Cataloguing Positive Media



“So much of the media focusses relentlessly on what women look like, even when discussing their achievements, AnyBody team member Louisa set herself the challenge of finding media minus the body comments:

As part of the Shape Your Culture (SYC) brainstorm event held recently I set myself a challenge to find a positive news article every day for one week about a woman/women which made no reference to her appearance. I thought it would take a bit of browsing on a couple of news sites with a small range of pieces to choose from. What I did not expect was that it would take up to an hour to find one single article that met the challenge criteria. I was dismayed. What I noticed more than anything was photograph after photograph of men in suits, and accompanying news stories. Sure they weren’t all positive, but nor were they referencing their outfits, shapes, sizes, or shoe choices. The more disheartened I became, the more determined I got, and when I did find the day’s article, and shared it, I felt like I’d scored one for the team. I tweeted a link to each day’s article and was surprised to find that many others shared both the despair of the rarity of such articles, along with the joy of finding them. What pained me the most was that these finds felt like gems. This is outrageous and it is why I suggest you try this challenge yourself, and it is why I will keep taking on these challenges and highlighting the multifarious ways in which women are objectified, shackled, hidden, silenced.”

Louisa Challenge

Here are some of the articles I found that week:

British women’s football: ‘England women’s Natasha Dowie and Eniola Aluko outclass Ukraine’

‘Dawn Hudson signs new three year contract with the Academy’ [a woman, in Hollywood, no mention of appearance!]

The activist saving the world’s rarest crocodile’ (and wins Whitley Award for it!)

Elena Baltacha Obituary’ – a former British number 1 tennis player is celebrated

‘Marianne Vos in control of Women’s Tour after second successive stage win’ (Cycling)