Wednesday 5: Shirley Temple, Women & Wikipedia, Moroccan Women Bikers

In this week’s Wednesday 5: women writers write-in women artists into Wikipedia; photographer Hassan Hajjaj  documents a culture of Moroccan women bikers; at the Winter Olympics, the old double standard thrives; celebrating Shirley Temple; and a century’s worth of American beauties.



Women Writers Write-In Women Artists Into Wikipedia


One Saturday in late January, 600 volunteers—mostly women—in 31 venues around the world got together for a really cool act of correcting historical absences in the record. Robin Cembalest of ARTNews tells us:

They had answered a call for the Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon, a massive multinational effort to correct a persistent bias in Wikipedia, which is disproportionally written by and about men.

We learned that the new Wikipedia entries—focused on women artists “ranging from Australian modernists Ethel Spowers and Dorrit Black to Catalan painter Josefa Texidor i Torres to contemporary artists including Mary Miss, Xaviera Simmons, Audrey Flack, and Monika Bravo—vary widely in scope, grammar, and quality of content.”

The next global edit-a-thon is scheduled for  March 30.



The Biker Chicks Of Marrakesh

Featured in Fast Company is photographer Hassan Hajjaj who documents the culture of Moroccan women bikers.

In “Kesh Angels,” the lady motorcyclists of Marrakesh, Morocco, wear polka-dot abayas and Nike-branded djellabas, posing on their bikes against brightly painted walls. The juxtaposition of traditional Islamic dress with biker-tough posturing and Western branding upends stereotypes of Muslim women as anti-modern and ultra-conservative. They have a superhero quality on these motorcycles, mugging and posing like urban Power Rangers.

For those of you in New York City, be sure to check out at the exhibition at the Taymour Grahne Gallery until March 7. Our favorite is the “Henna Crew!”



At the Olympics, That Old Double Standard

Male athletes are admired for their amazing skills. Also admired for their amazing skills are female athletes—as long as they’re good-looking. The old double standard still applies, Eliana Dockterman laments in her TIME blog post “Medals Aren’t Enough.” Kevin Adler, Chief Engagement Officer at the sports marketing agency Engage Marketing, agrees. “For male athletes, it’s primarily about their performance,” he told Dockterman. “And for female athletes it’s definitely as much about their looks as it is about their performance.” Docterman points to media accusations last month that 22-year-old figure skater Ashley Wagner earned her spot on the Olympic Figure Skating team “based on her looks rather than her talent.” She also cites the makeup sessions the WNBA holds for rookies, and the fact that “athletes even in the less sexy sports like skiing or golf are posing in bikinis or less in magazines.” Adler cites the media frenzy over Anna Kournikova, “who was as (or more) famous for her body as she was for her tennis skills. Kournikova racked up $15 million despite never winning a major title.” Flipping through an issue of The Red Bulletin, he points out that “all the pictures [of skier Lindsay Vonn] are of her in super skimpy outfits with almost, you could argue, a little bit of an S&M theme with high heels. And then I flip through the rest of the magazine, and all the male athletes are depicted in a completely different way.” Telling statistic: In non-Olympic season, female athletes get only 4 percent of the sports coverage in the media.



Thank You, Shirley Temple

Shirley-Temple-9503798-2-402We learned yesterday that the iconic actress Shirley Temple passed away at 85. What a life she led.

She was America’s top box office draw from 1935 to 1938.
She retired from films at age 21.
She started a new career as U.S. ambassador to Ghana (1974 to 1976), and U.S. ambassador to Czechoslovakia (1989 to 1992).

Here we capture some of her more memorable moments on film as a young girl, although we know the life she led after Hollywood was equally—if not more—fascinating.





A Century’s Worth of American Beauties

Ah, the Gibson Girl—slender of waist and substantial of bust and rump — no wonder she was the pinup girl of the early 1900s. She was irresistibly charming. And fairly typical of the ordinary women he saw on the street, according to her creator, illustrator Charles Dana Gibson. “It’s amazing how much the ‘perfect body’ has changed in 100 years,” The Huffington Post declares in an article by Nina Bahadur. [Perfect female body, that is.] The addiction and eating-disorders recovery firm worked with a marketing firm, Fractl, to measure how the bodies of “ideal women” have compared to national averages over time. Not surprisingly, “models and movie stars are getting smaller than the average American woman at unprecedented rates.” “found that  the difference between models’ weights and the weight of the average American woman has grown from 8 percent in 1975 to over 23 percent today.” Click on over  to see 10 representations of the ideal woman, from the turn-of-the-twentieth-century Gibson Girl to the Flapper to Mae West to Twiggy to Farrah Fawcett through Adriana Lima, the 21st-century Victoria’s Secret Angel.  

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