Shopped Sleeves

Sometimes a story needs the photos discussed to be complete. Let’s start with the story, from True’s 8 June 2014 issue:

Shopped Sleeves

Some Wasatch, Utah, High School girls were surprised by their yearbook photos, which didn’t show them dressed as they’d been when the pictures were taken. Officials had some of the photos edited to make their clothing less revealing. But only some of the photos. “Half of them got edited and half of them didn’t,” said student Rachel Russel. Superintendent Terry E. Shoemaker saw nothing wrong in dressing girls to his taste without even telling them. “We only apologize in the sense that we want to be more consistent with what we’re trying to do,” he said. “We can help kids better prepare for their future by knowing how to dress appropriately for things.” (AC/KTSU Salt Lake City) …That’s why we teach them that if they don’t dress appropriately, their photos will be changed to look as if they did.

Here are a couple of example photos of girls who were edited:

Edited Yearbook Photo

Edited Yearbook Photo
Note that the second girl’s tattoo is gone, too.

But Wait: There’s More!

Compare what the school did above, and how they rationalized the decision, with what another school did with a girl in its yearbook, and how their administration reacted, from the same issue:

Formal Protest

Jessica Urbina's deleted yearbook photoJessica Urbina, a student at Sacred Heart Cathedral High School in San Francisco, Calif., won’t be appearing in the school’s yearbook this year. Female students are required to wear a dress for their portraits, but Urbina instead wore a tuxedo. “As we prepare to pass out yearbooks, it is always regretful when a student portrait is omitted for any reason,” the school announced in a written statement. “As a community we will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that all students are included in the future” by amending the policy. Both male and female students protested Urbina’s deletion from the yearbook — by wearing neckties to school. (RC/KTVU San Francisco) …The vicious rebels!

- - -

This page is an example of This is True’s style of “Thought-Provoking Entertainment”. True is an email newsletter that uses “weird news” as a vehicle to explore the human condition in entertaining way. If that sounds good, click here to open a subscribe form.

To really support True, please sign up for a paid subscription to the much-expanded “Premium” edition:

One Year Upgrade


(More upgrade options here.)

Q: Why would I want to pay more than the regular rate?

A: To support the publication to help it thrive and stay online: this kind of support means less future need for price increases (and smaller increases when they do happen), which enables more people to upgrade. This option was requested by existing Premium subscribers.

17 Comments on “Shopped Sleeves

  1. Plus there were males in the yearbook with their chests showing, while getting a picture taken for the yearbook playing basketball or something. Double standard much?

  2. Next year, maybe they can replace a few photos of the less attractive students with stand-ins from another school. Or add some “diversity” by changing the skin color.

  3. You can almost see the road map: Sleeves->hijab->tschador->niqab->burka.
    At that point American women will be banned from driving and, shortly afterwards, forbidden to appear in public without a male relative.

    And beaten or killed should they be raped, or date a man their family doesn’t approve of — such as a Baptist. After all, the family honor is at stake. -rc

  4. What I find interesting about this case is that one of the girls whose photo was “corrected” stated that IF the school had TOLD her that her outfit was against the dress code, she would have gone home and change into something that was dress code appropriate.

    But what I want to know is, IF these outfits were so “provocative” and “showed too much skin,” then why weren’t the girls even allowed to attend school wearing them well before pictures were taken?

    Of course, what do I (or anyone else, for that matter) expect from people who are so fond of Zero Tolerance, intelligent decisions?

    Senior portraits, at the very least, are usually taken in a studio, not at school. -rc

  5. Think these incidents (and others like them) demonstrate that some school administrators have dirty minds.

    Think Tom Lehrer had the right of it when he wrote in a song “When correctly viewed, everything is lewd.”

  6. Senior portraits, at the very least, are usually taken in a studio, not at school. -rc

    Randy, it’s been 40 years since my senior high school photos, but back then, the photographers took over the gymnasium and turned it into a photo studio for a day. This was in a Los Angeles suburb. If someone had needed to go home to change clothes, they would have missed some classes.

  7. Another interesting point is that several other girls at the same school, in the same yearbook, were *not* photoshopped, when wearing outfits that bared equal amounts of skin.
    The difference? The un-shopped ones were the popular students.

  8. Hmmm… Sacred Heart Cathedral High School requires girls to wear dresses? I think it’s creepy for a yearbook photo to focus on women’s legs. Most yearbooks use portraits of their faces.

    One school gets angry because the girls wear too little, the other because they wear too much. You just can’t win.

    The example photograph isn’t full-length. -rc

  9. I am surprised no one has commented on the fact that more than the clothing of the girls in the examples was “shopped”. Some kind of overall filter was applied which changes the skin tones of the girls and makes them look a bit more “grown up”. The faces in the before and after pictures are really different.

    When I was senior in high school (a very long time ago) no matter what they wore to school on photo day, every senior girl was required to wear a black cloth “drape” around their shoulders so they all looked the same. And none of what they had dressed in was allowed to show.

    The only time I’ve seen such draping in the U.S. is in mug shot photos in some areas, where they think clothing might create bias in identifications. Even with that, it’s very unusual. -rc

  10. To speak to both the studio and draping, my senior portrait, 30 years ago here in AL, were taken at the school. However, they were done a week or so before school started. They set up a ‘studio’ in the choir room, there were school admins there to monitor behavior. There was a fairly strict dress code.

    As to the draping, that is what they did for all the girls. All the guys had to wear a fake tux ‘up top’ regardless of what was worn to the session. The draped or tux pic were the only ones printed in the yearbook.

  11. My senior yearbook photo (’88) was also taken at school, with a lace drape for girls, and fake tux for boys.

  12. I’ll fourth the draping. In my senior yearbook (2004, so it’s still happening), All girls had a drape to give an identical appearance, and all boys had to wear a white button up shirt. Clip-on tie and suit coat was provided so we all looked absolutely identical.

    As to the filter that Mike mentioned, it seems to me that it’s just poor quality editing software (maybe even Microsoft Paint). The primary feature seems to be distortion and lower resolution. It could also be an artifact of scanning the picture off the yearbook instead of using the original photo (the copy-of-a-copy effect).

  13. It doesn’t surprise me that the administration decided some girls were showing too much skin in the photos and needed to be covered up. Schools are shoving dress codes down the throats of females all the time ‘for their own good’. Girls are sent home to change because their leggings are too tight, and it’s too distracting for the boys, or the shirt’s a bit too low and the boys just can’t stop staring. What I’d love to know is why isn’t anyone teaching the boys not to stare and oogle and keep their hands to themselves? When the dress code for girls is more complicated than the one for boys, there’s a problem. One school I know of, some of the boys came to school one day wearing spaghetti strap crop tops and mini skirts because, according to the dress code, it was only a violation if the girls wore tops with straps that were less than a certain thickness and shorter than a certain length, and bottoms that were more than [x] inches above the knee (or something like that).

    Senior pictures, for those who have been out of high school for a while, are taken at independent photography studios during the summer between junior and senior year. The number of poses you get, where the photos are taken, if there are props, etc. all depend on the package you buy. You pick the photo you want to go in the yearbook from the proofs the photographer gives you, and you can buy any other photos you want from the pics the photographer took. There are still official school photos at school, but that’s just for your record and school ID and things like that.

  14. While the photos were “shopped” they do look better. The faces have more color so they used an auto enhance or something like that. I personally like the enhanced photos and 30 years from now the girls may appreciate it. We have to remember that this is an LDS (Mormon) dominant area and they have different standards than SoCal or Colorado.

    “Dominant” doesn’t mean “exclusive area where parents have abdicated their own rights and responsibilities to the schools.” -rc

  15. This is where school uniforms have a benefit. In Australia nearly every school has a standard uniform and for all school photos you’re required to wear your uniform. In fact at the schools I attended if you turn up to school photo day without your uniform (and it had to be the standard uniform not the sport version, yep that’s right we had two uniforms) you just didn’t get photographed unless they happened have a spare uniform in the lost property closet which was pretty rare.

    I should probably add however in a lot of Sydney schools there is a long standing tradition that for senior year a student committee is formed where we got to design a one off jersey to commemorate “the class of [insert year here]” that effectively became part of our uniforms for the last year and half of our schooling, which we were allowed to wear for our senior photos. At the back was printed student nicknames which to the credit of my school at least they were pretty lax about. I have little doubt that some of my classmates would have more than likely been suspended for what they had printed if they had attended any school like the ones in this article.

Leave a Comment