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Oct 05 2017
by Melissa Cordell

This High School Senior's Yearbook Photos Were Rejected for the Most Ridiculous Reason

By Melissa Cordell - Oct 05 2017
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Eleanor Fitzwilliams, 17 and senior at Verona Area High School, submitted a photograph of herself to her school's yearbook. It was rejected because her bralette was showing, but she noticed that Verona Area's male swim team was allowed to go shirtless and in swim suits that are tight fitting and revealing.

When the school rejected her senior picture they cited a "small part of the dress code that most of [her] peers and [herself] weren't even aware of," which does not allow undergarments to be shown. 

"But I had worn it to school before and not gotten dress coded," she said. "Also, in the outfit I was using the bralette like an undershirt to cover my side where my top didn't."

The incident left Fitzwilliams "shocked and kind of embarrassed" initially, so she "just complied and sent in a new pic and then left the office." 

"Then I realized as I was walking away how ridiculous it was and got upset and made my tweet," she said. "The next day I went into my school and started talking to my counselors, the yearbook editor and now I'm going to meet with the principle sometime in the next week."

People on Twitter were also angry about the school's decision, especially after seeing how the male swim team was allowed to dress. 

"My tweet was a call to the hypocrisy of certain dress codes and the sexualisation of women's bodies/clothes," she said. "I really hope it made people at least think about the perspective I was showing, and it really shows that schools need to reevaluate how they approach their biased dress codes."

Continuing on she said, "One of the most significant things about my post was that I found I wasn't alone in this struggle because there were many girls who replied to my tweet citing similar incidents with their dress code and administration." 

Support for her senior picture isn't just on Twitter. 

"I'm finding I have so much support from peers at school," she said. "There have been so many people coming up to me in the hallways saying they thought the decision to veto my picture was ridiculous."

Fitzwilliams is meeting with her principal on Monday, October 9 to bring up these issues because "It's definitely worth speaking up about. Even if nothing changes for me, I'll have at least started a conversation about the doubles standards and dress codes at my school."

Lead Image Credit: elfitzwilliams via Twitter

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Melissa Cordell - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Melissa Cordell is a junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, majoring in Political Science and Peace, War & Defense, with a Women's Studies minor. She loves working on campaigns, activism and writing. Follow her on Instagram @meldelissacor and Twitter @MM_Cordell!

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