The Richmond Register

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August 12, 2008

You can buy it at the mall, but you can’t wear it there

When Kymberly Clem bought a dress Saturday in Richmond Mall, she had no idea it would be the reason for a mall security guard to escort her off the mall premises the following day.

She and her sister Kendra are standing firm with their opinion that the security guard had no right to do so.

The 20-year-old Eastern Kentucky University criminal justice major wore the dress to the mall Sunday and had only been there about 10 minutes when she was approached by a security guard who was concerned that her dress was too short.

“He made me turn all the way around while he stared me up and down,” Kymberly said. “The only thing he said was that other people didn’t like the way I looked, so he wanted me to leave.”

The guard also said several women had complained because their husbands were staring at her, she said.

“I felt humiliated because not only did he embarrass me by making a scene, but he actually followed me out of the mall as if I stole something,” she said. “It’s hard for me to understand how I could be disrespected so much.”

Kendra admitted that Kymberly’s dress was short, but that it was not showing her buttocks.

“It’s turned into a big mess,” Kendra said. “It’s discrimination and she has the right to wear what she wants. We’re just trying to make people understand that you can’t (discriminate). I think as Americans, we have the right to wear what we would like as long as we are not showing any private body parts. I also want to know what gave (the security guard) the right to physically escort her out of the mall.”

Kymberly said she wants to use this incident as a way to speak out about discrimination.

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