Editor's note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly attributed the comment on Giulia Gwinn’s looks to the Bild staff. The remark (“prettiest”) was initially made by one of Gwinn's teammates.
It took all of two matches at the Women’s World Cup for objectification to show up in the media.
Following Germany’s win over China on Saturday, German newspaper Bild ran a nominal recap with a headline that translates roughly to “Ugly win thanks to our prettiest.”
Mir fehlen nicht oft die Worte, aber die BILD hat es gerade geschafft...
German newspaper: "Ugly win thanks to our prettiest [player]" pic.twitter.com/zb8o1eoV7D
— Jasmina Schweimler 🏳️🌈 (@JasSchweimler) June 8, 2019
It was a reference to Giulia Gwinn, the midfielder whose goal in the 66th minute lifted Germany in its opener. Teammate Alexandra Popp was quoted by the paper as saying: “Giulia is the prettiest. She is very attentive to her appearance.”
Even so, playing up players’ appearances is unfortunately endemic to coverage of the women’s game. It reduces Gwinn, a 19-year-old midfielder with exquisite skill who’s one of the centerpieces of Germany’s program going forward, to little more than eye candy whose looks are more notable than her talent.
So while the Women’s World Cup showcases the growth of the sport, there’s still some growing left to be done.
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