HIGHLAND, Utah — A high school student in Utah was surprised when she was told to cover up her dress because it was too inappropriate for a school dance — and she had a message for her critics.
According to KUTV in Utah, the student, Gabi Finlayson, said she was “embarrassed” when a school official told her she needed to wear a shawl to cover her shoulders.
“Somehow my shoulders are sexualized,” Finlayson told the station. “Like it’s my responsibility to make sure the boys’ thoughts are not unclean.”
KUTV reports the school’s dress code declares the following:
“Formals, backless dresses and/or tops may not extend beyond the bottom of the shoulder blades. Girls’ dresses and tops must have a 2″ minimum strap on each shoulder. Shawls, boleros and other shrugs are acceptable if worn over the dress at all times. Cleavage covered.”
The principal of the school told the station the students were aware of the dress code beforehand.
But Finlayson believes her dress was classic and graceful. She says it was purchased in Paris, and it reminded her of something her idol, actress Audrey Hepburn, might wear.
“There were a lot of dresses that were very short, very tight, a lot more exposing or revealing than mine,” she said.
Her mother, Kristy Kimball, was angry. “How have we gotten to the point that we look at shoulders as if they’re somehow pornographic? As if they are this shameful thing,” Kimball told KUTV.
“Maybe instead of teaching girls they should cover themselves up, we should be teaching boys that we’re not just sex objects that you can look at and derive pleasure,” Finlayson said.