Don’t you have any where you look like a girl?

I want to draw attention to something Pieter B said in a comment, because the situation he describes is so…frustrating, pervasive, infuriating…

I used to have a photo studio, and since I’m in Los Angeles I did a lot of shoots with actors and models. One day a stuntwoman who was trying to move into acting came to me with her portfolio, and said an agent who’d been interested in representing her had looked at her photos and asked “Don’t you have any where you look like a girl?”

She was a trained athlete, and in all her photos she was tall and proud and looked physically capable. Personally, I find that quite attractive, but then I’m not a typical guy. So we did a lot of shots and I had to keep reminding her to “relax the shoulders, relax the shoulders.” I made her “look like a girl,” but I’d much rather have celebrated the fact that she was a woman who could kick ass and take names.

I suppose we can take an optimistic view and say that she was broadening her potential range, as opposed to narrowing it. Maybe the agent wanted girly photos in addition to athlete ones rather than instead of. Maybe. But I doubt that men get told to include photos of themselves looking smaller and weaker. It would be nice  if “like a girl” were not equated with “less athletic and powerful.”


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