Swimmer Disqualified After Ref Says School-Issued Swimsuit Is Too ‘Revealing’
A high school competitive swimmer was disqualified from her winning heat after a referee deemed her bathing suit too revealing, despite the fact that the teen was wearing her school-issued uniform, Fox 43 reported.
According to her coach, 17-year-old Brecklynn Willis was wrongly punished for her athletic physique and was also the victim of the all-too-common practice of a young female swimmers' body being "policed", rather than her uniform.
Her coach, Lauren Langford, recently wrote about the wrongful disqualification online.
She posted the story to the blog site Gen Medium where she described the way in which Willis had her win ripped from her hands over an unfair "uniform violation."
"Though the teen wore a suit issued by her team at Diamond High School, in accordance with uniform regulations, and it matched the styles worn by her competitors, she was the only athlete who was disqualified," Langford wrote. "Why, you may ask? Because she was targeted for the way the suit fit her curvier, fuller-figured body."
Apparently, the ref took issue with the way in which Willis' suit fit her rear — specifically, the slight wedgie it resulted in.
As Langford pointed out in her post, the suits worn by other female swimmers throughout the state (right) clearly don't meet the district's modesty standards (left), yet only Willis was disqualified for her uniform.
She was wearing her school-issued suit which is specifically given to swimmers because they supposedly meet the district's "decency" rules, meaning if anyone should be to blame for the "revealing" outfit, it should be the girl's own district.
In fact, this isn't the first time the teen has been singled out for the way her suit fits her.
Last season, a parent at one of their swim meets photographed Willis in her suit without her knowledge and shared the picture with other parents in an effort to prove the teen hiked her suit up on purpose to look provocative.
"This young lady and her sisters are being targeted not for the way they wear their suits but for the way those suits fit their curvier, fuller figured bodies," Langford wrote. "We need to let these girls know that no one can pass judgement on their bodies for any reason."
"The amount of mental and emotional trauma these girls have suffered is inexcusable."
Langford wrote that anyone who takes issue with the way these suits fit the swimmers should simply not look at them: "They are minors, children, and no one should be looking at them anyway," she said.
The National Federal of State High School Associations has explained that they're seeing more and more swimmers push the limits of their uniform.
"There is a growing trend in high school swimming and diving of athletes wearing training and competitive suits in a manner that contradicts with the intention of their original design and manufacture," NFHS Executive Director Karissa Niehoff wrote in an August 7 memo.
She continued, "Specifically, suits are being worn in such a way as to expose the athlete's buttocks. This issue is not gender-specific and is occurring in various states across the country."
Numerous complaints about the disqualification led to an investigation into the events surrounding it.
Now, the Anchorage School District has reinstated Willis' rightful win and determined that the decision to disqualify her was "heavy-handed and unnecessary," New York Post reported.
"All evidence gathered, including the statement provided by the official, indicated the official did not notify the coach prior to disqualifying the student," the Alaska School Activities Association said of their decision to overturn the original ruling. As such, Willis' disqualification was reversed.