The Deep Divide Over the “Cleavage Controversy”

Author's yearbook photo (1991)

Source: Liz Swann

When news broke last month of a yearbook “cleavage controversy” at a Florida high school, I was intrigued, but I can't say I was surprised. In fact, I told my girlfriend's husband a few days ago that I had noticed that many of the senior portraits proudly displayed in our neighbors' front yards looked more like adult magazine centerfolds than school photos. We just talked. I am clearly out of touch. We don't have a daughter, and it's been a long time since she posed for a high school yearbook photo. However, the school photos of the teenage girls (taken during the fall semester of their senior year of high school, when they were 17 years old and technically still children), in my opinion, show the following: It seemed strange that I was about to see it. sexy. I found that poses and facial expressions made me feel anxious, whether there was cleavage or not.

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The “cleavage controversy'' at Bertram Trail High School in Florida began when upperclassmen received their yearbooks in the spring, only to discover that their photos had been photoshopped, primarily to hide their cleavage. 80 students noticed this. The editor of the yearbook edited the photos without the consent of the students or their parents.

according to romper, The dress code reads as follows: “Personal attire may match the style of the day, but immodest, revealing, or distracting clothing is not acceptable.” Photos that show student cleavage Is this a violation of this dress code? Many people think that cleavage is, by definition, revealing. Whether that is imprudent or not is debatable. I would also argue that the fact that it is “distracting” is evidenced by the huge controversy it has caused. Apparently, the yearbook editor thought it was his job to edit these photos, but he didn't ask the parents who paid for the photos for consent or encourage the students to retake the photos. It is strange in today's legalistic world that she manipulated the photos without doing anything. In more “acceptable” attire.

How did your parents react? One of her mothers, Rachel Dakin, said: daily news: “If parents aren't teaching their daughters how to dress and dress politely at home, then schools have to do it.” This reaction is understandable and not at all what my mother would say. It sounds the same. Come to think of it, I went back to my freshman year yearbook (1988) and looked at all the photos of my seniors, but I couldn't find any cleavage. Most girls wore turtlenecks or sweaters over collared shirts with the collars turned up (I mean, it's the 80's!). But in contrast to this mother, most parents seemed angry that her school photo had been doctored and defended her daughter's right to self-expression (and cleavage).

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What I'm wondering is why parents defended their children's right to look sexy in school photos. There's something strange about that.according to AdmirableOne Year 9 student, named Zoe Iannone, said she felt “sexualized” when she saw a black strip added to cover her cleavage. I had to read it twice. She felt 'sexualized' when the editor of her yearbook edited out a 14-year-old's cleavage because it violated her school's dress code . Her mother defended Zoe, saying that she always wears her clothes.

I found this quote on “People looking at that yearbook now and in the future will know that women's bodies […] teeth […] I have something to hide. ” But the overlooked fact is that we are not talking about women's bodies.Sometimes she's talking about a 14-year-old girl, but why does age matter? playboy Totally appropriate. That's the main content of this magazine. But was there a picture of a 14-year-old girl with cleavage in her school photo? In a society that sexualizes women and objectifies women's bodies, as it is accused of, is that really what we want to get rid of?

I teach freshmen exclusively at the University of Boulder, and I often read essays written by female students about how the effects of social media pressure can negatively impact their psyche, self-esteem, and body image. Masu. They write about pressures to look good, to be thin, to wear the right clothes, to look cute, to be fun, and so on. I write about how these pressures can be exhausting, depressing, and anxiety-provoking. On the other hand, it can be difficult to garner sympathy for the crises they have fabricated. For a middle-aged woman who grew up without social media and now has no daughters who is experiencing its turmoil, the solution is clear, at least to me. : Put down the phone. If your online account makes you miserable, deactivate it. Use your time to do something else.

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And some of them say they feel much calmer and more confident after doing a “social media cleanse” where they avoid Instagram and everything else for a period of time.

College students often spend more time online than in person. We now realize that photos are stored online forever. Facebook pages always outlive their hosts. For young girls, this quest to be beautiful and memorable digitally can manifest as a need to look like a supermodel in school photos.

Perhaps there is a simple solution. It is a graduation album photo with only a face photo. Smiling young face. Leave your body and cleavage intact. Considering what these girls will face in the years to come, they can be commemorated as smart, happy, and confident. And for our children, sexy?

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