Think you know what a female athlete looks like? Think again.
This month, international visual communications company Getty Images have partnered with leading female sports charity Women's Sports Trust to help redefine how we see female athletes, challenging how they are represented in the media, and ultimately increasing their visibility on the world stage.
The collection of Getty images entitled ‘Best of Women’s Sports’ will be made available free to institutions such as schools, universities and not-for profit organisations to promote female athleticism, inspiring girls and young women to break down gender stereotypes in sport.
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In addition, Getty Images will also be launching a 12-month paid internship for an aspiring female photographer to work and train in their London offices. The forthcoming collection ultimately hopes to rewrite the industry guidelines about how female athletes are depicted in the media. Our favourite proposed guideline has to be 'Sport Appeal Not Sex Appeal', which calls into question the age-old emphasis on how an athlete actually looks, rather than her physical skill or passion.
Staggeringly, new research released by Girlguiding has supported this notion; apparently 93 per cent of females aged between 11 and 21 agree that women are judged more on appearance than ability. And it's about time those figures changed.
'With the Rio 2016 Olympics only just behind us, where female athletes shone as brightly as their male counterparts, it is an incredibly exciting time to launch this partnership,' said Rebecca Swift, Director for Visual Trends at Getty Images.
'We are a passionate advocate for the realistic representation of all through imagery, and we are particularly thrilled to be partnering with Women’s Sport Trust to redefine how people view women in sport and female-led sports through imagery.'
Working alongside team InStyle, Rebecca has kindly provided insightful commentary on 13 of her favourite images from the ‘Best of Women’s Sports’ collection. Take a look, tell your friends, and prepare to feel inspired...