The Short of It
Sure, we understand "no shirt, no shoes, no service." But "no dress, no prom"?
Aniya Wolf has never been into dresses or skirts. So when it came time to pick an outfit for her high school prom, she decided to keep things in her comfort zone by rocking a black men's suit she picked out with her mom.
"I felt really beautiful, or handsome, or androgynous," the 17-year-old told Today. "I felt great. I looked great."
She has such an amazing confidence for a kid her age, right? Too bad her school had to step in and ruin it. Just hours before the dance, Aniya and her mom were alerted by school officials that if she wore the suit—which they said went against the dress code—she wouldn't be allowed to attend the event.
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Aniya decided to go anyway. But even as classmates and parents cheered for her as she entered the lobby, Aniya said she was pulled out of the ticket line by the principal and told that she had to leave.
"I felt humiliated, getting kicked out of prom," she said. "I wasn't going to hurt anybody with a suit."
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Aniya and her mom, Carolyn, believe the wording on the dress code form they were asked to sign weeks ago was vague. It never actually came out and said girls couldn't wear suits, per se, instead it stressed modesty—no bare midriffs, no plunging necklines. It did, however, include the phrase "dresses are to be formal." But since Aniya wears pants to school every day and wore them to a homecoming dance without issue, Carolyn never gave it a second thought.
In a recent post on Facebook, Aniya wrote that she was actually given TWO dress codes. "The first dress code I was presented with stated that 'dresses must be formal,' followed by guidelines for a dress but not explicitly stating a dress MUST be worn," she explained. "This is the dress code my mother and I signed, it stated nothing about woman wearing suits, not to mention females have worn suits in the past according to alumni. The day of prom my mom got a new dress code stating that you need to be wearing a 'formal dress.' This dress code was presented to just me. [sic]"
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Shame on this school for trying to slip in a new rule—just for one student, mind you!—under the wire. And now, sadly, Aniya thinks she was being singled out simply because she is gay.
"It is an attack on my sexual orientation," she told Today. "It's saying, 'We don't want you in our prom. You're a freak of nature.' I feel very hurt by that. I think God accepts me for me."
"To be honest, I feel 150 percent discriminated against by the administration," she added. "Girls wearing those tight dresses showing cleavage, they got in. I don't think they can pick and choose what rules they enforce."
Way to go! You're a strong and beautiful person, so don't let them get you down. And for what it's worth—we think you look amazing in that suit!