Nude pictures will be taken of all incoming Harvard and Radcliffe freshmen, but the finished photographs will black out not only the face but the entire bodies of the models. This is because only a silhouette is needed for posture correction, which is what the pictures are used for.
The photographs, which are taken as part of physical examination, have no connection with the Columbia University research program which caused raised-eyebrows among the parents of University of Washington coeds. The girls were photographed full length and only their faces were blacked out. The pictures themselves are used by Columbia professor William Sheldon in an attempt to relate personality with body type.
The Harvard and Radcliffe pictures are taken to record the posture of all freshmen. If a student's posture is poor enough, he must take six weeks of corrective exercises. The silhouette is kept on file to show the improvement in posture after the exercises are finished.
This "Silhouetteograph" method was devised by Assistant Director of Physical Training Norman W. Fradd in 1923, and has been used on every College class since then. Wellesley, Smith, and Yale have since adopted it, along with many prep schools.
From 1932 to 1934 Sheldon held a faculty post at Harvard. During this time he enlisted the cooperation of the Department of Physical Training in having the pictures of freshmen changed from Silhouetteographs to the type which was protested at the University of Washington.
After Sheldon left, the College reverted to the sex-less Sillhouetteographs, and has hown to the straight and narrow ever since.
Fradd reassures timid members of '54 that if they have any personal or religious reasons for not wanting to strip for the camera, they may pose in their undergarments.