Mum criticises parents who ‘sniggered’ at 11-year-old for wearing a suit to her prom

“I just think it was really disgusting,” says mum of school girl who left prom early because parents “sniggered” at her choice of outfit

Hollie Richardson
Tuesday 10 August 2021 13:51 BST
Mischa Parker wears suit to prom.
Mischa Parker wears suit to prom. (Tamara Auty / SWNS)

An 11-year-old girl who attended her school prom wearing a smart black dinner jacket with matching trousers and a bow tie was reportedly laughed at and called “suit girl” by parents at the event, according to her mum.

Mischa Parker from Morley, Leeds, was “excited” but “nervous” to attend her prom on Friday 6 August. She later called her mum Tamara Auty, 33, asking to be picked up early after overhearing the comments.

"I think it was an attack on her individuality,” support worker Auty said of her daughter. “I work in mental health myself, I just think it was really disgusting. When I was 11 I had no idea who I was, but Mischa has always known who she is and what she likes."

Auty explained that, although her daughter had been “a bit nervous” about people laughing at her, she had still been “really excited” to try the suit on in H&M when they went shopping for an outfit.

All the family thought she looked great, and the young girl started to get excited for the party the next day to celebrate finishing primary school: “I’d straightened her hair for her, she’d put a bit of mascara on, nails painted black and normally she doesn’t bother with makeup or do anything with her hair."

11-year-old Mischa wore a suit to prom and parents sniggered at her
11-year-old Mischa wore a suit to prom and parents sniggered at her (Tamara Auty / SWNS)

Parker’s confidence had recently been “knocked down” and her mum said it was “quite a big thing” for her to wear the suit because she hates wearing dresses. “All her mates were saying, ‘You look amazing, you look gorgeous,’" the mum-of-two added. "I asked her if she wanted me to stay and she said, ‘No you can go.’"

But a couple of hours later, Auty received an upsetting text from her daughter asking to be picked up. She said: "Mischa’s normally not very cuddly, doesn’t really show emotion, doesn’t really get upset easily. She’s just quite a strong character. When I got to prom, I cuddled her, and she just burst into tears and said, ‘I need to get out of here’."

Parker later told her mum that some of the adults who had stayed at prom “called her ‘suit girl’ and sniggered" and asked if she should “change [her] fashion” sense.

Auty wants to raise awareness of what happened to her child to prevent other children being hurt in the future. She said: "I work with people in crisis, I see people who are affected by bullying and I just think it’s disgusting, especially with adults who know better. You expect it to be more the kids.

“If she had gone to prom in a dress she would’ve been uncomfortable. Why should she not be happy? I think she’s brave for being who she is. Be who you are and celebrate who you are, don’t be torn down for standing out."

Leeds City Council has since told The Independent: “This was a privately arranged event and was not arranged by the school or held on school premises.”

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