When Does a Dress Code Become Unreasonable?

By Victoria Lubas

Gabi Finlayson, a student of Lone Peak High School in Utah, was asked to cover up during a school dance because her dress showed too much shoulder. According to Yahoo! News, Finlayson wore an Audrey Hepburn inspired, “light pink dress with lace overlay that fell just below the knee.”

Gabi Finlayson's dress was considered a violation of her school's dress code because of her straps. Photo Credit: Kristy Kimball and Yahoo! News

Gabi Finlayson’s dress was considered a violation of her school’s dress code because of its straps.
Photo Credit: Kristy Kimball and Yahoo! News

While issues with dress code are not typically astonishing, this incident has sparked interest because Finlayson’s dress was considered conservative with the hem-line falling below the knee, and the appropriate alterations to the neckline. Finlayson said she was familiar with her school’s dress code and had altered her dress by “bringing up the bodice to make sure it wasn’t too low cut” so that it would fit the standards, according to the Huffington Post.

However, Finlayson was still considered a dress code violator because the Lone Peak dress code states “girls’ dresses and tops must have a two inch minimum strap on each shoulder. Shawls, boleros and other shrugs are acceptable if worn over the dress at all times.” Finlayson said that the straps on her dress were more than two inches wide and that she was within the school’s dress code.

Despite the alterations, Finlayson was still told to cover up upon arrival, which resulted in her wearing her coat for the duration of the dance. She said, “I still stayed at the dance because it had been something I looked forward to, but I did feel really embarrassed and ashamed.”

Finlayson’s mother, Kathy Kimball, is more concerned with the message that this sends out, rather than the resulting embarrassment. Kimball stated, “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.”

Finlayson also stated, “that was a night I was supposed to feel really beautiful and special. This was really hurtful because it made me feel like I wasn’t good enough.”

Categories: Features