Imagine being disqualified from a swim match because your school-issued bathing suit reveals too much of your butt. That’s what happened to a top-ranking teen swimmer from Dimond High School in Anchorage, Alaska.
A "curvy" high school swimmer won — only to be disqualified because of a "suit wedgie" https://t.co/oICe6QvIxa
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) September 10, 2019
The teen’s swim coach Lauren Langford wrote a blog post on Medium explaining how outrageous the situation is, emphasizing that the bathing suit is sized to fit snug for racing, in accordance with uniform regulations, and the same suit worn by every swimmer on the team.
“One of the officials said that the girl’s suit “was so far up I could see butt cheek touching butt cheek”—which is a weirdly specific and creepy description of a young woman’s body.
“We have a term for it–it’s called a suit wedgie, and if you’ve ever been a swimmer, you’ve had one,” Langford said.
“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,” she added.
“The issue has come so far unraveled that parents in opposition of these girls and their swimwear have been heard saying that for the sake of their sons, the mother of these young ladies should cover up her daughters.”
Noting that the disqualified swimmer is a young woman of color, Langford explains that racism unfortunately might play a part in the swimmer’s disqualification.
“Some will argue this has nothing to do with race, but when the same officials targeting these girls have been heard saying that so-and-so white girl also shows too much skin but has never been disqualified for a similar violation the racial facet of this issue cannot be ignored,” she writes.
According to The Washington Post, this is not the first time the swimmer has been targeted for how her swimsuit fits. Apparently, a parent took a photo of the teenager’s backside and shared it with other parents, because that’s a normal thing parents do.
“What has been carried out on pool decks in Alaska in the last year is nothing short of racism, sexism, body shaming, and child abuse,” Langford says, pointing out that only teenage girls of color have been targeted.
“We cannot allow our organization to become one that engages in body-shaming when it has long had the reputation of celebrating all shapes and sizes while showing young people to love the skin they’re in and promoting positive, healthy body image for each participant.”
The Anchorage school district is currently reviewing the decision made by the referee.