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April 1, 2009

Sexing Up The G-20


Ryan writes:

I thought of the Nat’l Geographic photo of the young Afghan girl when I saw this. Totally ridiculous picture — and hopefully not the iconic “single protester” image to come out of these events.

I think it’s a good call, the image so evocative of the famous Steve McCurry photo as to mock both concerned photography and the London protesters at the same time. The female stereotyping resonates even further, however. If that is a policewoman to the left of the protester with tongue poking out and eyes demurely down, the photo also offers two female police officers wearing the uniform but seemingly checked out from the job.

Looking at these “Girls of the G20 Summit protest” shots (the image above from The Guardian; this one from today’s particularly tame NYT G-20 slideshow) brings a few things to mind. First, politics really is infotainment. Second, beware corporate media — possibly sensing a return of the anti-globalization movement — looking to change the subject.

But then, the sexualization instinct is certainly nothing new.


(6:36pm slightly revised)

(image: Felipe Trueba/EPA. April 1, 2

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