“Game Face: What does a Female Athlete Look Like” premiered at the Smithsonian in Washington DC yesterday, depicting women of all ages and races participating in a variety of sports at every athletic level. In addition to the exhibit, co-curators Jane Gottesman and Geoffrey Biddle established an educational outreach program for high schools and colleges and a “Game Face Patch” for the Girl Scouts of America.
Despite the passage of Title IX in 1972 and the watershed achievements of many female athletes, Biddle says that he and Gottesman recognized the scarcity of female athletics coverage and the way that female athletes were portrayed differently than male athletes in the media. “We’re trying to convey the idea that a woman can regard her body as function, as opposed to visual. It’s not about how you look, it’s about how you play,” Biddle says.
Biddle says he also hopes that the exhibit will make people rethink any stereotypical ideas about female athletes. “By including the range of photographs we have included, we want people, not just women, to recognize themselves, their wives, their mothers, and their daughters,” Biddle said. Through January 2, 2002 the exhibit will remain at the Smithsonian and it will then travel to Salt Lake City and Dallas. For more information, visit www.gamefaceonline.org.
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