Saturday, December 3, 2016

Bare shoulders are a no no!

Sorry about the clickbait title.  My titles usually suck anyway.  I promised that I'd find something else to rant about, though, and I just did.

Waverly Giles, a freshman at Brigham Young University-Idaho recently vented on social media about a "zero" she got on an art project.  Ms. Giles had submitted photographs for an assignment that showed a woman with bare shoulders.  Evidently, the humanities professor took exception to the partial nudity and refused to give her a grade for her work.

The professor allegedly said that the photos were creative, but it was "so inappropriate [she] would photograph a 'naked' girl."  Interviewed by KUTV, Giles explained that nudity was "implied", but there was not an actual naked girl in the pictures.  All that was visible was collarbone.  Moreover, the subject of the project wore a tube top.

Giles decided to take her complaint to Twitter, where it went viral.  Apparently, the photos didn't comply with BYU-Idaho's strict dress code, though Giles was not told that the dress code would apply to the art project.  However, she did apparently intend to shock the professor.  She had tweeted that the professor had very low expectations of the students and she intended to send him into "cardiac arrest" with her photos.

Wow...  if pictures of a woman with bare shoulders and face paint are enough to give a man a cardiac event, I can't imagine what a good racy novel by D.H. Lawrence would do.  Or a trip to Florence, Italy, where naked art is all over the place.

BYU-Idaho is supposedly where Bill's younger ex daughter went to school.  I'm not sure if she was a student on campus or an online student.  We found out last year that her major was "University Studies", which can be done online.  I wouldn't be surprised if that's what she did.  On the other hand, she'd probably love a place like BYU-Idaho, where there's a shitload of rules.  I bet she'd never turn in an art project showing a woman with bare shoulders.  On the other hand, she had bare shoulders in her wedding gown.

This isn't the first time I've written about Mormons and their shock at so-called "dirty art".  A couple of years ago, I wrote about a community in Utah where a few Mormon teens took it upon themselves to clothe a naked sculpture.  While the artist who made the sculpture wasn't offended and was actually happy people were talking about his art, I thought it was pretty shitty for people to alter the man's creation due to their modesty issues.  I also wrote about the Mormon mother who got upset about t-shirts being sold at the mall.  She took it upon herself to buy all of the t-shirts with the intention of returning them.

Sometimes I think religious people take their commitment to modesty a bit too far.  At least Giles is getting another chance to do her project, though.  And the university has responded that dress code rules aren't specifically required to be adhered to in art projects.  That would be up to the individual professor.  Alright then.  Sounds reasonable enough to me.


  1. I'm almost sickened any time one of my Mormon relatives trots out that "modest is hottest" cliche.

    Changing Ricks College into another BYU campus was probably one of the worst things the LDS church could have done for the school in my opinion. Before, it was a junior college that fulfilled its mission relatively well. Because of its location in a conservative enclave that makes Provo look like Haight-Ashbury looked in the 60's, it was tough to totally escape extreme conservatism, but the junior college mentality brought in by a student body not quite ready for prime time (otherwise known as BYU) lent a little more diversity to the student enrollment than currently exists. You still get mostly students who would prefer to be at the Provo campus but are academically inferior (or in some cases less prominently LDS pedigreed) to those accepted at BYU-Provo, but the school has created its own almost John Birch Society-like mentality that because they cannot equal or outdo the larger campus academically, what they do in place of matching up academically with the larger and more established campus is to, in effect, "out-self-righteous" BYU-Provo (and BYU-Hawaii as well, though their inferiority complex is not nearly so tied into competition with BYU-Hawaii). Suffice it to say I hate the place with a passion I reserve for few institutions.

    While there are issues such as men's leg hair not allowed to be shown within the inner circle of the campus (beyond the athletic facilities) modesty is primarily an issue for females as far as the LDS church is concerned. My mom has always taken the stand that she was not going to buy special clothing for her and for me when we visited LDS relatives. If we attended an LDS church for any reason while visiting, we would adhere to their dress code, but not necessarily at the homes of our Mormon relatives. If it was a hot day, she or I might wear a tank top. This has caused major conflict in our extended family. We're not talking tube tops or halters if they even make them anymore or skimpy bikinis or Daisy Duke shorts, but just a simple sleeveless shirt with roughly 1 1/2- inch straps. My mom said when I was a kid, and I say for myself now, that if a male relative cannot contain himself due to the sight of my bony and apparently all-too-sexy upper arms and shoulders, it's his problem and not mine.

    1. It just sounds like a weird place that sucks.


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