promCome on, really? Another school has come out with a backward, ridiculous rule that bans girls from wearing tuxedos to the prom. The girls at Sultana High School in California have been informed they must wear "gender-appropriate" clothing.

By that I'm guessing they mean poodle skirts and, wait, what else DID girls wear in the 1950s? It was nothing like the clothes I see in the prom catalogs these days. Have these administrators LOOKED at the average prom dress lately?

The amount of skin on display is enough to make me clutch my durned pearls and furiously fan my face.

Tuxedos may not be "normal" for girls according to some folks, but I'd much rather my daughter choose the full coverage of a tux over the trampy look of some of the more risque dresses masquerading as appropriate prom attire.

Not that the Sultana administrators are thinking about this. Like most rules that focus on a narrow definition of gender norms, this throwback to a more puritanical age is a smack at LGBT students at Sultana, and the ACLU is already stepping up on their behalf.

Here's hoping they win.

And here's hoping other school districts -- and parents -- take a long, hard look at what it really means to require girls wear dresses to the prom.

It means forcing girls to show skin they may not be comfortable showing. Maybe it's because they're lesbians. Or maybe it's because it's hard to find a prom dress that doesn't make you look like a cast member of The Real Housewives of New Jersey. Or, and this is just as likely, it's because not every girl actually feels comfy in a dress!

I can't help but recall my own prom dress shopping days and the dread I felt just walking into a dress shop. I was struggling with an eating disorder at the time, and being forced to wear something form-fitting was a trigger that accounted for a serious amount of time in the bathroom.

How about we stop pushing tired gender norms on kids and start focusing on what prom is supposed to be: a fun night out for kids?

Would you let your daughter wear a tux to the prom?

 

Image via JerryFeist/Flickr