On Friday photographer Zacharia Ponkunum posted this image on his Facebook page and asked people to react. How would you react?
The above photograph features three school girls wearing the uniform of St Alphonsa Public School, Aruvithura. Zacharia wrote accompanying the post that it was vulgar and his comment set off a barrage of reactions.
The comments section give us a wide variety of reactions. Some pointed out how it was not justified to take the young girls pictures without their permission and then blot their faces and peddle it for serious discussion. Some criticised him for ‘sexualising’ the school uniform, while others applauded him and added their own memes to the list trolling the school.
Troll culture as we all know just waits for a topic to begin their tirade. Many of them missed the point of the photograph and some took on a different angle all together.
Before you form your opinions, the school concerned has made it clear that it was in no way intended to be obscene and that the matter was being blown out of proportion. However, by then the damage had been done. Parents began writing in to the school authorities for portraying their daughters in such ‘low’ light and demanded a change of the uniform to make it ‘decent’ to the beholder.
The school held an emergency PTA meeting on Saturday afternoon where they announced that a final decision, regarding the new uniform, would be taken on Monday. To give the benefit of the doubt, it could be how these girls have worn the uniform is being called into question. A simple solution here could be to get a decent fit of the uniform rather than objectifying a part of a woman’s body.
At their age, a school uniform being ‘sexualised’ in this manner is enough to break confidence of the girls. Already lechers leave no opportunity to ogle at a woman’s body, be she dressed in a burkha or clad in a salwar kameez here. People just find reasons to stare.
Principal Sr Rosily claimed that the photograph uploaded on Facebook was a photoshopped image, which was different from the real uniform. One of the commentators calling out the image posted the real image of the uniform below in the comments list.
One can clearly see the actual school uniform looks nothing like the one in the post. So what does Zacharia have to say to it? His defence is that a friend clicked the picture and sent it to him and so he just blurred the faces and put it calling for reactions.
This, here, my friends, is a classic example of herd mentality and using Facebook for false propaganda. Despite people posting real images of the school uniform, the poster did not take down the edited image, there is also a general perception now that the ‘truth’ is being portrayed in the post. The school is facing problems now as a result of it.