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Jun 4, 2015 5:50 PM

Portsmouth High prom-goers fight online body shaming comments


PORTSMOUTH – A group of high school seniors who were criticized in comments on the website of a Portsmouth newspaper are fighting back and defending their image.

The comments started several days after the Portsmouth High School prom when photographs of students in their attire was posted to the Portsmouth Herald website.

Comments included “Just glad these ladies are not my daughters,” “Parents should be ashamed of themselves! Sorry!,” and “Yikes I totally agree those are NOT prom dresses. I would never let my kid leave the house dressed like this!”

UPDARE: Body shamed in prom photos, Portsmouth High students holding rally

The postings primarily ridiculed young women and the length of their dresses.

“It really hurt to know that people – and women – thought this about us,” said senior Ginger Ruesswick. “We are adults, and we shouldn’t be degraded like this.”

Ruesswick said rather than focus on being upset, she and several of her friends decided to plan a rally in downtown Portsmouth on Friday.

The ladies plan to wear their prom dresses and will provide opportunities for community members to write respectful, positive feedback.

“It kind of just sparked, this need to make it bigger - and we can’t just let it roll over us and ignore what happened,” Ruesswick said.

Other students said they support the efforts of their classmates.

“I disagree with what the adults were saying,” said freshman Greta Ferdinand. “And I think that if you want to wear it, go for it.”

Before planning the rally, many of the ladies responded to the negative comments online.

Dozens and dozens of replies were seen on numerous postings that offered ridicule.

“I think everyone is backing up the girls,” said freshman Kevin Russo. “Even on social media I’ve seen, everyone is supporting their views.”

The rally – which Ruesswick said will also include music - has been approved by city officials and will start at 6 p.m. in Market Square on Friday evening.


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