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Mom Has the Best Response to Middle School's Dress Code Policy

Good Housekeeping logo Good Housekeeping 5/19/2017 Sarah Schreiber

Catherine Pearlman, mom to a very tall 13-year-old daughter, has a message for the middle school principal she claims sent not one, but two notes home about a dress code infraction.

"To reward you for treating my daughter with such concern, I am cordially inviting you to take my daughter shopping," Pearlman wrote on TODAY'S community page.

Back in March, Pearlman alleged that her daughter's principal took issue with the length of her shorts. "It's impossible to find shorts that are remotely fashionable and below her finger tips. She's tall with long arms and fingers," her mother wrote in a frustrated Instagram post. "One more code and she will have detention."

Pearlman, a Ph.D and author of the parenting book Ignore It!, was fed up with the middle school's policy - especially after staff gave her child a pair of grubby shorts to change into. "I'd like to offer an additional thank you for forcing her to change into large mesh shorts that have been worn by only God knows who and potentially never washed," she quipped on TODAY.

Mom Has the Best Response to Principal's Dress Code Policy © Provided by Hearst Communications, Inc Mom Has the Best Response to Principal's Dress Code Policy

In her public address to the principal, Pearlman sarcastically outlined all the challenges one faces when shopping with a teenage girl. At 5'7'', her daughter has trouble finding shorts (yep, just shorts, since she hates dresses and overheats when wearing jeans) because of her height. Add onto that limitation the fact that she refuses to wear clothes with logos on them (it's just not cool), hates pink and only really likes Green Day and Beatles t-shirts, and you pretty much have a recipe for failure.

Oh, wait - now add a budget and the school's dress code policy on top of all that. Tank tops? Illegal. Shorts or skirts that graze a fraction of an inch above the fingertips? Detention. See the problem?

Clearly, shopping for this girls' (most girls'!) clothes isn't a walk-in, walk-out type of excursion. "I'd schedule a few afternoons and weekends for this endeavor," wrote Pearlman. "I can tell you from experience that just heading to the mall, Target and the outlets won't cut it. Not much for her there. I've already checked."

Related: 15 Under-$200 Prom Dresses (Provided by Refinery29)

<p>It's a real problem when you have Givenchy taste on a babysitting budget, especially when it comes to buying a prom dress. On a night when Instagram (and Snapchat, and Facebook...) will inevitably be blowing up with photos of you and your friends all night long, you've got to wear something you feel amazing in — and something you (hopefully) won't regret when you look back on it years from now.</p><p>Fortunately, you don't have to dip into your college savings account to find a dress that's worth all the photographs it's going to be in. In fact, there are plenty of options out there under the $200 dollar mark, though they look anything but. Ahead, we've rounded up 15 styles for a variety of tastes and budgets. Here's to dancing the night away.</p> 15 Under-$200 Dresses That Will Have You Slaying Prom

Pearlman's words are pure comedy, but are really just satirizing a much bigger animal - we must stop putting these tedious restrictions on young girls bodies, simply because it is damaging. In her post-script, Pearlman, who signed her letter "Sick of the Dress Code Mom," hit the nail on the head. "I forgot to thank you for making it clear to my daughter that her body is somehow a distraction, either to herself or to the boys," she said. "I thought she might have missed the message earlier in the year when the gym teacher told her she couldn't wear yoga pants because the boys aren't able to control themselves. I appreciate how hard you are working to drive the point home."

[h/t Some Ecards]


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