Check it out: This Catholic high school requires students to show pictures of their dresses to be approved before prom.
I had to do this in COLLEGE. Let that sink in for a moment. Even as an adult in college I was not allowed to make my own decisions in regards to modesty; the school decided that for me because apparently Bible college students are not mature or astute enough to dress modestly on our own.
We had to do a “hallelujah test” where we raised our arms above our heads; if armpit, shoulder, or cleavage showed, we had to modify our shawl placement (so. many. pins.) or put a shirt on underneath it. We had to get our dresses approved beforehand twice a year: For the Christmas Banquet and Graduation Banquet. I was a master at making dresses “modest” but still “cute”, I helped the other girls every year. We couldn’t even wear dangly earrings with these gowns, studs only. (WTF?? How did I ever agree to these ridiculous rules?)
At the time I convinced myself I didn’t mind these restrictive rules and not being allowed to decide these things for myself, but deep down I really, really did mind. I LOVED dangly earrings, and I LOVED many dress styles that we could never ever wear because making them modest was either impossible or it would ruin the look. Even dresses that most people would consider modest were not good enough for them. I saw so many beautiful dresses marred by tee shirts underneath or bulky shawls that covered most of the embroidery or sparkles. What’s really the point of picking out a beautiful formal gown if you have to cover most of it up? Some girls just didn’t bother and wore regular church clothes. I spent hours sewing myself a satin short-sleeved jacket for my graduation banquet dress so I could meet their standards but still look nice.