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Teen Disqualified Over Swimsuit Gets Last Laugh

Losing A Victory

The judge’s final decision came down like a hammer. All she could do was sit there and watch her well-earned victory and hard work slip away. 

Credit: GulfToday

Even her coach couldn’t believe it. Hours of training, and for what? To be disqualified over something she couldn’t control? Everyone wore the same suit! So why was this happening?

Born To Swim

Breckynn Willis felt like she had been born to live in the water. Every dive and stroke was exhilarating. 

Instagram @alaska_peak_performance

She might have only been 17, but there were dreams of scholarships and the Olympics. So, any and every competition remotely close to Anchorage, Alaska, was firmly set in her itinerary. Little did she know, the coming event would be a disaster.

Best In Class

At Dimond High School In Anchorage, Breckynn was an amazing swimmer. After working at perfecting her technique she dreamt of greatness.

Concordia University Irvine Athletics

She was the kind of person that everyone got along with. She was loved by many, including the staff and many students at her high school. But jealous would soon rear its ugly head.

Unknown Stares

Parents, staff, and guests lined the long rows of plastic seats. The large room smelled like chlorine and echoed with splashes.

Credit: Credit

 It was her favorite feeling. She finally heard her name called for the 100-meter freestyle. She felt excited butterflies and jolts of electricity through her body. What she didn’t notice was one judge glaring at her.

Perfect Execution

The whistle blew and she dove in. The cool waters invigorated her and every muscle already knew exactly what to do. 

Credit: Marca

The pattern unfolded perfectly, and when she surfaced at the end, she already knew she had done well. The young woman lifted herself out of the water and grabbed a towel. The results were seconds away.

Immediate Disqualification

“Breckynn Willis of Diamond High School is disqualified.” 

Credit: KTUU

The words rang in her head like the remains of the whistle that were still rattling around in her skull. Had she heard that right? She looked over at her teammates and coach. They were all wearing the same look of utter shock. What happened?!

Heated Argument

The first to go over was her coach, Lauren Langly. She already looked furious.  

Dewayne Ingram/KTUU

She watched with her friends as faces turned red and the argument got louder. The referee pointed at Breckynn. Whatever she said next had made her coach take a step back, as if she’d been slapped in the face.

“You Can’t Be Serious?”

Then she heard, “You can’t be serious.” That was it. She couldn’t stand idly by any longer. 


To say Breckynn was bewildered would be an understatement. She hadn’t received any penalties during the swim. It was clear from the referee’s scowling face that something was wrong, but she could never have imagined what the problem really was.

Getting Heated

As Breckynn walked up to the referee to confront her, she began to hear snippets of what she was saying. All the blood rushed to her face.


As Breckynn approached, she heard, “The girl’s swimsuit was so far up I could see butt cheek touching butt cheek.’’ The coach’s face twisted in disgust at the comment. Then, they noticed her walking over.

Wardrobe Alterations

“Let’s go,” her coach said. “What happened?” she asked. This is where things took a very strange turn. 


Apparently, the referee had decided to eliminate the student from the competition because she was showing too much skin and decided she had intentionally hiked up her suit to be more revealing. But, later, another reason would emerge.

Swimmer’s Problems

Everyone else, including Breckynn, pointed out that every single girl wore the exact same suit. 

Credit: In Touch Weekly

There was also a reason for the skin. It’s called a “swimmer’s wedgie” and everyone gets them. Even regular swimmers know the feeling and know they are not comfortable. No one would do this intentionally. However, the real reason would soon come out.

Taking Action

After the ruling, Coach Lauren Langford went to social media and lodged a formal complaint with the Alaska School Activities Association, too.

Credit: KTUU

 The answer, however, was just as bad as the original complaint. Breckynn, it turns out, was being specially targeted by the referee for a rather disgusting reason.

One Size Doesn’t Fit All

Not only was the girl curvier than the other teammates, but she was also of mixed-race heritage. 

Credit: Jolynclothing

It might seem like something impossible to spot for most people, but when the details came to light, it was sadly believable. The facts ended up undisputable and caused a huge blast of outrage. Why?

Sister Experienced It Too

Everyone was wearing standard uniform suits, two other girls looked very similar to her, and her 100m freestyle execution was excellent. 

Credit: KTUU

Her sister, and fellow swimmer, ended up the key to the situation. No other member of any team had been kicked out for appearance reasons, but she and her sister had. When they understood why, everyone involved was furious.


Coach Lauren Langford was seething when she spoke to KTUU: “The rest of her team was wearing the same uniform, and she was the only one disqualified. It is my opinion that she has been targeted and singled out over the course of the last year.”

Anchorage Daily News

The disqualification, according to referee Jill Blackstone, was due to a new “modesty rule,” but the truth was becoming clearer and clearer.

Singled Out

The new “modesty” rule had come with new, standard-issue swimsuits for every girl, but Breckynn had been singled out because Jill Blackstone, the referee, just hadn’t liked the way it looked on the girl’s fuller, curvier figure. 


It was just as coach Langford had suspected, but it was her word against Blackford’s. But, what the referee didn’t know was that Lauren had proof. 

School Swimming Scandal

Lauren wrote a blog post detailing the scandal. Soon, the truth would be out. The new “modesty” rules that were put in place at the school were solely for policing young girls’ bodies. 

Anchorage Daily News

She believed the whole incident was an orchestrated campaign against Beckynn, her sister, and other girls of color. One terrible incident, in particular, was at the ugly heart of it all. 


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,” coach Langford wrote. 

Courtesy of Dewayne Ingram

“It has caused my own athletes to be needlessly self-conscious about the appearance of their bodies, which preoccupies them just as much, if not more, than the quality of their performances. What’s clear is that these girls’ bodies are being policed — not their uniforms.”

Damning Accusation

“These young swimmers aren’t being punished for wearing their suits in scandalous or provocative ways,” her post continues, “but rather, because their ample hips, full chests, and dark complexions look different than their willowy, thin, and mostly pallid teammates. Some will argue this scandal has nothing to do with race.”  


“…The issue becomes glaring when officials are overheard acknowledging that white athletes are baring too much skin as well, yet they’ve never been disqualified.” But that wasn’t all.


Coach Langford detailed another incidence that had taken place within the year. Unbelievably, a parent had secretly taken photographs of Breckynn’s rear when she was wearing a swimsuit and had circulated them via email to other parents and teachers!

YouTube – The Kelly Clarkson Show

“Uniform violation!” the parent wrote, and later, someone overheard them saying “that for the sake of their sons, the mother of these young ladies should cover up her daughters.”   

If You Don’t Like It, Don’t Look

Coach Langford concluded her post: “If you do not like the way that swimsuits fit on these girls’ bodies then don’t look; they are minors, children, and no one should be looking at them anyway. We cannot take back what has already unfolded but we can make sure it does not happen going forward.”

YouTube – The Kelly Clarkson Show

It wasn’t long before Coach Langford’s post went viral. Although the issue with the referee was under investigation, it wasn’t long before the Anchorage school district was forced to take a stance on the matter.

Going Public

Meanwhile, Beckynn was going public with the shocking story. The incident had reached the ears of Kelly Clarkson, who invited both the swimmer and her coach to appear on The Kelly Clarkson Show. 

YouTube – The Kelly Clarkson Show

Everyone who saw the episode was disgusted, too, and some were quick to take to the comments section to point out the startling facts.


“The thing that’s really frustrating is the more curvy a woman is, the more pressured she is to be “modest,” I mean come on folks. Is this really about being “modest” or body shaming cuz men can’t handle it??” One woman wrote.

YouTube – The Kelly Clarkson Show

“What’s worse is that the referee who made this call disqualifying her… was a WOMAN! Seriously? How can a woman do that to a girl? Stop body shaming females for being who they are!” another proclaimed. But would there be any justice? 

Two Obvious Rules

The Association reversed the ruling and reinstated her points and title. 

Credit: Credit

Then, there were two very strict reminders sent out to all staff and referees. First, there could be zero assumption about standard-issued suits – which in many opinions would have been obvious. Second, and most importantly…

Moving Forward

It was professionally and personally inappropriate to judge a competitor based on their appearance – again, this should have been obvious. ut apparently, a few individuals needed a reminder. 

Credit: The Sun UK

There was no place for sexism, racism, or discrimination in their competitions. However, there was one silver lining to the entire ordeal.

Still Swimming

The media coverage had brought her skills into the spotlight. 

Facebook/Alaska Swimming News & Information

She ended up receiving serval college offers and talks of scholarships. Not to mention, people started knowing her name around the swimming circuit (this time in a good way). The insane incident was over and she could finally focus on her dreams again.

The Low Blow

She stands alone looking around at everyone enjoying their meals. Feeling content, she notices a waitress coming straight towards her. She welcomes her with a warm smile. But her smile is not reciprocated.


Instead, what’s waiting to meet her will impact the very depths of her psyche, crushing her confidence and pregnancy for days to come.

Charisha Raylee Gobin

Charisha Raylee Gobin is a mother-of-four from Marysville, Washington. With two boys and two girls, Charisha and her husband had been excited for the arrival of two more family members as they were having twins.

Facebook / Charisha Raylee Gobin

As enthusiastic and dedicated parents, they always dreamt of having a big family but never expected their plans could lead to this.

A Mom’s Life

Being a mom of four, Charisha never has time for herself. And now, with her twin pregnancy, she was more tired than ever.

Youtube / CBS News

Although she loved being pregnant and being a mother to her beautiful children, she still found it exhausting at times. She couldn’t remember the last time she did something for herself but that was about to change.

A Gentle Nudge

One day, she received a call from her mom and sister. They were trying to persuade Charisha to take a break from mom life and go out with them for a girl’s night.


Immediately, Charisha rejected their offer to take her out. She wasn’t feeling well and wanted to rest, not go out. She was 7 months pregnant after all, but her family persisted.

A Mom In Need

They convinced her that resting and going out, away from the constant need of her kids were the same thing and exactly what she needed. Being a mom is work, and she was working 24 hours, 7 days a week.


Charisha realized they were right. But what they didn’t know is that something would go horribly wrong.

A Growing Pain

It was a few hours before Charisha and her mom and sister were to head out for a night of fun. Changing from one outfit to the next, Charisha felt so uncomfortable.

Facebook / Charisha Raylee Gobin

She had no idea what to wear as so many of her clothes didn’t fit her right. But that’s not all that was causing her discomfort.

Mysterious Ache

Like every other pregnant woman, her back was sore and her belly ached. But there was something else, a constant dull pain. And it was starting to make her worry.


It had felt like this for 2 hours now. Should she be taking this more seriously? What if something was wrong? Anxious, she called her mom.

False Alarm

Her mom asked her what it felt like, and she explained. Laughing, her mom asked her when was the last time she had eaten?

Facebook / Charisha Raylee Gobin

Charisha laughed along when she realized she’s just really hungry. She had been saving herself from eating out. Her cravings for meat were so intense that it’s all she wants so she decided to have her fill tonight. Or so she thought.

Unfortunate Excitement

Finally deciding on an outfit, Chrisha and the girls headed towards Buzz Inn Steakhouse. A restaurant they have been to many times so they knew the menu would have all the meat Charisha could ever ask for.

Youtube / CBS News

Getting out of the car, Charisha felt good for the first time in what felt like years. Little did she know, she was so excited for a meal that had disastrous consequences.

The Arrival

Charisha walks through the restaurant doors with her mom and sister. As they walk to the hostess and ask for their seat, Charisha falls behind. She looks around the restaurant.


This is the first time she’s been at a restaurant without having to be on high alert with kids hanging off her side. She can finally relax, but something tells her not yet.

An Unfriendly Welcome

As she looks at everyone enjoying their meal and drinks, a waitress walks towards her. With her mom and sister making their way to the seat, Charisha thinks the waitress must think she’s not with them.

The Guardian

Charisha welcomes her with a smile, ready to explain but her smile isn’t reciprocated. Instead, the waitress looks her up and down with disdain before she speaks.

Health Code Violation

The waitress immediately asked her to leave. Confused, Charisha asked her to repeat herself. The waitress explained that she was dressed inappropriately, breaking their ‘no shoes, no shirts, no service’ policy.

Facebook / Charisha Raylee Gobin

Charisha asked if she was being serious, the waitress replied “yup, you can’t be here”. Feeling upset, angry and embarrassed, Charisha and her family left with revenge on their mind.

Ashamed And Embarrassed

Charisha was wearing a white long flowy skirt and a black crop top that exposed her pregnant belly. She looked like every other crop-top-wearing trendy woman if it were not for her pregnancy.


Feeling humiliated and wrong done by, Charisha didn’t sit idly by. Taking to Facebook, she posted about the ordeal and uploaded her picture. The response was overwhelming.

Taking A Stand

She captioned her photo, “I was just denied service at the Buzz Inn on State Avenue in Marysville for my outfit. I’m violating the health code”.

Pixabay Youtube / CBS News

Tonnes of support flooded in for Charisha. The discussion around pregnancy and appropriate dressing soon went viral and sparked outrage.

A Reason To Rejoice!

Buzz Inn Steakhouse released a statement apologizing for the ordeal. But Charisha says, “It’s pretty ridiculous I was shamed in the first place and had to drive across town to eat”… “Our bodies aren’t just toys, they’re for a purpose and I think it’s a beautiful purpose”.

Youtube / CBS News Youtube / CBS News

Charisha’s message is important. Body shaming should be left in the past and we’re sure Charisha now eats at much more pregnancy-friendly restaurants!


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