Video: Sydney Spies fights for sexy yearbook photo in Today show interview

sydney spies portrait.jpg
Video below.
Since our post last week about Durango High student Sydney Spies protesting the banning of a flirty photo from her school's yearbook, the story has exploded nationally, culminating with her appearance this morning, alongside her mom, Miki, on the Today show.

In the piece, on view below, yearbook editors say they're the ones who turned thumbs-down on the shot -- but Spies thinks administrators nudged them in that direction.

First, here's the photo Spies submitted as her official yearbook photo:

sydney spies vertical.jpg
The photo that started the controversy.
And here's a look at a photo Spies says she submitted as an alternate. It was also nixed.

sydney spies photo 2.jpg
The second photo.
According to Spies, during an interview with Today host Matt Lauer, the student editors originally voted four-to-one in her favor to allow the initial photo to be published. But afterward, she asserts that they changed their mind after meeting with administrators -- a development she sees as violating press rules in Colorado, which establish independence for high school yearbook staffs and the like.

At this point, Spies and her mom, who admits that she originally advised Sydney not to send in the photo she chose, are noncommittal about potential legal action -- although Sydney in particular is resentful of a policy that would allow the photo to be published in a separate area if it is placed as an ad for a $300 fee.

Meanwhile, Today is running a poll in which viewers are asked if the photo is inappropriate for a yearbook. At this writing, 7,346 participants have weighed in, with 87.4 percent of them deeming it inappropriate.

Look below to watch the Today segment.

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More from our Follow That Story archive: "Westboro Baptist Church counter-protest at East High champions love over hate (PHOTOS)."

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60 comments
chiclioness
chiclioness

The yearbook editors approved her picture for publication after a 4 to 1 vote to have it printed in the yearbook. The picture should have been published in the yearbook. Her picture had been approved when it was first submitted to the yearbook staff. Then the school faculty wanted it removed from the yearbook and pressured the yearbook editors to take it out. The school faculty removed the picture from the yearbook.

london escorts agency
london escorts agency

The above pictures are really good of Sydney Spies. I have some nude pictures of Sydney Spies. Her nude charming face attract me more.

Mathew Owens
Mathew Owens

i think she would be able to put the second picture on the school yearbook i would say that this picture is ok because other people take inapporiate pictures and they dont do anything so i think the should the school should put the second pic on yearbook and call it good

CptAmerican
CptAmerican

"Artistic and Stunning" really? How about you just admit that your daughter looks like a harlot in her pictures, they are ridiculously inappropriate and she shouldn't even be allowed to have a photo in the year book at this point if she doesn't understand that.  Clearly she needs to go back to high school and learn something, her and her family should be embarrassed by this.  If other students are the ones calling it inappropriate then it definitely is and I don't even believe the 4 to 1 vote, I'm pretty sure she made that part up because the 5 students have never mentioned that.

Lady
Lady

Tammy Fay called, she wants her mascara back!  then RuPaul called, he wants the trashy peroxide extensions back too! 

feminazi
feminazi

Oh c'mon, her momma named her and trained her to be a pro-skank right out of the gate... I bet she's been promised a new set of D cups if she graduates HS, they'll match her D average... after all mothers really need to invest in their cash cow, er I mean child's future.... 

Gryphon50a
Gryphon50a

well she already has a perfect porn star name. I think she has her career planned out.

Lizzie Gowers
Lizzie Gowers

Okay, skank-bag, you're just pissed off that your fellow students don't subscribe to your "ideals" of what classy is and want their yearbook to look awesome and not trashy. Only a Hustler prospect would be fighting so hard to have slutty pics included.

Fionn
Fionn

These photos are "sexy"?

My daughter recently graduated from an arts-based high school in southern California, and the seniors were all encouraged to submit their own senior portraits, and many use the chance to show themselves in the best light possible, most often with a serious nod to their conservatory. The Music and Theater kids tended toward this type of headshot or full-body pose, but they were already getting thes sorts of photos done professionally anyway, because that's what you do in the M&T world to promote yourself. You see a lot of Zed-card style headshots for the singers, too. My favorites were the kids who went with their hobbies, or their quirks, or just plain had fun with portraits. Many of them were far 'sexier' than Sydney's photo, but of a higher quality of photography, and less like a FaceBook red-party-cup candid.

My own kid decided on a tool-wearing steampunk/aviator look that was a nod to her interests and her hoped-for career path, theater lighting design and/or costume design. We shot over four hundred photos that day, and maybe fifty or sixty of them were frankly better than Sydney's professional photographer has presented here. Granted I've been shooting photos for over forty years, but I'm not a professional. Just a guy with a camera and some sense.

I blame the photographer. Those backgrounds are terrible. Doesn't anybody know how to shoot photos any longer? Fine portraits... pffffttt... Shop around for a great photographer and pay the real money for quality results, kids! And hire a hair-and-makeup artist to keep control of your look, because the photographer is going to be busy!

Martin Hsueh
Martin Hsueh

It's artistic, It's stunning, AHHAHAHAHA

This is the biggest joke ever

Trailerkween30
Trailerkween30

Where has modesty went? I would never allow my children to submit those photos. They won't be that cute in 30 years.

Webster
Webster

It went the way of grammar.

Cranblarry
Cranblarry

What a selfish, dumb girl. She is comparing her picture to pictures that contain horses, footballs and guitars. Of course, her picture is all about her, her and more her. I guess she wants to spend her life insisting on her right to be absolved from any consideration of others.

John
John

She is a Beautiful young lady, most of you women never work that hard to have a body like that and yes she is bless with good genes! Most you men given the chance would and you know what I mean, so shut the F$%$ UP and let her be who she wants and worry about your own daughter who is a drunk, druggie, or a teen mom living off the Goverment!!! People who live in glass houses?? WOW, I got one for you all, GET A JOB!!!

Filkr
Filkr

@John Hey John, I have no daughter so I can say whatever I want about this, you see a beautiful young lady, I see future porn trash. This is a kid, kids are idiots and this kids mom is mentally ill. And no, I wouldn`t you perverted freak, this is a kid and she cannot be alllowed to just do whatever she wants.

Gryphon50a
Gryphon50a

most women have a pretty decent body at her age. Let's see what she looks like in 25 years.

Twisted
Twisted

Sorry, John, I'm not a pedophile and I have standards (like a brain, humility, and aspirations beyond a truck stop bathroom).  It's pretty clear that the same can't be said of you.

Pimp
Pimp

I got a job.  From her.

Dfhfff
Dfhfff

Inappropriate indeed, I can`t belive the mom actually fights for her daughters right to look like a whore in the yearbook. If that was my daughter I can guarantee there would be no pics, no problem and no discussion :) Why would anyone want their little girl to do that?

Smegmar
Smegmar

I look forward to seeing you on XVideos

D C
D C

Um, at 1:49 of the vid, what "dress code" did the guy with no shirt on - showing his underwear meet? What the...? Was that an "Ad"? I don't get it.

This is pretty simple - in the mid-80's a friend of mines sister tried to put "Wants to be a Playboy model" under her "Goals" in the HS yearbook. School says "no"... press gets involved... hocus-pocus! - she's in Playboy (not a centerfold - but still).

If this gets enough press (and the Today show is pretty big), she'll wind up as a model (in Playboy) too. Nobody "earns" fame anymore, they "manufacture" it. Take 15 minutes of fame and try to parlay it into more fame. Do something stupid, video tape it, get it on Youtube/interwebz and see what happens. Remember the girl whos skirt was "too short to fly?" She was on the Today show too - for wearing something resembling a yellow headband as a skirt. 

Lholzberg
Lholzberg

Mom was a porn star !! Hugh Hefner next GF !!! And she is going to mak $$$ off of this .. Laughing all the way to the bank !!

Eric
Eric

Do you know mom was a porn star?

abbys_mom
abbys_mom

This girl is using her school, her town, and this situation for her 15 minutes of fame. And I'm pretty disgusted at the Today Show for not asking the hard hitting questions, or pointing out the obvious...the reason the students have to be careful what is in the senior photos portion of the yearbook is because that is the part that is judged for awards, and a photo that may be deemed inappropriate by some could lose them that award...awards won while on the yearbook staff will be on their future college and job resumes, so their futures are at stake here as well. Sydney can include it as a paid ad because that part is not submitted for judging...Today Show left that open and didn't explain, making it look like they just wanted her to pay. Also, it's written in the student press law that they have the right to choose or refuse anything for their publication. I had to laugh when she said "I won't just stand up against a wall and smile" when that's exactly what she did in the slutty black and white pic. She can show her interest in modeling with any one of a million other classy photos...plenty of professional models/actresses have photos in their portfolio that don't make them look like they're ready to hop on the next pole.

Eric
Eric

Lots of good old holier than thou posts, but none that sound like much more than the standard envy and jealousy you find in society today.

People do seem to have a problem with other people that dare to push the envelope.

Was it maybe too racy? Perhaps a little too provocative for a high school year book? Borderline but not really inappropriate?

Probably yes to all

But why's it then ok to post it in the yearbook if she drops the 300 bills?

I call fail on that one. 

Real quick question to those wholesome, "old fashion values" champions who are condemning this girl and her mom.....................

Do ya still think Carrie Prejean is the role model for young women? For all good, morally upstanding people that believe in wholesomeness, virtue and living without sin?

Thought so.

Minding your own business, worrying about your own flaws, and leaving this young lady's decisions and the consequences of them to her would be a great way to go.

 

PayAsYouGo
PayAsYouGo

It's ok to post holier than thou, when indeed, I am holier than thou.  Isn't it?

The yearbook staff is consistent.  It rejected this photo because it didn't meet award judging standards...just like it would reject a caption that stated something that jeopardized any award. 

And nonjudged space was offered for a price, just like an advertisement, because that is what the photo is.

PayAsYouGo
PayAsYouGo

Posting during homeroom again Eric?  Are you one of those kids subject to mind control like the staff is?  Please, impress upon us your knowledge of the intimate details of the meetings between Administration and yearbook staff so we can get to the bottom of this mind control, all knowing (but not holier) one.

Ah yes, because Spies thinks the administration "nudged" the staff, it must be true.  She represents truth, justice, and the American Way.  Riiiiiiiight.

Eric
Eric

Nope, but props for thinking it half way through, kinda, sorta.

The staff didn't reject it until the school changed their minds for 'em.

Next time you post, know what you're talking about.,

Katie Marie
Katie Marie

i personally love the photo and although it is provakative... there is always a fine line to be drawn and the photo is artsy and just because she is an absolutely stunning girl does not give people the right to judge her because of her way of expression... if a fat.. ugly girl were to wear that outfit.. and be in that pose.. the visual eye would not mark her as a sex object so people need to stop passing judgement and let the girl have her fifteen minutes of fame

Barbiegirl
Barbiegirl

i personally love the photo and although it is provakative... there is always a fine line to be drawn and the photo is artsy and just because she is an absolutely stunning girl does not give people the right to judge her because of her way of expression... if a fat.. ugly girl were to wear that outfit.. and be in that pose.. the visual eye would not mark her as a sex object so people need to stop passing judgement and let the girl have her fifteen minutes of fame

Kobyanne
Kobyanne

Wow, you make it sound like it was such a crime, but have you not figured it out already that most of the DHS students agree witht the year book staff?  you say people use senior pictures as an expression of themselves, so does this mean that you think of yourself as just a body you can sell to the world?  You are a pretty person, but the outfit and the makeup undo that.  Hope all this attention is the kind you were looking for.

Noneya
Noneya

Yearbook staff should have photo touched it; paint the bare skin the same color as the rest of the top. Simple solution, then it wouldnt have been noticed til yearbooks came out. If she was in my yearbook, I would think "ho".

Jeannie6
Jeannie6

What an absolute moronic mother. Her daughter wants to "spread her wings"? Call it what you want, mom...

Jeannie6
Jeannie6

What an absolute moronic mother. Her daughter wants to "spread her wings"? Call you what you want, mom...

Allaliveandwell
Allaliveandwell

Looks like she has the makings of a pole dancer...those quarter and dollar tips add up...

formerusmc
formerusmc

I have not been to a strip club since my days in the Marines, but even then you were not tipping in quarters.  In fact, I work with a nice lady that was a stripper in college and told me that in the 90's she was averaging over 5K a week.

Filkr
Filkr

@formerusmc She was probably very nice, and easy, if you make 5 grand a week you`re making it laying on your back, not dancing around a pole. So the stripper you knew was in reality a nothing more then a whore, sorry to have to break that to you.

Brian Melton
Brian Melton

I'm not for her, or her mother or trying to pimp out a career in the "modeling" business by placing those pictures in the yearbook.

However...doesn't anyone find it odd that the school would allow her (or anyone else for that matter) to publish smutty pictures of themselves in a $300 ad in the back of the book? Either tell her she can't have those pictures in the yearbook or let her have them. But take a side. Don't tell her she can't unless she pays you for the privilege.

If I was in high school there, I'd probably buy a $300 ad to advertize my basement medical marijuana operation.

Felicia
Felicia

I was Editor-in-chief of my high school yearbook staff, so I know where the staff is coming from. Like this yearbook staff, we also competed in national yearbook competitions (national scholastic press association; there is also at least one other one) and it is very competitive.

By placing the picture in the student life section, the decision to place that picture will be seen as that of the staff by judges as well as by fellow yearbookers. If I was looking at that yearbook, I would question the professionalism and the design/aesthetics of the staff for making such a decision. However, if the picture was placed in the ads section; it is understood that the staff had miminal decision to put that picture in (let's just say I have quite a few difficult customers when I was editor).

So, it's not so much as the staff is greedy and want money; this greatly affect them and does affect their work. Yearbook staffs that compete work VERY HARD and a inappropriate photos by one willful student SHOULD NOT destroy their hard work.

Felicia
Felicia

P.S. For people who think these awards are dumb or whatever: It actually affect the future of the staff. When I applied to college, Emory gave me a full scholarship to study journalism because our book won all four year that I was on staff and we were accepted into a national journalism society. The editor-in-chief after me went to Carnegie Mellon University to study design; so it does matter.

Cailahgoodman
Cailahgoodman

The reason they probably make her pay 300 dollars if she wants it in the yearbook that bad she should have to pay for it she is going to get it back in playboy and stripping anyways idk why she is complaining her picture is still in the yearbook. i say get over it im local and its a big mess and just makes an outstanding school look very bad. and its not helping her modeling if she wants to advertise her modeling she should send it to an agency what teenager buying the yearbook is going to give her an oppertunity, nobody. 

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Very interesting take, Brian -- one we're going to make an upcoming Comment of the Day. Congrats, and thanks for sharing your thoughts.

james heck
james heck

Sydney Spies should be posing for playboy and not for her school year book. Its disgusting to see that even her parents support her in her inappropriate attire. I support the school who are living to their integrity not mentioning Sydney's parents. What a disgrace to our culture and society.

Guest
Guest

She definitely didn't provide any wisdom to support her case by going on the show.  

High Country Caregiver
High Country Caregiver

Colorado is full of fine 17-1/2 year old's aspiring to be strippers in the fine Denver entertainment clubs.  Can't wait to stick a dollar up her....

Marcigower
Marcigower

What happened to school sanctioned yearbook pictures, or am I just a fossil?

Observer
Observer

I'm starting a poll too.  It's called "which is more pathetic?";

a)  Middle-aged mom living her High School fantasy through her daugher

or

b)  Matt Lauer and NBC trying to heap relevance onto a "princess dreams" story.

D C
D C

Off topic - but, if you really want to see "pathetic"... Anderson Cooper did a RidicuList segment on "Toddlers and Tiaras". Holy moley, what a bunch of morbidly obese, lucky to even get a chance to procreate "pagent moms" those losers are! I'd rather be forced to watch Real Housewives and Jersey Shore on a 24 hour loop, than have to watch these talentless blimps primp out their poor hapless kids.

At least this mom is trying to support her "young adult" daughter's decision (as contrived as it may be). Although... I wonder if this girl was a "pagent toddler model" too? Nah... mom's not obese enough.

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