A high school swimmer in Alaska was disqualified for being curvier than her teammates
A high school swimmer at Dimond High School in Achorage, Alaska won her 100-meter freestyle race on Friday, September 7, 2019, but her victory was short-lived as she was immediately disqualified for wearing a swimsuit that reportedly revealed too much of her buttocks. The teen was wearing the exact same swimsuit as everyone else on her team, and one coach is calling out the referee’s decision.
Lauren Langford, a swim coach at another high school in the area, penned an article for Medium about the referee’s call, which is now under investigation. Langford wrote how the swimmer was disqualified “while wearing a suit sized to fit snug for racing by the manufacturer and issued to her in accordance with uniform regulations by her team. It is the same suit being worn by each participant yet no other athletes in the program were disqualified.”
Langford made her point especially clear in an interview with The Washington Post, saying, “All of these girls are all wearing suits that are cut the same way and the only girl who gets disqualified is a mixed-race girl with rounder, curvier features.”
The girl’s mother told KTUU that both her daughters have been routinely targeted by the referees and the other kid’s parents for being curvier than the rest of their teammates. One parent completely crossed the line and photographed the girl in her suit and circulated it with the other parents in an attempt to prove that she was intentionally hiking her swimsuit up to be more revealing. The school district reportedly chastised the parent.
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
“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 continued. “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.”
Even more frustrating, the school district has been battling the swim dress code for years and issued those specific swimsuits because they supposedly met the district’s “decency” rules, so if the swimmer’s suit was “inappropriate,” it’s the district’s fault for making her wear it.
Schools, DO BETTER. A champion swimmer who'd won her race was disqualified by a ref for how her suit looked on her. All the athletes were wearing school-issued swim suits and "the only girl disqualified is a mixed-race girl with rounder, curvier features.” https://t.co/W1Yzyx3Lwy
— Soraya Chemaly (@schemaly) September 10, 2019
As for the swimmer in question, her mother hopes her recent victory is reinstated and that she never has to swim for that ref ever again.
“In a world where young girls are told at every turn that the skin they’re in is not good enough for a thousand reasons,” Langford wrote. “The last thing we need to do in youth athletics is add to that unhealthy dialogue.”