Dressed in the traditional black, shoulder-baring drape, 18-year-old Victoria DiPaolo’s senior portrait looks just like the many thousands that came before it — except for one, small detail. Instead of the usual messages of optimism or quotes from famous people that most high school seniors choose to accompany their photos, DiPaolo’s yearbook quote is a bit more provocative: “I’m sorry, did my shoulders distract you from reading this quote?”
Over the course of her high school career, the New Jersey teen was known around her West Mitford High School campus as an outspoken opponent of the school’s restrictive, “sexist” dress code. In a final act of defiance, DiPaolo saw her senior quote as the perfect opportunity to make one last point and to do it in style. “Over the past four years, myself and many of my friends have received dress code violations for clothes that were nowhere near inappropriate,” DiPaolo told Yahoo Style, “I figured I’d use my senior quote as one final jab. I just found it funny that the outfits for senior portraits technically violated the dress code by exposing our shoulders.”
According to the official dress code of West Mitford Public High School, “Halters, half-shirts, shorts, or sweaters and blouses that expose breasts or stomachs may not be worn. Muscle shirts, mesh shirts, and loose-fitting tank tops are not permitted.” A student athlete and member of several academic clubs, DiPaolo feels like she hardly qualifies as a delinquent. Despite being constantly at odds with the school’s administration, DiPaolo made it point to continuously point out how placing so much emphasis on “appropriate dress” distracted from a student’s education.
While the school’s administration is probably not surprised, DiPaolo feels that the overall response — from both students and teachers — has been positive. “The general consensus at my school is that the dress code is ridiculous so people have loved the quote so far.”
Read the full story at Yahoo.