Between Mitt Romney and the successes of Broadway’s Book of Mormon, the Mormon religion has been at the forefront of politics and entertainment all year. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has taken advantage of this publicity in the form of its “I’m a Mormon” campaign.
It even has a few celebrity Mormons championing its cause, like The Killers lead singer Brandon Flowers. Who would have guessed one of the hipster faces of alternative rock practiced a religion known for its prim and proper lifestyle? Plain flannel shirts, skinny jeans, and facial hair don’t exactly scream Mormon.
According to an October New York Times feature, Mormon college students are starting to embrace hipster fashion over more conservative apparel. Brigham Young University-Idaho recognized this growing trend too and appears to be doing everything in its power to loosen its student’s jeans. Its main form of resistance against the hipster menace: banning anything resembling formfitting clothing including skinny jeans, according to BYU’s independent newspaper The Student Review.
A flier was posted in the school’s testing center that made these clothing restrictions strikingly clear: “If your pants are tight enough for us to see the shape of your leg, your pants are too tight… The ‘skinny jeans’ style is NOT appropriate attire.” The testing center is taking the new dress code a little too seriously.
“I got in line and the guys said I couldn’t take a test because my pants were too tight,” said senior Rachel Vermillion to BYU-I’s newspaper The Scroll. “I thought he was joking at first. I pointed out to him girls around me who had gotten in who were wearing jeans much tighter than my pants, but he just said, ‘It’s at the discretion of the Testing Center employees.’ He got very angry and was very rude.”
BYU-I Student Services and Activities Vice President Kevin Miyasaki told the blog Gawker via email that BYU-I was not responsible for implementing the new dress code and put the onus on the testing center.
“We have not identified ‘skinny jeans’ as a specific violation of the dress and grooming standard,” Miyasaki said. “We are aware of the incident and the Student Honor Office is working with the Testing Center to address the issue.”
The individuality-stifling dress code isn’t even the worst part of this story. If nothing else, it prevents certain people from wearing jeans that make them look like a depressing hourglass. But when clothes become a barrier to students’ educations, it’s time to rethink the importance of such a strict dress code.
Mormons of BYU-I, take a page out of Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s playbook and whenever you get offended by someone’s hipster style, just “Turn It Off.”