Alaska’s Swimsuit Scandal Unfairly Polices Young Girls’ Bodies

A high school swimmer was disqualified because officials were offended by how her swimming suit fit her fuller-figured body

Lauren Langford


Photo of teenage schoolchildren using indoor swimming pool
Photo: David Oliver/Getty Images

In response to public outcry, the Alaska School Activities Association has reversed its decision. Read the update here.

LLocal uproar seeking to punish young female athletes — just for the way they look — is tearing my tight-knit swimming community apart.

A 17-year-old swimmer from Anchorage, Alaska, was disqualified from a race that she won on Friday, because of what officials called a “uniform violation.” Though the teen wore a suit issued by her team at Dimond High School, in accordance with uniform regulations, and it matched the styles worn by her competitors, she was the only athlete who was disqualified. Why, you may ask? Because she was targeted for the way the suit fit her curvier, fuller-figured body.

The incident, which is currently under investigation, comes after more than a year of tensions over the fit of suits worn by athletes at youth swim meets in the state of Alaska. As a swim coach at another school within the district that regularly competes with Dimond High, I’ve watched this scandal divide my swimming community. It has caused my own…