- The Washington Times - Friday, March 10, 2017

An Illinois Catholic high school’s lengthy prom-dress guide — complete with numerous illustrations of forbidden evening gown styles — is stirring controversy online over what some students and parents consider “body shaming.”

As the BBC’s Newsbeat website reported Thursday, one line in particular in the 21-page guidebook released by Rockford’s Boylan Catholic High School has sparked student ire. That document can be viewed at the school’s website here.

“Some girls may wear the same dress, but due to body types, one dress may be acceptable while the other is not,” reads the controversial line.

Among banned dress styles shown in the illustrated guidebook are those with slits, peekaboo cuts and/or mesh material that exposes cleavage, thighs or the midriff. Nude-colored dresses that lend the impression of exposed skin “will be turned away” as well, according to the Boylan prom guidebook.

By contrast, boys are given just a handful of pictures of acceptable dress styles, all of which involve a coat and tie or tuxedo.

“Having been specifically forewarned, we expect nothing less than full cooperation from students and their parents on this issue,” Boylan notes in the guidebook.

For her part, school principal Amy Ott expressed surprise at the firestorm over the guidelines and saying, “We want all students to feel beautiful in what they wear while also adhering to our values as a Catholic school,” BBC Newsbeat reported.

CNN reports that a group of Boylan students have set about trying to organize an alternative, student-run prom using a Twitter account to coordinate their efforts. 

A crowdfunding effort linked to that Twitter page launched on Thursday with a goal of raising $2,500 for the alternative prom, with $145 raised as of Friday morning.

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