A young woman named Grace Goble in Illinois was allegedly told on Monday that she'd have to retake her high school yearbook photo, and by Friday, she had the principal changing their tune. Goble told TODAY that she discovered none of her pictures were cleared for approval, and when she reached out to school administrators, she was allegedly told her picture was too suggestive.
Why? Because it showed her shoulders, which violated the school dress code. Goble decided to start a Change.org petition demanding that dress codes be reviewed and condemning the over-sexualization of young girls.
I was recently informed that I will need to retake my senior photo because my shoulders were showing, which is against the school dress code. As you can see, this photo is completely innocent, and the sweater that I am wearing is modest and covers my body very appropriately. This is a shirt which I have worn to school and to school events before, and no one has ever given it a second thought.
This is the shirt, if you were wondering how suggestive it actually is:
I have spent a good majority of my life wondering why exactly women's shoulders are so offensive. It is ridiculous that young women aren't allowed to wear the clothing that they wish to wear simply because it could possibly distract someone. Why must young women be denied the ability to express themselves through their fashion simply because there may be a few people out there who cannot control themselves? Shaming women for wearing the things that make them feel comfortable and happy in their bodies is horribly sexist, and leads many girls to grow up believing that if another individual cannot control their actions around women, that the woman was at fault. It is astounding to me that this issue comes up again and again, and not much seems to be done about it. Do not force any more girls to grow up being taught that they must hide their bodies because others cannot control themselves.
Most people seeing Goble's yearbook photo are shocked, especially because wearing a black drape that shows the shoulders to some extent was once frequently the norm in the photo studio for yearbook pics:
It's bs my girls can't show their shoulder at school bc the school board said it distracts boys!WTH if that distracts them they need a life!— Becky (@becky_s5) July 27, 2017
In 1977, almost all of us were in a black drape that bared our shoulders. For Pete's sake!— Marlene Gier-Kozik (@angelkoz999) July 27, 2017
Back in my day (1987) everyone wore a black drape. Looks the same to me...— Evelyn Ortmann (@EOrtmann13) July 27, 2017
In 1972, when I graduated, the girls wore black velvet drape, that looked like top of gown. Showed same amount of shoulder area as in photo.— Patti Lipscomb (@PattiLipscomb) July 28, 2017
After all the media attention, Goble posted an update on her petition, saying that things would be changing at her school:
The Principal of Maine South has contacted me to let me know that they have decided to include this photo in the yearbook. He also let me know that he plans to organize a student group dedicated to updating and revising this policy.
Be the change you want to see in the world, ladies!