An Illinois high school accused of fat shaming is facing backlash after releasing a 21-page guide detailing how girls should dress for their prom.
Boylan Catholic High School in Rockford issued the book — complete with photos — to show students what attire is acceptable or not for this year’s prom in May.
“Our dress code for school dances is not new,” Boylan President Amy Ott told the Daily News. “It was developed two years ago by a committee made up of teachers and students who consulted dress codes that existed at other Catholic schools across the country."
Some rules for girls include no plunging necklines, cutouts, no slits more than 3-inches above the knee and others.
Boys are expected to wear tuxedos, a suit or slacks with a tie as part of their “formal evening attire.”
Ott said some students were confused by the book at first, which prompted the school’s dress committee to include photos to help clarify the rules.
Parents found the guide useful when shopping with their children to pick out “something that is both elegant and appropriate,” Ott said.
“We want all students to feel beautiful in what they wear while also adhering to our values as a Catholic school,” she said.
But the dress code has rubbed some students the wrong way, arguing that it promotes body shaming instead of modesty.
“Some girls may wear the same dress but due to body types, one dress may be acceptable while the other is not,” Boylan's guide reads.
Boylan Student Council President Kaleigh Brauns said some students have spoken about not going to prom, but she expects most will attend the festivities.
"There is a lot of understandable discontent among the girls over the strict enforcement of the new dress code," Braun told the Rockford Register.
Robyn Goodman, a body image expert at the University of Florida, said the guide is discriminatory against a young woman’s image because they all have different body types.
“Girls do not have a choice in how their bodies were made so more voluptuous bodies are going to have more cleavage and curves. Taller girls’ dresses will hit higher up on the leg than a shorter girl. It’s nature,” Goodman said.