How a Peoria mom's post about homecoming dress code went viral

Posted at 10:32 PM, Oct 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-02 01:32:56-04

A Valley mother's post is going viral after documenting the nightmarish task of helping her daughter pick out a homecoming dress that not only fit her, but complied with the school dress code.

At 15 years old, Jenelle Roach isn't your average student at Ironwood High School. She's certainly taller than the average girl. 

"I was kind of disappointed because no one really has anything in my size for my height," she said.

Her and her mom, Sadie Roach, went from store to store trying on dress after dress but there was a problem — every dress that fit her did not comply with the dress code and every dress that was dress code appropriate did not fit her.

"We're not going to blame them for their bodies for being born female," Sadie explained.

In a post on her blog, Slap Dash Mom, that has now gone viral, Sadie refers to the experience as "a day that should've been magical was filled with tears."

"It kind of wore her down after she found several dresses that she liked but couldn't wear to the dance because of how the dress code was set up," she said.

According to the Ironwood High School Code of Conduct for the Homecoming Dance it states students should arrive to the dance dressed appropriately. For ladies, it meant dresses couldn't be cut too short in the front of back, no bare midriff and they could not be excessively too short. For the men, it said no shorts or T-shirts.

Sadie went on to add that bare shoulders or anything sheer would be allowed. 

Sadie hopes people will look at the way dress codes affect young girls' body confidence and hopes to inspire a conversation about dress codes.

"Because you see it at the school level where the boys are being told that it's the girls' fault that they're distracted and then when the post goes viral you see these men come in who say the same thing, and that's not how we raise our daughters," Sadie added.

In the end, Jenelle did find a dress, a pretty purple sequin dress that was seven sizes too big, they just had to tuck in the waist to make it work. 

Now Jenelle hopes her story will inspire all girls struggling with the way they look.

"Focus on how you look and don't try to change yourself," she said.