Skinny Jeans @ BYU

, Deborah Lambert, Leave a comment

Rachel Vermillion, a student at Brigham Young University, recently went through an embarrassing experience when she was banned from re-entering her exam center for wearing skinny jeans. The BYU Scroll reported that Vermillion, who had already taken some of her exams that morning, returned to the testing center that afternoon after meeting with her bishop only to find that a testing official told her “she wouldn’t be able to take the exam because her pants were too form-fitting.”

Of course, at BYU, forewarned is forearmed. And in this case, there is not only a sign at the testing center that states: “skin tight clothing is NOT appropriate attire,” but it also advises students to go to the Lord, and “ask in faith . . . whether what you are wearing is appropriate or not.”

“It was really frustrating,” said Vermillion, who conceded that although her curvy figure meant that her jeans were a little tighter on her than others, the fact that she was barred from her exams was “offensive and humiliating.”

In a story about this incident, blogger and religious scholar Joanna Brooks wondered if there was a disproportionate amount of attention being paid to the conservative dress code at BYU. “Noting that the young woman is clearly committed to her faith, Brooks suggested that after opinions have been aired about this situation, BYU officials might re-visit whether or not their ‘dress code places an unjust burden on young women.’”

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Deborah Lambert writes the Squeaky Chalk column for Accuracy in Academia.

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