I was just listening to this. Bloody outrageous! However, having gone to an all girls public school they were very good at pushing you to do the best you could and there were was never any mention (to us) of beauty being a 'good' thing.
The school secretary was always bombarding the local newspaper with photos of recent activities/awards etc though. but never as far as I'm aware was there anything like this it was all about the academic/sporting/musicdrama achievements
But if they chose " geeky", plain girls would people not complain that they were stereotyping women as blue stockings? Sigh, it's a difficult one because on the one hand I agree with what you say but on the other I think it's a damned if you do situation. It's good to see the media focussing on female exam success, however.
Incidentally, it;s not just in private schools, all the state schools seem to pick the pretty girls too.
I don;t know why they can't simply pick a random group of mixed sex kids
I was listening to this. It got me out of bed I was so fucking pissed off with it.
It was some guy called Chris Cook of the Financial Times who did the blog. Evan Davis was the interviewer. And yes he listed numerous private schools (not sure they were all by name) who send emails out to the press asking them to take photos and saying how beautiful 'their girls' are. Apparently it's the private schools who do it for the free publicity.
Evan Davies, who I normally like, was giggling away at it. Yeh, schools selling the children in their care out as pretty to get them publicity, in a world where they are objectified leading a whole host of problems, fucking funny that one
At least they covered it, but the trivialising from a man who is capable of fantastic interviews
It was just before 7.30 is anyone wants to listen.
In the aricle on the radio the journalist quite definitely said it is just the public schools and they send e-mails saying 'we've got lots of beuatiful girls' etc. They have to advertise and what better than a load of (bet they're predominantly blonde) attractive, slim, girls celebrating thir results. It doesn't have to be an either or - why can't they just have a nice cross-section
That sounds a bit disturbing from the Girls' school (never heard of it, btw). But in general, I do think at least people know it's absurd that the pictures are so uniform [insert laughing blonde here]. The Guardian ran their story with a picture of a lad last year, which was nice. It seems especially bad they always use pictures of girls when boys aren't doing so well and could perhaps do with seeing a role model.
If you want private schools and dodgy sex appeal, mind, I have a truly shocking anecdote: at a private boys' school I know, the headmaster used to tell parents' that the existence of a sister school just down the road was a real selling point, because that way their sons would date nayce lady-like girls, and not the sort of girls who went to the comp. and wouldn't go to university.
Seriously: that's what he reckoned the girls' school was for. Not for academics in its own right, just to provide a nice suitable breeding stock for his boys. Loads of parents must have had/planned to send their daughters there too - and isn't that a creepy thing to say to the parents of 11-year-old boys?!
Sorry, nowt to do with A-Level results but maybe to do with ingrained sexism in schools.
I didn't think I would be the only person listening to this and appalled by it. The way the schools were enticing journalists with pictures of their girls, or by telling them that they had attractive girls this year sounded utterly sordid.
There are plenty of people telling girls that being pretty is the most important thing if they want to get on - but I honestly never thought that schools would buy into this. They are sending a horrible message to both the less attractive girls, and also to boys (which matters to me, as the mother to three dses - I'd hate for them to feel that their school didn't think their achievements weren't worth publicising because they are male).
Sadly there is no 'if' in this story, crikri - the journalist had received emails from schools either with pictures of the prettiest A level students, or saying that there were plenty of pretty ones in this year's crop.
Sorry - I meant to say that the journalist didn't say how widespread this is - so it could be just a few schools - which would make it a bit better (easier to tackle a few schools doing this, than to tackle lots).
If I thought my child's picture had been sent to journalists by their school, effectively pimping them out for A level results pictures, I would be furious.
This made my blood boil too. What really irritated me was the tone of the interviewers who were chuckling away as if this were just some amusing anecdote rather than something worthy of serious discussion or concern.
Our local paper covers the results, but it is groups of very average looking kids from the local schools - generally the ones who have done well - with a list of their names and grades and what they are going on to do.