Intro to the Photo Essay

Returning back to my original piece and its focus on hegemonic masculinity in American football, I decided to flip the script: I will pursue a photo essay surrounding the evolution of women’s professional football in the U.S.

Did you know the U.S. had women’s professional football leagues? Did you know there are multiple? 

I didn’t, until my favorite Big Brother contestant Kaycee was one.

The general conventions of a photo essay are according to my personal favorite and always reliable source, Wikipedia, are as follows: a series of photos, made to evoke emotions for the viewer; can be purely photographic, include small captions, or full text essays that include photographs.

I am not a regular consumer of photo essays; therefore, this will be a bit out of my comfort zone (not as far out as a podcast would be, but definitely not as comfy as the op-ed). I found some really incredible examples to help me in this endeavor:

Brief captions:

A more interactive, multimedia approach:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/10/11/style/this-is-18.html

Because I cannot travel to these games, nor travel back in time, these will have to be photos that I obtain from various media outlets. I still do not know exactly what the structure of the essay will be – this is something I could use all of your help on. Initially, I wanted to focus on the Legends Football League – former title, the Lingerie Football League. I worry, though, that a photo essay will play into the sexualization of these players and not tell the full story. Many are women who genuinely love the sport of football, and I do not want to contribute to a narrative that reduces these women to their uniform. If I focus on this league, I want to be sure to tell the whole story – how this is a product of American society, not the women’s autonomy. There are other leagues that I can focus on, that do not have quite the same, let’s say, controversial overtones: the Women’s Professional Football League, the Women’s Football Alliance, the United States Women’s Football League, among others. I want to do my best to portray the current status of women’s professional football in the U.S, something that I’m assuming most of us don’t know too much about. Any input you guys have is welcomed, and frankly, necessary. Plz help me.

3 thoughts to “Intro to the Photo Essay”

  1. I think that this idea is really really interesting! I’ve never heard of this football league, and I think the discussion of this is really important. Your choice to do this as a photo essay was really smart because I think it is essential to discuss these images in depth as ways of showing the controversial basis behind this.

  2. When you were telling us about this league during class today, I was so surprised. I think this could be really interesting. In terms of what the content of your essay should be, I think you have to ask yourself a simple question: What commentary do you want to make about this league? I know you say you don’t want it to just be about the uniform, but you should be clear about what it is you do want to say. I *love* the idea, and can’t wait to see what you make of this unique angle.

  3. These are really interesting considerations you’re making, but I think there’s a way to navigate talking about the Legends league while still respecting the women involved. This league is super shocking and interesting, and I think you could try to find a way to discuss the origins of the uniforms and the societal background and the women themselves without contributing to their sexualization or anything.

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