A teen was banned from entering her date’s high school formal - or 'prom' as it's known in the US - after she arrived in a floor-length dress with mesh cut-outs.
Josie Reason, 16, from Louisiana, was so thrilled to receive a promposal from her co-worker Christian, that she hit the shops the very next day to look for a dress.
Bearing in mind that her date’s school is a Christian one, she went for something conservative. Several gowns were vetoed for being too tight, having a high slit, or showing too much chest.
As her mum Rebecca tells Yahoo Lifestyle US, "Josie was concerned about looking appropriate. My only rule was to find a dress that could easily pass at church."
The mum and daughter eventually found what they thought was the perfect look: an AU$500 gown with a black-and-white floral shirt and a fitted top with cut-out panels covered by mesh.
“I texted photos of the dress to Christian’s mum to make sure it was decent and we could coordinate about the corsage colours,” says Rebecca. “She agreed it was pretty.”
However, shortly after the students left for the prom, Rebecca received a phone call from her daughter.
“I could tell Josie was trying not to cry,” she says, “She said, ‘Mum, they won’t let me in the prom because of my cut-outs — I either have to wear Christian’s jacket all night or walk 40 minutes to Walmart and buy a belt.’”
Josie had pointed out that her cut-outs were covered by mesh — therefore not exposing bare skin— but the teacher at the entrance said it was ‘see-through’.
Christian wouldn’t give Josie his jacket on principal. “He said girls wearing more revealing dresses were allowed in and it wasn’t fair,” says Rebecca.
Ultimately, Christian’s mum picked up the couple and took them for a dinner and a movie instead.
While the night was partially salvaged, Rebecca is bothered by what she says is discrimination.
“I feel they treated Josie unfairly because she doesn’t attend Christian’s school.” The school did not return Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment.
What’s more, Rebecca says she later discovered that Christian’s mum had called the school prior to prom and confirmed that cut-outs with mesh panels were appropriate as long as “no bare skin showed.”
Josie and Christian are still making the most of prom season and the couple will hit Josie’s school prom on Saturday.
This time, Rebecca is prepared. “I’m making Josie a ‘prom care package’ with a needle and thread, a marker, scissors, a measuring tape, and a belt,” she says, adding that the kit can be shared with girls who unknowingly violate the dress code. “I don’t want this to happen to anyone else.”
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