BYU Student Chastised For Attire In Valentine’s Note

Brittany Molina, a student at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah found herself the recipient of some unexpected attention Valentine’s day. She was studying in the school library when another student tapped her on the shoulder and passed her a note.

At first she thought it was a love note, but upon unfolding the sheet, she was instead confronted with a stern lecture about her attire:

“You may want to consider that what you’re wearing has a negative effect on men (and women) around you. Many people come to this university because they feel safe, morally as well as physically, here. They expect others to abide by the Honor Code that we all agreed on. Please consider your commitment to the Honor Code (which you agreed to) when dressing each day. Thank you.”

BYU was founded by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and all students must agree to follow the school’s Honor Code. Here’s what the Honor Code has to say about women’s clothing:

Clothing is inappropriate when it is sleeveless, strapless, backless, or revealing; has slits above the knee; or is form fitting. Dresses, skirts, and shorts must be knee-length or longer. Hairstyles should be clean and neat, avoiding extremes in styles or colors.

Molina posted the note and photo to Twitter, and it quickly went viral. The picture above shows the note and the outfit Molina was wearing at the time – there is, apparently, some debate about whether a dress cut above the knees is appropriate when coupled with leggings, at least at a Mormon university. Still, the overwhelming reaction to Molina’s tweets on the encounter have been supportive. It seems that the anonymous note-giver is probably the only one offended by the outfit.

Personally, I can’t think of any real reason why anyone would find the outfit problematic. Molina’s almost completely covered, and her neckline doesn’t actually reveal anything. The real issue here seems to be that a certain student caught a glimpse of an attractive girl, and couldn’t deal with the “temptation” in a mature, healthy manner. This is just another form of shaming women for their sexuality – even when Molina wasn’t doing anything overtly sexual, simply doing her schoolwork, the fact that she was dressed in a flattering outfit was apparently too much to handle.

At least Molina is maintaining a sense of humor about it. On Twitter, she quipped: “I’ll remember to dress in jeans, a sweatshirt and tennis shoes tomorrow. That way I don’t make people feel uncomfortable.”


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Photo Credit: Brittany Molina

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Jennifer P.
Jennifer P.3 years ago

It must be considered in that gray zone, where leggings visible between the top of the boot and the hem of the skirt are incredibly distracting and arousing. I wore the same thing in high school. I was a shy unconfident little nerd, and I dressed to cover up but look cute.

Too bad they can't dye their hair blue or anything. Not even for halloween? Le sigh... Poor kids.

Sarah M.
Sarah M.3 years ago

This is ridiculous and insulting to women! Apparently 12% of the voters are also oppressive sexists.

Barbara S.

This is what happens when indoctrination trumps normal behavior in any environment.

Lydia Price

New posts please.

Deborah D.
Deborah D.3 years ago

No unadorned legs, scooped neck which does not appear to expose any attributes...unless this was from a person who stood over her and could not drag his eyes away.

A sad example of someone who must come from a very 'orthodox' family or parish.

Kenneth M.
Ken Molinkiewicz3 years ago

She has a nice smile but I find the outfit to be completely unattractive. The guy that gave her the note needs to get laid or to go to his room and masturbate. I wonder if there's anything in their "Honor Code" about that.

sherry l.
sherry luciano3 years ago

I can't beleive that 12% of the people answered the poll found it inappropriate have the problem. Maybe you should go live in a cave and study, there you wouldn't have a problem.

MsR S.
MsR S.3 years ago

Sorry, I was in hurry and voted yes when I mean NO! I don't see anything wrong w/her outfit. I went to BYU in the 70s & it's a totally insane environment. In those days you couldn't even wear pants unless you were decorating something & had to go up ladders, or such. Also, you couldn't use birth control (my dr & his nurse chastised me just for asking about it {as in "how does birth control work?}, not even asking FOR it). The school's attitude was that wemin went to school just to get an MRS degree, so they were corralled into traditional underpaid, undervalued "professions" that were easily controlled. When I asked abt medical school, the counselor gave me pamphlets abt nursing school... Oh well...

Virginia B.
Virginia B.3 years ago

This is the heritage of the Judeo - Christian - Moslem religions, where women are always to blame if a man is aroused by the sight of them. (Cf. St. Paul) Why is it perfectly okay for men to sashay around in shorts, topless or tight T-shirts? All of these religions encourage the infantilization of men, lifting all responsibility for their behavior from them and laying it all upon women!

Sandy Erickson
Sandy Erickson3 years ago

Byu. Those are the rules.