Utah School Photoshopped Girls’ Yearbook Photos to Make them Look More Modest

Utah’s Wasatch High School is drawing international media attention after it was discovered that the school had Photoshopped some of its students’ yearbook pictures to show less skin, presumably in the name of modesty.

According to a Fox 13 News report, the differences were discovered by incredulous students who noticed that their outfits were completely changed in some cases, and significantly altered in others. Sleeves were added, necklines were covered up and tattoos were removed before the photos were approved to appear in the school’s yearbook.

Here are a few examples:




The students, however, were more upset by the random selection of students who were censored than by the censoring itself. “I feel like they put names in a hat and pick and choose who,” Sophomore Rachel Russel told Fox. “There were plenty of girls that were wearing thicker tank tops and half of them got edited and half of them didn’t.”

Here’s an example of two students wearing nearly identical outfits. One was edited to add sleeves, the other wasn’t:


For their part, the school does not apologize for editing the photos. They posted signs warning that this might be the case, and claim the students should have been expecting it. The only thing they apologize for is the fact that they weren’t more consistent with the edits.

(via Daily Mail)

Image credits: Photographs via Fox 13 News

  • Brandy

    guest, I know of that commandment but religion has no place in the school system. That is the parents job to instill that belief if necessary and not the educators.

    I don’t know these kids personally and I think its wrong and possibly even hypocritical to make judgements on people you don’t even know. Each student is an individual and like with most children each should be considered on their own merit. You don’t know these kids aren’t to be a part of the Army, Doctors, Lawyers, etc in the future. Nor can you say they don’t go to a church or follow a religion or not by the way they dress.

    Also just because a school leader says that it was public knowledge does not mean it was and he could just be covering the schools butt since this became public. That is also something to be considered, is it not?

    I always keep an open mind because I don’t know the people and I wouldn’t want to be judged either.

    I agree with a w here.

  • Brandy

    Actually the bible also talks about freedom of choice which religious people so often forget to add. I get irritated by religious people that pick and choose whatever suits them to prove their point.

    The bible doesn’t talk about judgement, people just use what a preacher says to justify what they want. Actually in the bible it talks about God being the only one to judge because God is the only one without sin.

    I’m agnostic so I don’t believe in God in the same sense Christians do. However, I was raised Baptist and paid attention in bible school also having read the bible for myself. I have great respect for all religious texts but I feel the need to mention the bible wasn’t written in the time of Christ at all. It was stories passed down through families over time until very much later on was first written in Greek. It was passed down in the same way that Greek mythology was before writing came about through storytelling forms. I don’t believe in it anymore then I believe Greek mythology…however I can respect that it was their way of explaining the world around them.

    I agree with you that editing the photos was beyond bad because girls/ guys that age plan for picture day for a long time. It’s a big deal and most of the girls outfits were fine. Besides you never know how it looks in a photo until the photo is taken. these girls probably thought their outfits were fine and now instead of taking them aside or showing them the photo in the viewfinder so they could make their own value judgement this has become a big issue.

    The idea of having a school photo is to see how you change and mature. I have school photos that were horrible and I looked like a harlot. Truth is no one who sees how I dress now would ever guess that. I didn’t even get my senior photo done because it was my way of rebeling against the system I felt was unfair.

    Truth is not having that photo is my worst regret from high school. I was afraid of the judgement of that photo years from now because they all are hung in the hallways back to the 1960s. Truth is I never want a student afraid to be in a photo because what is worse is not being in one. Not being there to laugh at your style back then or say you were ahead of your time. It’s all a part of growing up and learning about self expression.

  • Brandy

    Fact is getting up in the morning and not being able to find the right socks can make kids angry. It’s not about what makes them angry really and if there was a code for dress I’d think that sending a note to the parents along with the photo form was necessary. My issue with it is the kids were minors and any editing should have been cleared through the parents because of that. The parents also should have had editing options offered to them if this was what they would do.

    School photos aren’t cheap and the people buying them should have a say. I hope this doesn’t lead to no one buying the photos because school photos are important.

    It’s not about complying really, I don’t think anyone would argue that kids shouldn’t follow the rules that are set out. It does seem that they might not have been clear with the parents about what those rules were. And like you mentioned asking them to change is perfectly reasonable. Kids got angry about that when I was in school, I was one of them but trust me they get over it because they want that photo.

    Again I don’t think anyone is saying there shouldn’t be a dress code, I don’t think even the parents would want there not to be a dress code. However they just need to send out a form to the parents about what actions the school will take if the photos are not up to their dress code. If they did not do that and then edited the photos without telling the parents this could end up in court.

  • Brandy

    Exactly and with teenagers the offended nature of the ‘airbrush’ is going to be worse. truth is just asking them to change would have been better.

  • Brandy

    true. And since they are minors, if their parents were not sent paperwork informing them this could be done it might be a legal issues as well. They just should have sent home a form like they used to do at our school. Then they’d just ask us to change or we wouldn’t get out photo done till retakes day (usually a week later).

  • Eric Lefebvre

    Totally agree with you.

  • dale71

    actually, I wore a delightful sweater for my senior photo that still looks not too shabby. you?

  • dyna

    Nirvana shirt with holes in it.

  • Kristen McMinn

    No, they look like bad photoshop, which is ugly and distracting.

  • Gatot Jaka Timur

    a lie to make someone LOOKS better (in a good way, not tryingto hie the bad things they did) is a very good thing. You do lie about Santa to your boy dont you?. anyway this is something that i see from my glasses. a photoshopped photo is something that we see everyday. A cropped photo for simple. That yearbook photo is something on upper level and they did pretty good. The girls look more beautiful and high class than the original one.