27 January, 2012

A picture is worth a thousand words…

Most of them wrong.

This photograph of the prime minister and opposition leader being whisked away from a function yesterday when protests got ugly, went viral within minutes of it being released.  Some published it completely.  Others, including the ABC’s news home page cropped it to focus on Julia Gillard and her bodyguard.

Reports were quick to highlight how weak Gillard looks in this picture.  They mentioned how she is clutching onto the security guard, “visibly rattled,” or “clearly distressed,” or some similar description.  That certainly is the first impression of what was happening during this particular hundredth of a second of the fracas.  The problem is that it’s all projection.

Have you ever had your photo taken in the middle of falling over?  Or moments after a fall?  I’m guessing not, but if you did, you’d probably look a little frightened and helpless yourself.

What we also know about this moment is that Julia Gillard lost a shoe while being rushed to the car and that moments later she stumbled almost to the ground.  She was already the only person in the whole group wearing a skirt and heels, losing the shoe would make anyone additionally wobbly, she quite understandably loses her footing for one moment and… SNAP!

I suggest that you possibly wouldn’t look particularly dignified or statesmanlike in the same situation, regardless of how calm you might actually be.  Unless you would, give the woman a break and cut out the patronising crap.

1 comment:

  1. This is pretty famous for an Australian moment. Even I heard about it.

    If she were a man it wouldn't even be an issue. Reagan didn't look all that leaderly when he was shot. He kind of looked like an old man getting shot. Granted being shot isn't the same as losing a shoe but world leader security is all the same.

    I've been photographed vomitting. I'm completely unelectable.