June 19, 2005 — -- An 11-year-old Queens, N.Y., student and her family are demanding that 200 yearbooks be recalled because they are unhappy with the sixth-grader's unattractive photo.
Asheana Maihepat was out sick the day class photos were taken, so she had a make-up photo a month later. But school officials were worried that the make-up photo wouldn't be developed in time for the school yearbook, so they used a picture taken by a student photographer.
The photo the Maihepats dislike so much shows an extreme close-up of a pale, unsmiling Asheasa.
"It looks ridiculous," Asheasa said.
Her mother, Michelle Maihepat, also is angry about the photo, saying the school did not have her permission to use it, and the embarrassing image will haunt Asheasa for the rest of her life.
"If you look at all the rest of the photos in the book, hers just stands out, and it's sad to see it that way," Michelle said on "Good Morning America."
Now, the Maihepats are demanding the school recall all 200 of the yearbooks with the offending photo and re-issue books with a new photo.
In response to the family's distress over the photo, Principal Henry Somers said the school has refunded the money the Maihepats paid for the yearbook and contacted the printer to have a separate yearbook published for Asheana with the photo of her choice.
"Asheana is distraught, and we have tried to do everything in our power to console her," Somers said. "The school does not have the funds to reprint the entire yearbook."
Not good enough, says Asheana's mother.
"I didn't authorize that picture. It shouldn't have been in there in the first place," Maihepat said.
Visibly upset over the incident, Asheana said she tried to make sense of the string of events that led to the yearbook photo she fears will be immortalized.
"I started to ask my mom, why did this happen?" she said.
But the girl was able to forget about her awful yearbook photo for a few moments when Donna Padowitz, a professional photographer, took her picture on "Good Morning America."
Asheana and her mom were impressed by the final photo by Padowitz.
"It's truly beautiful," Michelle Maihepat said.