Utah Girls Have No Right To Bare Arms

The photos they saw
Though they’d broken no law
Still were setting off major alarms
See, the dresses they chose
Left their shoulders exposed!
Utah girls have no right to bare arms!

They were sleeveless—just straps,
And they’d worn them, perhaps
Many times, and encountered no harms
But for yearbooks, their school
Had a Mormon-based rule:
Utah girls have no right to bare arms!

If their views are expressed
By the way they are dressed
In their cities, or suburbs, or farms,
At their school, then, the church
Leaves the girls in the lurch:
Utah girls have no right to bare arms!

One girl was amazed
That her neckline was raised—
Her tattoo was a part of her charms!
But a bit of bare skin
Is a terrible sin!
Utah girls have no right to bare arms!

Wasatch High School in Utah has a thing for modesty. They have made news, for altering yearbook photos–raising necklines, adding sleeves to cover bare shoulders, hiding a tattoo… and the first students learned of it was when the yearbook came out. They feel, understandably, like the school has disapproved of their expression, has tried to shame them, has determined that they don’t measure up.

“I feel like they’re shaming you, like you’re not enough, you’re not perfect,” sophomore Shelby Baum told the Associated Press on Thursday. Baum’s collarbone tattoo reading “I am enough the way I am” was removed from her photo. She also discovered a high, square neckline drawn onto her black V-neck T-shirt. Baum said she wants a refund or a new book with an unaltered photo.

I suppose it goes without saying that every one of the altered photos was of a female student. Completely coincidentally, I am sure.


  1. Trebuchet says

    Shame on those girls, causing indecent thoughts in the poor men forced to alter those photos!

  2. Pierce R. Butler says

    Why weren’t they depicted in adoring groups around their Officially-Assigned future Husbands?

  3. theoreticalgrrrl says

    I live here, it’s insane. I once bought my Mormon sister-in-law this cute tank top with matching capri pants for her birthday, and she said she couldn’t accept my gift because it was too revealing.

    In the summer I wear a lot of tank tops and even shorts (it gets pretty hot), my neighbors must think I’m the daughter of Satan.

  4. raven says

    Weird and bizarre stuff happens in Utah a lot.

    If it wasn’t for Harry Reid, head Democrat in the senate, and John Huntsman, former governor of Utah, I would think all Mormons are fruitbatty wackos.

  5. Crimson Clupeidae says

    Don’t read the comments on the WaPo link. (Luckily, there’s only 3 atm.)

  6. busterggi says

    Next time they’ll just photoshop veils over their faces too. Any bare female flesh is potentially erotic.

  7. abusedbypenguins says

    Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow, you may be in utah. The land of magic underwear and other weird utah things.

  8. lorn says

    This is a right to bare arms I’m willing to back absolutely and without any reservation or proviso.

  9. theoreticalgrrrl says

    There’s so much weirdness here, that’s the tip of the iceberg. They actually require restaurants that sell liquor to build a high wall so that customers cannot see the bartender actually pouring the alcohol into glasses.

    They just recently overturned the law in Utah County that said you can’t buy alcohol on Sundays, in grocery stores or mini marts or anywhere else. And the alcohol sold is required to be half proof of the normal amount, except for the state liquor stores, of which there are very few in the entire state. And for some reason, the state liquor stores are not legally allowed to sell bottle openers for wine. :)

  10. K says

    The fact of the matter is, of course, that conservative males were put on this earth to father liberal daughters. They are fucking incompetent at doing anything other than that and ironing our goddamn skirts.

  11. Gvlgeologist, FCD says

    The flip side, of course, is that if it’s indecent for these women to show off too much skin, it’s even more inappropriate for the men. When women dress formally, they usually expose FAR more skin than formal wear for men, which usually constitutes covering all skin except hands and above the neck. Can you imagine the scandal if one of the male students had a photo where his shoulders were bare, or where the center of his chest were exposed?


  12. =8)-DX says

    Just letting you guys know, our local Czech custom is for pre-graduation students to put up a “tablo” or display in a shop/cafe/business window in the area, where the whole class has a “theme” (and are over 18).

    – red carpet photos
    – hats over crotches stylish naked (underwear alowed for those who want)
    – naked nonrevealing closeups
    – nurse/doctor themed
    – zombie themed

    No on thinks much about it except “duh, they look silly this year” or “ah they chose to do naked pics, guess they ran out of ideas”.

  13. dvizard says

    But you do know that the “bare arms” pun is a common trope in the fitness/bodybuilder community?

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