Teen Shamed Over Cleavage at Prom. Have School Dress Codes Gone Too Far?

Does this prom dress show too much? School officials thought so. (Photo: KOMO-TV)

A high school senior is asking for an apology from her school after she was told to cover up her cleavage on prom night.

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Brittany Minder, a senior at Central Kitsap High School in Silverdale, Washington, had a hard time finding a gown for prom, thanks to her large bust. She finally found the perfect purple strapless dress in Canada, made by a company that she says specializes in clothing for larger-breasted women.

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"When I put it on, I just fell in love," she told KOMO News. "I loved the beading on it."

But when she arrived for the dance, she was told she couldn't come in because she was showing too much cleavage. According to the school's rules, "Strapless dresses and those with spaghetti straps are allowed providing cleavage, midriff and lower back are covered."

Minder acknowledges that her dress showed a lot of cleavage, but feels that an exception should have been made for her.

"In my opinion, I feel that it is because I'm bigger chested and there is more cleavage that you can see, and there's nothing I could really do about that," she said.

She said that she has worn similar dresses to other events at the school and she hasn't been singled out before (a photo from Facebook shows her wearing a semi-strapless white dress, but it shows less cleavage than the purple one). Her parents say they are fine with the rule, but think the school was enforcing it unfairly.

"All women are not created equal," her mother, Kim Minder, told KOMO. "You can not compare a golf ball to a grapefruit. It ain't gonna happen."

"A girl like Brittany should not have to go to a dance in a burlap sack because she's large busted," her father, Gary Minder, said. "It's ridiculous."

Minder was finally allowed to attend prom after she covered up with a shawl, but by then, she says, the night was ruined. She wants a public apology from the school.

"I felt self-conscious and they took the magic out of the night," she said. "It was tough being there after all that happened. I didn't feel comfortable. I already had a blow to my self-esteem. I didn't really want to be there anymore."

"An important night of my life was ruined, and there's no way I can gain that experience back," she added.

What do you think? Is the school harming her self-esteem by not allowing her to express herself through fashion? Body-shaming by forcing her to cover up? Or just enforcing a rule that applies to all the girls at the prom?

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