jacket she would have had to promise to keep it buttoned up all night or she probably would have still been violating the dress code.

  67. arkizzle says:

    Holy Shit!

    How little does one have to do, to get handcuffed in America?

    Seriously, it seems you will get cuffed over some pretty inconsequential, civil rather than criminal, shit these days.

    If you weren’t under arrest for some pretty antisocial behaviour like D&D (not the game, they don’t still arrest people for that do they?), or an actual criminal offense, you would not be handcuffed in the UK or Ireland.

    Can someone fill me in on the kinds of things that will get you cuffed over there? If you are being escorted away from somewhere, will they cuff you?

    And I agree, she deserved her ticket money back and had her prom night ruined, so probably deserved to get a bit shouty.

  68. scottfree says:

    ‘contract’ is a bit rich. Schools are allowed to restrict expression only insomuch as it is disruptive to education, of which there is none at prom. If only school administrators knew the law better, this sort of thing wouldn’t happen. It may be possible for the girl to make a lot more than ticket price off this.

  69. Jake0748 says:

    Yes, ugly dress, she should have gotten her money back, probably shouldn’t have been handcuffed.

    But doesn’t something like this happen at about 50% of all the prom dances in the US? I think I’ve heard similar stories most every year.

  70. Lauren O says:

    #87 – Is dressing up to go to the ballet really just to show respect for the amount of time/effort the dancers have put into it? If that’s true, shouldn’t we all dress up to go to a baseball game, too? Those motherfuckers put a pretty good amount of time and effort into preparing for that game, don’t they? I think the ballet dress code is based more on the fact that it’s traditionally been a high-class form of entertainment and a place for rich people to show off their expensive clothes. I don’t know, I was a competitive, pre-professional dancer for years, and it had never even occurred to me to wonder what the audience was wearing until you mentioned it just now, let alone how their clothes reflected their respect for me.

  71. gnubunny says:

    Easy access dress. Less clothing to be removed, for after the prom. I say let the kids show up butt naked, and have one big sex party.

  72. scottfree says:

    I can see the dress, but then that’s probably because I’m singularly honest and pure.

    When I speculate about something I try to cite my sources. Luvpumpkns, you say precedent is on the school’s side, but do excuse me if I don’t take your word. Certainly a contract signed only by a minor isn’t binding, although it’s possible sixteen may be the key age here. And ABC ‘news’ is a lot of bullocks; I honestly don’t think it should be used as a valid source of information.

  73. Takuan says:

    I wish I could know what was in her mind.

  74. Nelson.C says:

    Irate and violent? Or just irate, and the “violent” got added in a piece of phrasological drift, a rhetorical flourish, just because being irate is viewed by some as being a violent emotion? Did she actually do violence to anyone? Did she overturn a table, break someone’s glasses? Or did she just shout a bit?

  75. Xopher says:

    I think the dress was clearly inappropriate. I think she either knew or should have known it would be considered inappropriate, and shouldn’t get her money back.

    I don’t know what got her arrested. I doubt if just standing there quietly saying “I want my money back” would have done it.

    I also notice that the article says “even after offering to provide more cover.” What does that mean? It makes a difference if she said “OK, I’ll go put on the waist-length jacket and floor-length skirt, which I left in the car in case of just such a reaction” or if she said “I’ll stuff a hanky in my cleavage, OK bitch?!”

  76. arkizzle says:

    Ugh, I can’t get away..

    #87, I disagree entirely, refering only to your assertions about the ballet, I’m off the other topic, officially :)

    Only the people who put any stead in how you dress would feel ‘insulted’ that you turned up in jeans.

    Who says they weren’t nice jeans? Who says you should read my intentions from the clothes I’m wearing? Who says that dressing in someone else’s idea of respectable formality is the currently acceptable way of conveying ones respect?

    And linking casually dressed people to disruptive children in a restaurant is a bit of a straw man. What is the connection? None. We probably all think disruptive children should be shot (ok, maybe not all of us).

    I think it’s just snooty elitism.

    Effort =/= Appropriateness =/= Respect =/= Attitude

  77. pooklord says:

    So . . . why is this on Boingboing?

  78. Chevan says:

    I don’t see the problem here. Whether the dress was inappropriate doesn’t matter – she violated the school’s dress code policy.

    >Did anyone even watch the video with the story? Apparently she did offer to cover up and they said no.
    And did you listen to why they said no?

    Here’s the dress code policy of the school, which she would have to have agreed to in order to attend prom (there was a signature area on the form):

    1. Only one inch of the midsection can be shown.
    2. Bare backs are acceptable.
    3. Slits in the dresses can be no more than three inches above the knee.
    4. See through fabrics should not be in places with reveal private body parts.
    5. Proper undergarments must be worn.
    6. Tenis shoes of any kind are unacceptable.

    2 wasn’t a problem, 3 probably wasn’t – the skirt was short, but it didn’t have a slit, 4 probably wasn’t – the fabric looked solid, and 6 wasn’t a problem.

    1 and 5 are the issues. The entire DRESS is midsection, and even if she covered up there would inevitably have been more than an inch showing. And she obviously wasn’t wearing any kind of bra, which is probably the reason she was told she wasn’t wearing proper undergarments.

    If she had had no knowledge of the dress code and had been turned away from the hotel without warning, this would be a different story. But she was, by necessity, aware of the school’s dress code and the potential consequences for violating them.

  79. Xopher says:

    Nelson 91: I was in Houston in October, and the air conditioning was blasting everywhere. Living without AC in Houston…does not happen. Dying without AC in Houston, that’s what it is. You can be sure that the hotel was air conditioned.

    CrunchBird 92: Yeah, that’s about what I figured.

  80. BarelyFitz says:

    A dress that allows you to be picked up by the fuzz is, by definition, too revealing.

  81. Brian Carnell says:

    “Can someone fill me in on the kinds of things that will get you cuffed over there? If you are being escorted away from somewhere, will they cuff you?”

    The story BB links to doesn’t make this clear, but the student was probably arrested and charged with either disorderly conduct or trespassing. The last line of the story contains and admission from the student that she was given two options — probably by police who showed up — a) go home or b) go to jail.

  82. donniebnyc says:

    Since when is “looking like a hooker” a crime? This is just further proof that we now live in Dictator Bush’s police state. The police should have shrugged and walked away, unless she tried to physically harm someone.

  83. rosethornn says:

    #142 & #143

    You seem to misunderstand my argument.

    The enforcement of such dress codes affect more students than the readily apparent example in this thread. The aforementioned LGBT community (who apparently I’m “soapboxing” for even mentioning, so I’ll say no more), or students who choose to express their faith or self through their clothing.

    Would wearing a hijab or jewish cap to your prom be basis for being turned away? After all, niether fit the western “formal dress” code. Should a girl wearing a tuxedo or boy in a prom dress be turned away at the door?

    I hope through these examples I’ve clarified my point. By limiting what students can wear to their prom, you’re merely imposing a eurocentric, cisgendered and christian set of rules on a diverse group.

  84. technogeek says:

    Re 152: I’ve been accused of being from mars (and not in the “men are from mars” sense) periodically since I was about 10. I’ve also been accused of being a cat, for almost that long. The truth is somewhere between the two; draw your own conclusions.

  85. simplehuman says:

    I know this might be terribly unpopular, but I think it’s worth saying.

    Not every outfit is appropriate for ever occasion.

    I know we all want to wear sneakers to work and casual dress far the dominant mindset, but wearing a bathing suit top to Prom, an inherently formal occasion, is ridiculous.

    Prom is meant to be a formal event. I don’t care what’s on MTV (when did that become a standard of anything other than LCD?) that’s not formal attire.

    In the photos in the story you see other kids dressed in Prom attire.

    Go wild with color and design, but this outfit is an emberassing mess worn for shock value.

    Should she have been hauled out in cuffs? Probably an over-reaction, though I’m curious just how she behaved when she was stopped. If she went ballistic, as teenagers are want to do, it might have been justified. Should definitely be investigated.

    Suggesting racism is a canard. I attended a majority African-American school and our prom featured dapper guys and girls in formal wear. Dressing like a clown is not a “black thing”.

  86. mulveyr says:

    “Looking like a hooker” is not a crime. On the other hand, she already showed enough poor judgment by showing up like that to an event that is generally presumed to show off your ability to dress like an adult that I’m not shy about assuming she acted like a spoiled child when she was denied entry – and *THAT’S* why the police were called.

    Also, if my own experience is any indication, you don’t buy tickets when you get to the prom – you get them weeks in advance. If that was the case here, they probably didn’t have any money on hand to repay her, even if they wanted to.

  87. Xopher says:

    Teresa, the “maybe if she wore a blouse under it” one was an eye-opener; yeah, I thought, a high-necked long-sleeved blouse. I didn’t go to my own prom, of course, but…wow.

    It’s not just that those dresses are daring, revealing, or sexy. They’re UGLY and REPELLENT. I guess now I know why prom pictures aren’t as commonly seen as they once were.

  88. Skipper says:

    If you think it’s racist you must not have watched the video. The Principle was black.

    The dress was clearly inappropriate for a 17 year old to wear to a high school prom. My son’s prom was last week and I thought there were some inappropriatly dressed students (parents for that matter) that were wearing at least twice as much material as this young lady (I use the term loosely. My son wore a tailed tux his date wore a strapless gown that was still modest enough for an old foogey like me.

  89. technogeek says:

    Re 164: Migawd, someone really _is_ selling gownless evening straps…

  90. sirspocksalot says:

    #12 – it’s not a crime. She was arrested because she was being disruptive. An overreaction? To be certain. But it was NOT because of how she was dressed.

  91. Clay says:

    This is yet another story where the nuanced line between the vast fields of “OMG THOUGHT POLICE” and “BITCH HAD IT COMING” is going to be somewhat hard to find without details of what exactly went on at the door.

  92. Lauren O says:

    #s 98 and 99 – Just to clarify, I don’t think anyone was making the claim that turning her away from the prom was racist. I think some of us were criticizing the summer dress code as racist and some of the comments in this thread as having racist undertones. But I suppose I can’t speak for anyone but myself.

  93. arkizzle says:

    Lauren, I see we agree on some stuff :)

  94. Shane says:

    @Scottfree, something doesn’t sound right about what you’re saying. Schools can and do regulate dress at proms, school dances, etc… all the time. If what you were saying were true, then we’d of crossed the rather low threshhold of this example years ago.

  95. Antiglobalism says:

    Whatever one thinks of this, you have to be pretty retarded for not figuring out that this dress would be impopular. It’s like covering your penis with a banana on the street and when the police arretsts for refusing to go home, saying: “Hey, I was only making banana split!”

  96. Santa's Knee says:

    Cue “Cunning Plan” cliche…

  97. Xopher says:

    I agree with Lauren 100.

  98. Kibble says:

    “I suppose I just don’t see people’s fun being ruined by a differently dressed person.”

    This is a pretty silly story for Boing Boing to run, but that’s an even sillier statement. Let’s get a 350-pound woman to put on a tube top, a thong and flip-flops, or a 350-pound hairy man to wear Speedos, and sit next to you at a restaurant, at work, in church, everywhere you go, and I bet you’ll soon revise your statement. Once the principle has been established that some modes of dress are unacceptable in some situations, it’s a matter of what modes and what situations. On which there can be disagreement.

    If you really don’t mind the leviathan billowing in all its glory wherever you go, then have at you.

  99. prom77 says:

    #15 – Exactly right.

    I’ve noticed a tendency in a lot of articles (I’m not saying it’s a new phenomenon, just that I’ve only really noticed it recently) that articles like this may be short on details for a reason. Media outlets want BOTH sides of the interpretational divide to get excited by the story.

    If they gave more details, they would lose half the potential audience for this story. Readers who keep an eye out for civil liberties violations might assume this was not a story for them. Or those who enjoy prurient-interest stories of crazies doing crazy things wouldn’t care about it.

    Not giving details is in the Dallas News’s best interest.

  100. arkizzle says:

    Wow Xoph’, that’s a pretty hard-liner approach you are taking there.

    So, she may have been ‘pushing the boat out’ when considering what to wear, but it’s equal parts school-prudishness as fashion-daringness.

    So, their views on appropriateness didn’t meet in the middle. At the point of her being asked to leave, she should have been offered the ticket price or a way around the impasse.

    The school knows what the prom means to attendees (socially and psychologically, milestone/rites of passage), and in the interests of avoiding a scene and having their own time wasted, they could have considered the social-gravitas of the event, and understand the consequences of refusing entry to it, for the girl and her peers.

    Surely it was in the interests of everyone involved to see that the student got in and had a good time, rather than saying, “no, even if you cover up, you can’t come in, and no money back either”. Eh.. no customers rights?

    And: “go home or go to jail” are pretty shitty options. If this was in a store of some kind, we’d be leaping to the students defence, saying her liberty was being sullied.

    I’ll admit, we don’t have the details to really make that call, but to assume she was immediately in the wrong, or immediately aggressive, is just unwarranted. If she got upset because they were stonewalling her attempts to remedy the situation, then she deserves to get mad.

    More info please.
    __

    Also: Brian, indeed I had read the article and was wondering what kind of other things you would expect someone to be cuffed for, day-to-day.
    It is a last option in my experience, but it seems to be a middle ground option in America, the more I hear.

  101. Lauren O says:

    #103 – First of all, there’s a line to draw for indecent exposure. If that girl came to the prom with her boobs hanging out, that would have been inappropriate for sure. She was more covered up than if she had been wearing a bikini, so that is clearly not the issue as it would be if your theoretical fat woman in a restaurant were wearing a thong and no pants.

    Second of all, I have seen, as I’m sure we all have at least once in our lives, a 350-pound woman wearing a tube top, and a 350-pound hairy dude wearing a Speedo at the beach. It decidedly did not ruin my fun, and I don’t understand why it would, at all.

  102. Xopher says:

    TechnoGeek 172: MOTA! YOU’VE COME AT LAST!!!!

  103. Adam Stanhope says:

    Come on – that dress is insanely great! We’ve got to give her credit for coming up with a dress like that and trying to get into her prom with it.

    On some level, isn’t just about everything on Boing Boing about the appreciation of “art for art’s sake?” No? Or is this the sort of crowd that would wet their pants if she went to her prom in an Imperial Storm Trooper costume – but deny her something equally (or perhaps even more) creative because it exposes her midriff?

  104. mortis says:

    Jabba is going to be PISSED someone ELSE escaped from the barge!

  105. Crunchbird says:

    For those wondering whether or not Marche should have known she would be denied entrance, I would point out that one of the shots in the news clip is of a very clear sheet of Prom Dress Code instructions, one of which is “no more than 1 inch of midriff exposed.” The distribution of a page of dress code instructions makes me think that “appropriateness” has been an issue for this school in the past, which makes it even more likely that students knew about the possible ramifications of ignoring the dress code.

    That said, this is such a non-story that I can’t believe any mainstream media are carrying it, let alone BB. “Teen outfit shocks adult chaperones” is right up there with last week’s “sometimes tornadoes toss around trash that includes old cancelled checks” and “kid busted for stealing candy bars”. Thank God for the 24-hour news cycle . . .

  106. arkizzle says:

    #13 Mulveyr

    ..your ability to dress like an adult..

    Ohh! you mean a ‘respectable’ adult.. unfortunately MTV doesn’t have the “Dress Like a Respectable Woman and Be Respected” show. Nor do most stations.

    Sadly, it’s pretty much all, “Dress Like a Slut and Get Rich”.

  107. LB says:

    >>95

    I did watch the video, and I paid attention to the part about the undergarments, and the funny thing is? I don’t think the girl considers a bra an “undergarment,” so we have a bit of a misunderstanding here (or she’s pretending not to know on purpose).

    However, I’m thinking, if the school makes you sign a paper agreeing to a dress code, then you better well make sure your dress isn’t going to cause a problem before you proceed.

  108. Antinous says:

    I don’t think that her dress is really that shocking compared to normal prom wear in the third millennium. I’ve seen a lot of Rose McGowanesque prom dresses online lately. Hell, Cher would have worn this in 1972.

  109. Lauren O says:

    Xopher, I really like the sentence, “I agree with Lauren 100.” It makes me feel like a robot or some kind of NASCAR race.

  110. Ray DelMundo says:

    vt fr “BTCH HD T CMNG”.

    f y wtch Cps, y s tht vryn tht rssts vntlly mks sm ffr t cmply, bt by thn t’s t lt.

  111. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know the school dress codes and what not but back in 05 when I garduated if we wore something like that at very least we would have been escorted. I went to OFHS oak forest high school in Illinois and no midriff just on normal school day skirts and shorts had to come so many inches down the thigh no tank tops or white t-shirts.Pretty much for the prom being formal wear not much was allowed to show shoulders covered skirt length of dress or skirt to certain lengeth we were given what was allowed at dances starting freshman year and every year for refresher all our dances were formal we had a few every year boys had to wear slacks or trousers among other rules I don’t recall. That outfit is rediclous espically for prom

  112. trr says:

    Why exactly are people calling that a “dress”?

  113. Terry Karney says:

    Teresa: I think the “needs a blouse” dress is the one the NY Post had last year, wherein the dress was reversed for the photos, taking a dress more in keeping with the rest, and making it the piece of questionable sartory seen here.

    Xopher: I don’t find those dresses repellent. Ugly, perhaps, ill-presented (some of those photos seem designed to make the model look ugly; while doing nothing for the dress).

  114. Santa's Knee says:

    @#23: “Hell, Cher would have worn this in 1972.”

    You say that like it’s a good thing… ;)

  115. Terry Karney says:

    With no opinon on the strapless g-string, the website sucks.

  116. MsAnon says:

    “I firmly believe you SHOULD have been denied entry at the very least to the ballet.”

    #81, even though other people have smacked you down already, I’m going to pile on.

    I work in the performing arts, specifically opera. Opera of fat ladies in gowns and jewels. Opera of opera-length gloves, gala balls, formal opening nights, etc. I love dressing up. I love having a job that allows me to put on evening clothes. I am a partisan of taste and aesthetics in the sartorial realm. (And I firmly believe we should have MORE occasions in our lives to wear evening clothes, because it would make people less crazy at proms and weddings.)

    And your remarks make me so angry. We have people who attend our operas in cocktail dresses and dark suits (full evening dress, generally not). We have people who wear “business casual”. We also have people who come in jeans. Clean jeans, but jeans. Because the days of people coming to opera simply to show themselves off in a box are over.

    And that’s really okay. We would never throw anyone out for being informally dressed. We want more people to come to opera, more people to come to ballet, more people to come to the symphony. WE DON’T WANT people to buy into the stereotype that “Oh, opera is for rich people! Opera is for people who own formal gowns and a lot of jewelry! Opera isn’t for people like me, it isn’t for broke college kids and truck drivers and cashiers, and if I go wearing my cheap, dowdy clothing people will snicker at me and say I don’t belong there.”

    And every time you say, “Oh, they should throw you out!” you undo all of our hard work.

    But then perhaps you go to performances to spend your time peering across the boxes to see what your neighbors are wearing, instead of watching the performance on stage.

  117. Antinous says:

    Some can’t be worn with underwear, unless there are magical new underwear technologies I’m not familiar with.

    What could you be thinking posting that when you know that I’m around? Click at your own risk.

    Glue-on bra

    Strapless G-String Scroll down.

  118. Tenn says:

    It’s a school event.

    She doesn’t need to wear that at a school event. We have dress codes for a reason; because it’s not appropriate. Schools are liable when they have students exposing themselves (and doing sexual things in the halls / bathrooms / courtyards) not literally and legally, but it destroys the school’s image. She likely screamed and freaked out; that’s what teenagers do.

    She shouldn’t have gotten escorted out for the dress, but if she threw a fit, that’s a reasonable response. My prom had metal detector wands, a bag check, etc, and if anyone wore a skimpy dress I’m sure they’d have been kicked out.

    It’s not the dress, it’s the attitude.

    Besides, that’s really unfashionable.

  119. Roach says:

    “I suppose I just don’t see people’s fun being ruined by a differently dressed person.”

    The students’ fun probably wouldn’t be (unless girls got tired of their boyfriends looking at gold lame up there).

    Schools have a responsibility to parents as well as students, however. And most parents don’t want their children at official school events with any suggestion of sexual licentiousness. They doubtless had chaperones enforcing dance codes and the rest. It’s not terribly effective, but they are called minors for a reason.

  120. simplehuman says:

    Someone who would wear, essentially, a bathing suit to a prom does not strike me as one who will take news of her rejection from Prom with grace and dignity.

    Crunchbird caught it, there was a clear dress code laid out, she pretty much flipped it the bird with that get-up.

    It’s weird for me, because normally I’m on the side of letting your freak flag fly, but that’s not a dress, it’s a damn costume.

  121. scottfree says:

    In 1965, the Supreme Court held in its Tinker decision that schools are distinct in that they fulfill a socially necessary task. But First Amendment rights do not evaporate at the school door; they can only be restricted when and if they disrupt the socially necessary task, specifically education.

    This was altered in 2007 by the Fredrick case ['Bong Hits for Jesus'] in which the court held that speech a reasonable person could interpret as advocating illegal activity can also be restricted by schools, even in a clearly non-educational setting. This is a much harsher standard then applies to the general public, where it legal if a reasonable person could interpret the speech as /not/ advocating illegal activity, so basically anything goes.

    At any rate, my knowledge of law is fairly limited to the basics of civil rights, so I’m not too up on what laws apply to private functions. And I didn’t and won’t watch the video, so I have no idea of the specifics of the case, if indeed any are provided. But the school is wrong to label clothing as disruptive in this context, since it does not have the right to decide that in a non educational setting. I sincerely doubt any contract the girl signed was binding, although it may well be if her parents signed off on it as well, if indeed the signing of a contract can remove your rights of expression, which in can, in certain specific circumstances. She isn’t trespassing, since she has a ticket; she isn’t criminally trespassing [not sure what you call it in the US] since she isn’t preventing the legal activities of others. The cops were probably called on a disturbance after she was refused entry [and who wouldn't be angry?] but I’m not sure they didn’t put the wrong person in handcuffs. I suspect it hasn’t been challenged because parents demand this sort of thing and disputes tend to be settled by way of quiet apology. Nobody wants to sue a school, and I’m not sure how much punitive damage there even is to win here.

    and re: handcuffs: I think that is fairly standard procedure in the US. I was brought in as a suspect once, as a matter of procedure, and got cuffs put on /after/ being in the front seat of a cop car for fully a half hour chatting amiably with the officer while he waited for the higher ups to tell him what to do. I mean, he was nice about it, but it seemed like his cop friends would make fun of him if he brought in someone without handcuffs.

  122. Earth Man says:

    Amazed at the level of prudishness in comments above. Does “skimpy” always = “slut?”

  123. technogeek says:

    #61: I still fail to see how one person dressing differently at the prom spoils anyone else’s fun. Unless your idea of “fun” is forcing everyone else into monkey suits.

  124. arkizzle says:

    #103 KIBBLE

    No Kibble, I won’t revise my statement. And it’s attitudes like that, that have our society so fucked up. So ‘we’ have decided that only the sexy people can wear skimpy clothes?

    And who exactly established which modes that you mentioned, were acceptable? Not me, and if I’ve been paying attention, we usually put a lot of stead in society keeping up with what is currently morally unacceptable.. re: civil/gay/religious rights, and that’s what keeps society healthy and forward moving.

    Just because some people way back when, decided someting was appropriate, doesn’t mean we have to agree.

    I agree that it is fun to sometimes have a formal event, but your not agreeing and turning up in a speedo is not going to ruin my fun, it may even increase it, as I get to point and laugh.

  125. Xopher says:

    Lauren 107: “And now, ladies and gentlemen, for the fulfillment of all your thoughtful and critical blog-commenting needs, I present to you…the Lauren 100!”

    *wild applause*

  126. Xopher says:

    Rosethornn, I’d just like to point out that none of the things you mention is prohibited by the prom dress code quoted earlier in the thread. Midriff-baring was.

  127. Wally B says:

    #103 — Read #44 from the blogger. BoingBoing is a blog, not a news site. It amazes me that people critique the boing as if it were their news source.

    Pescovitz: @Pooklord (#10), It’s on BB because I found it personally interesting. And interestingness is my only filter when determining what I want to post.

  128. Lauren O says:

    The Internet is a place where someone who chose the username Buttseks tells you you have no taste.

    146, the reason this is a discussion is that people aren’t content to say, “She broke an agreement that she signed, so she couldn’t get in, and that’s fair.” They have to say shit like So-Called Austin Mayor up there did and force those of us who don’t care that she got kicked out but do care about judgmental slut-shaming to jump in.

  129. Antinous says:

    Am I the only one who wants to know Marche Taylor’s score on the Marital Rating Scale: Wife’s Chart?

  130. technogeek says:

    The outfit covers more skin than most bathing suits, so there’s no question of indecency.

    Inappropriateness? I dunno; given what’s being touted as high fashion these days… It isn’t exactly a black sheath dress or tuxedo, but it *IS* fancy dress/evening wear/whatever. Whether it’s a good instance of same is a matter of taste, and that isn’t a topic which folks should be judging.

    So: Depends on how the prom’s dress code rules were written and published. Assuming they _were_ made clear in advance.

    To my eye that outfit looks like she lost a fight with a curtain; neither the color nor the style are particularly flattering. But if that’s what she wants to go with, and the stated rules don’t put it squarely out of bounds, I’ll defend her right to make that decision.

    And I’d argue that if the rules do put her in the wrong, someone might want to consider changing them. My personal take is that if someone wants to go to their prom in nontraditional garb, let ‘em. The event is for the kids, not for the adults; they can make their own minds up about whether they approve or disapprove. If that means you wind up with something closer to a costume ball than a formal, more power to ‘em; creativity is a good thing.

  131. jitrobug says:

    They were just trying to protect her from a room full of teenage boys who, hopped up on GTA, would have paid her for sex then run her over to get their money back… (and get points!)

  132. Antinous says:

    Ray and anybody else who said the same thing,

    Your opinion is welcome, but could you find a little less misogynistic way of phrasing it, please?

  133. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Glue-on bras I knew about. Strapless g-strings, I didn’t. It does explain some styles I’ve seen lately and had wondered about.

  134. dannysland says:

    “This is just further proof that we now live in Dictator Bush’s police state.”

    Yeah, those cops were obviously under direct orders from the president!

  135. StridentLobster says:

    Here’s hoping she was just arrested by the fashion police, because DAMN.

    That’d be tacky at a luau.

  136. technogeek says:

    146 etc: As I said up front: If the dress code rules are clear, were distributed well, and she was clearly and explicitly outside those bounds, then they’re absolutely entitled to send her home to change.

    If they were unclear, it’s a judgement call. I don’t agree with the judgement, but de gustibus…

    If the rules were clear and she hasn’t clearly violated them, or if they were not properly distributed in advance, then I think she should have been admitted.

    Of course, I’m one of those who had absolutely no interest in my own senior prom, and who doesn’t much buy into meaningless ritual generally (_meaningful_ ritual, as a game you’re actually interested in playing, is a different matter). So I’m biased toward “jeeze, it’s just a fancy-dress party, and if someone really wants to go as a penguin or pirate let ‘em — the reaction they get from the other kids should suffice to either reinforce or police this as appropriate.”

    Re an earlier comment: Hey, having the bride accompanied down the aisle by seven skyclad maidens would seem perfectly appropriate symbolism to me…

  137. mulveyr says:

    #28: Skimpy != slut. Skimpy is fine when you’re on the beach.

    That doesn’t mean that beachwear is appropriate at a prom, or a job interview. The last time I checked, proms are ostensibly formal affairs.

    But lets get down to brass tacks: Maybe I’m just particularly sheltered, but the *only* places I see women wearing clothes like that are where they’re flagging down passing cars – and probably not to ask directions. Your chosen mode of dress makes a social statement – even from the teens who are in bog-conventional jeans and tees. Personally, I don’t see the appropriateness of someone dressing like a streetwalker at a prom.

    Prudish? Possibly. This may be socially unenlightened of me, but if she showed up at a job interview dressed like that, she wouldn’t even make it through the door. I suspect most people would do the same.

  138. Lauren O says:

    Antinous, thank you.

  139. Tenn says:

    Silicon bras are at the little Vietnamese French store at my mall, ‘La Mariposa’. Strapless G string- what’s the point? Why not go commando?

  140. Santa's Knee says:

    @#28: Does “skimpy” always = “slut?”

    When DOESN’T it…?

  141. spazzm says:

    Handcuffed for showing skin?

    I’m surprised no-one else has said this:
    American Taliban.

  142. lastvisibledog says:

    I appreciate that she’s trying to stick it to the prudes, no matter how ugly and humiliating the dress is, but whatever happened to taking your blows with dignity? Aren’t there any heroes anymore?

  143. Antinous says:

    I exist only to serve.

  144. Antinous says:

    Why not go commando?

    Actually, their tagline is “Why go commando when you don’t have to?” And the answer is twofold: Britney and Lindsay.

  145. Shane says:

    Having finally watched the video, I gotta say, this is not that big a deal.

    They had a specific dress code. She couldn’t follow it. Her “plan” to comply (wrapping the train around her midsection) still did not satisfy them (apparently she does not understand that a bra is an undergarment).

    What you can’t figure out from the limited video is why, exactly, she was cuffed. But, I’m guessing it was along the lines of they told her to leave, she wouldn’t leave. Since they can’t use physical force, they call the cops…. which is quite sensible. Now, at that point, are cuffs really necessary? Dunno, not enough info to go on.

    As for the BB-worthiness of the story, to me, it registered because of its preposterousness. Seriously, you’d have to be a total idiot or pain-in-the-ass if you think that you can come to a prom dressed in some kind of gold-satin paper-mache stripper outfit (if you look at the snapshots from the event, it looks worse than when she’s “modeling” it for the news crew). So, yeah, it works for me on BB in the vein of an oddity that got the attention of our hosts.

  146. arkizzle says:

    SERIOUSLY

    Everyone saying this dress would be ONLY ever seen on hookers.. (Mulbeyr @33, I’m looking at you)

    PLEASE.

    Turn on MTV or any fashion/music channel and that’s what you get. The standards of dress are being set by all sorts of people, and NONE of them care about the consequences.

    Yes, I agree MTV is shit, and it’s a pity indeed that such muck-pushers hold sway over the teens of the day.. but they do, and they did (maybe with a different face) for each of our generations. You can say “not me” all you like, me too, but certainly for a section of kids from every generation fashon and it’s boundaries are the place to express onesefl (taste aside, have you seen the shit we used to wear?).

  147. Individual says:

    I’m a 30 year old male and I’d love to have the confidence to dress like that girl. The idea that she might be dressed “inappropriately” should be offensive to anyone who values freedom and individuality, and I don’t know where to begin to challenge the assumptions that would go into such a judgment. Calling her a whore or assuming she is asking to be sexually assaulted assumes a lot about the men of the world, which in my case at least is entirely inaccurate. A naked whore standing in front of me deserves the same consideration as a prim and proper English Lit professor. I wouldn’t presume anything about either of them, especially that I could “get away” with committing crimes against one but not the other. Furthermore, to the point of this article that the cops were called because she was enraged, I have a right to be enraged in public without facing arrest. How dare any of them presume.

  148. chgoliz says:

    According to the dress code as copied here, it sounds as if a yamulke or muslim head scarf would also be forbidden.

    And would they deny an Indian girl the right to wear a sari to her prom?

    I agree with other posters that underneath it all there seems to be an issue of trying to whitewash these teens.

  149. Lauren O says:

    Earth Man, I’m amazed at the prudishness in the comments here, too. Who cares if it’s slutty? Who cares if it looks like a costume? It’s a high school prom. What do you think those kids are going to be doing in there all night, anyway? They’re not going to be sitting around sipping tea with state dignitaries, they’re going to be dancing with each other – and not the kind of dancing where you sway back and forth at arm’s length, either.

    I can’t really form an opinion on whether this girl should have been kicked out without knowing all the details about dress codes and if they were made clear beforehand and whatnot, but I am rolling my eyes so hard at all the mentions of five-dollar hookers and flagging down cars in this comment thread. Talk about slut-shaming. Give me a break.

  150. Jake0748 says:

    #37 – Like it or not, at certain social occasions there is usually either a rule or an assumption of which clothing is considered appropriate and which isn’t. If someone doesn’t wish to follow the expectations, they are free to not participate in the event.

    I guess the simplest example would be: how would you feel if someone showed up at your wedding or the funeral of a loved one dressed in some ‘inappropriate’ manner, or naked for that matter? If you’re truly ok with that, more power too you. But IMHO most people would be somewhat offended.

  151. aldasin says:

    I likeded it, but then nobody axed me.

  152. Crunchbird says:

    Shane, I noticed the difference between the way the dress looked in the prom night photos and the way it looked in the video also. Given the final result, and the number of negative reactions to it, it’s sort of amazing to realize that for the video she had actually arranged the dress to cover more skin than it had on prom night. In the prom night photo I saw, the “bra” portion was basically scrunched down to just two narrow strips of cloth over her nipples.

    Spazzm, I’d say the fact that she wasn’t arrested, and the fact that there’s no evidence she was detained based on her attire rather than her behavior, are the reason you’re the first to share that particular tidbit of wisdom with the thread . . .

  153. arkizzle says:

    FWIW:

    This IS NOT the dress code for the prom, but it IS the dress code for Madison High School’s “Credit Recovery Summer School Program”.. Make of it what you will.

    DRESS CODE:

    YOUNG LADIES:
    Bare-back dresses are not acceptable.
    One shoulder or strapless tops are not acceptable.
    Bare-back halters, bare midriff or cut-off tops are not acceptable
    See-thorough blouses or dresses (without an under blouse or t-shirt) are unacceptable.
    Capri or crop pants, and pedal pushers may be worn by young ladies.
    Shorts for young ladies WILL NOT be permitted.
    Sandal-type shoes may be worn.
    HOUSE SHOES OR THONGS, OR THONG-TYPE SHOES ARE NOT PERMITTED.
    Tank tops unacceptable.

    YOUNG MEN
    Male students will not be permitted to wear earrings on campus.
    LONG SHORTS may be worn by young men this summer.
    Athletic shorts ARE NOT PERMITTED.
    Shorts must be worn at the WAIST.
    T-shirts with inappropriate language or signs/symbols are unacceptable.
    Tank tops or muscle shirts are unacceptable.

    MISCELLANEOUS GUIDELINES:
    HEAD COVERING unacceptable (Scarves, “Do rags”, caps, etc.).
    ID Badges are required!
    If you do not have an ID Badge, See Mrs. Young in the library.
    Backpacks are not permitted on campus.

  154. rosethornn says:

    Jake0748:

    So, in summary “Love it or leave it”?

    nice..

    I find it hilarious the amount of “zomg freedom of expression” people here who are against her.

    It’s this kind of attitude that leads to transgendered people being turned away from prom night, or gay couples being shood out. It’s pandering to social norms at the expense of personal freedom, and the fact that anyone here supports that is a huge dissappointment.

  155. Xopher says:

    Arki’: Wow Xoph’, that’s a pretty hard-liner approach you are taking there.

    Not at all. A HARD line position would be that she should have been held overnight on a Solicitation charge. (No, I don’t actually think that should have been done. Dressing in hooker drag is not the same as being a hooker.)

    As has now been confirmed (I can’t watch videos at work), she knew perfectly well that dressing that way would violate the dress code. If she was trying to make some kind of half-assed political point, she got her way, and should have no complaints.

    If she made a fuss when told she wasn’t going to be admitted, that would justify the management of the hotel asking her to leave. If she refused, that justifies calling the police. If she refused to leave when the police asked her to, that justifies cuffing her. Note it does NOT say she was arrested or charged.

    As for “go to jail or go home,” what other options COULD she have been offered? And at what point? If she had accepted their decision (not that it was one; they had to enforce the distributed dress code) from the outset, she certainly would have had the option to go to a restaurant with her date.

    And she was NOT “handcuffed for wearing [a] skimpy prom dress.” That wasn’t a dress, for one thing, but more importantly there’s no way that was why she was handcuffed.

    In addition to all that: at a formal event, part of the fun is being among a whole lot of people who are all dressed formally. She was insisting not only on her right to ignore the rules, but to spoil everyone else’s good time. She was being a “clothing troll.”

  156. Antinous says:

    I’d also love to know where y’all live that your hookers wear trains. Do fifty percent of BB readers live in Vegas hotels?

  157. donniebnyc says:

    “Yeah, those cops were obviously under direct orders from the president!”

    Don’t be an idiot. Police over-reactions to minor incidents are an epidemic in this formerly free country.

    Search TSA on BoingBoing to start your education.

  158. David Pescovitz says:

    @Pooklord (#10), It’s on BB because I found it personally interesting. And interestingness is my only filter when determining what I want to post.

  159. bardfinn says:

    Her outfit is incredibly tacky.

    Her outfit certainly violates school dress code, which was provided to her.

    She was certainly disrupting the event.

    Prom is almost certainly not something that one can get one’s money back for – the money is almost certainly spent.

    Had she been able to acquire clothing that met the approval of the administration, she should have been allowed in.

    She waived that option in favor of disrupting the event for many others, all of whom /also/ paid money and most of whom probably followed the rules (or at least did not break them, set them on fire, and scream “WAAAAAAAALT!” – as she metaphorically did.)

  160. Qozmiq says:

    Isn’t this the same dress that Queen Aoleon wore in Coming to America?

  161. Lauren O says:

    #39 – A high school prom is in no way comparable to a wedding or the funeral of a loved one. In fact, most of its social significance is sexual. Losing your virginity on prom night is a cliche for a reason. At the very least, practically everyone is gunning for a date and a kiss. That is not the case at a wedding or funeral, unless you are Owen Wilson or Vince Vaughn.

  162. Bobdotcom says:

    @2 – Excellent Quagmire reference! Giggity-giggity-giggity!

  163. Xopher says:

    Wow. No shorts for girls, but boys can wear them? At a summer program? In TEXAS? And they ban CAPS?

    OK, my comments stand, but now I understand why she was rebelling. Her high school administration are a bunch of sexist, fascist asshats.

  164. Antinous says:

    Okay, who here remembers when you couldn’t get into a restaurant without a tie and a sport jacket? They had extras (really hideous and humiliating ones) for men who showed up without them. Should we go back to that?

  165. Earth Man says:

    OK, you folks who are so ready to paste the “slut” label on scantily-clad ladies are ruining it for the rest of us pervs out there. Cut it out.

    Seriously though, I would had thought that BB readers might be a little less conservative. (“Slut!” “streetwalker!” “hooker!”) So the girl likes to show off a little. This ain’t Saudi Arabia. Just saying.

  166. Scarybug says:

    I may not agree with what you wear, but I’ll defend to the death your right to wear it.

    -Fashion Voltaire.

  167. Santa's Knee says:

    @#50: Yes – because they also made you leave if you or your hellspawn were acting up.

    Not just “Yes” but “Hell, Yes.”

  168. pharbeson says:

    Only in Texas…

  169. Xopher says:

    BardFinn 45: Hear, hear. You said it better and shorter than I did.

    I didn’t mention, but do agree, that had she been able to meet the requirements of the distributed dress code, she should have been admitted. The article doesn’t say (of course) what “additional cover” she offered to provide. If it was something easily removable, I wouldn’t have let her in either (since she’d just take it off right away.

    If she’d been trying to get away with it, she’d’ve worn a sari or something over the whole thing, and unwrapped when she got inside. But she wanted to poke the school administration in the eye (and after reading their summer dress code I can’t say I entirely blame her).

    Antinous 50: No, of course not. But a restaurant is not a high school prom, either.

  170. Lauren O says:

    Arkizzle, that there’s a racist fucking dress code. Long shorts are permitted, but not athletic shorts? No do-rags? Those are rules specifically designed to quash urban ways of dressing. There’s no reason athletic shorts would be any more detrimental to a learning environment than long shorts. Of course, that doesn’t change the issue at hand, I suppose, though it certainly makes me sympathize more strongly with anyone breaking a dress code established by that school.

    I mean, I guess if she broke a dress code that was established beforehand then she broke it, and they’re not going to allow her entrance, and that’s fair. But the dress code itself is dumb. Is she really spoiling everyone’s fun by wearing slutty clothes? I don’t follow that line of logic.

  171. Jake0748 says:

    @47 Laren – Not exactly my point. It doesn’t matter what the significance is. Proms, weddings, funerals, job interviews, etc. are all occasions where a certain type of clothing is expected (usually, not always).

    @50, Anti – I think there are still lots of restaurants like that around.

  172. rosethornn says:

    #154

    If the prom dress code in it’s entirity consists of 5 rules, all for girls, I’d be very, very surprised.

    The other dress code provided by the school is rather more whole, and a lot more strict:

    YOUNG MEN
    Male students will not be permitted to wear earrings on campus.

    MISCELLANEOUS GUIDELINES:
    HEAD COVERING unacceptable (Scarves, “Do rags”, caps, etc.)

    I can’t find the full dress code for the prom in this thread or anywhere else, only the Summer Recovery Program one, and lone 5 rules given for the prom.

  173. Nelson.C says:

    Is there an elephant in the room that no-one’s mentioning here? Would the girl look less of a slut if she wasn’t showing so much black skin? How strongly would people be reacting to her outfit if she were white?

  174. Lauren O says:

    Fashion Voltaire is well-known for establishing the Vegas Hotel line of clothing, in which all hookers wear trains.

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