Campaign to change stereotypical search engine images of female football fans

Women football supporters are launching a campaign before the World Cup starts with the aim of changing the way that female fans are represented on the internet – particularly in the images displayed by search engines.

The campaign by This Fan Girl, which is also being supported by Carabao, aims to replace what they describe as ‘over-sexualised and non-representative’ images at the top of search results when people look for images of female football fans. They argue that most of the images that come top in search almost exclusively feature young, slim white women, which only represents a fraction of female football fans.

This Fan Girl is an online community dedicated to female supporters, made up of photographer Amy Drucquer and her team, who visit stadiums around the UK to capture images of female fans in attendance at matches. Their gallery of images show a diverse range of women, young and old, on their way to watch football.

Drucquer says: “This is something we’ve felt passionately about since we first started taking photos of female football fans. We’re excited to work on the We Are Female Fans campaign to affect tangible and visible change.”

Carabao’s Anna Cooke says that: “This week the World Cup will kick off and be watched by millions of fans, male and female, yet it won’t be long before the cameras are focusing gratuitously on female fans in the crowd and soon those images will feature online. Our campaign wants to tackle this and profile all female football fans, whatever their age, shape or size.”

For the World Cup campaign five images of a diverse group of female England fans at Wembley have been produced, and supporters are being encouraged to share stories about #WeAreFemaleFans in order to try and push these pictures up search rankings to displace the images currently displayed.

Female football fans attending an England match at Wembley.

Female football fans attending an England match at Wembley. Photograph: This Fan Girl/Carabao

As well as the Carabao Cup, the energy drink company sponsors several women’s teams, including Chelsea Ladies, Reading Women and Abingdon United WFC, and the mission to change the search results is also supported by Chelsea Ladies’ Katie Chapman, who says: “Players come from a wide range of backgrounds, but I’m sure we’d all agree that we’re football fans first and foremost. I support the We Are Female Fans campaign as a fantastic step towards more diverse representation of female football.”

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