Link to Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/ilovewomenshoops/
I decided to use Instagram as the social media platform for my creative project. As a refresher, my final project targets the way women’s basketball is portrayed in the media. Although I used Instagram for my data visualization as well, I decided to focus on one single specific compilation of photos to post for this final project. To elaborate, I posted a collection of memes to my personal feed. I used the same account that I previously created for my data visualization (@ilovewomenshoops).
Instead of adding my new photos, or also known as memes, to the full feed I made from my last project, I deleted most of the old posts. I was able to start fresh with this final creative project. However, I did keep three posts because I felt that they powerful and that they accurately depicted the way women’s basketball is portrayed through television. After those three posts, my collection of memes started with five posts from memes that I had found on the Internet. I Google searched “women’s basketball memes” and those pictures I posted, among others, appeared on my computer screen. The amount of negative and sexist memes that exist about women’s basketball players and women’s basketball as a whole is preposterous. It was surprising to me that not a single meme represented women’s basketball in a positive manner. Even though I am trying to put an end to the negative perception on women’s basketball, I chose to post the negative memes. I chose to post them so that readers would recognize these memes as negative, which would hopefully help put an end to pictures like these being posted in the first place. I did not want to add to the negative feed, but I do believe that aside from those who play, coach, or are invested in the women’s game, others do not realize the impact these negative posts have on the women’s basketball community. I made sure to caption each Instagram with the hashtags: #stopthehate and #equality.
Next, the five memes succeeding those found on the Internet are original memes made by myself. What I did here was I searched “basketball memes” or a specific men’s player and then replaced their picture with a women’s player’s picture. Some of the women that I chose are big names in the college game now and the others are some of the best in the WNBA, who were also extremely well known in their collegiate days. Among the five women that I chose to display on my Instagram feed was Sheryl Swoopes. Sheryl Swoopes was the very first player to sign with the WNBA. She was known as the “female Michael Jordan.” Women like Sheryl Swoopes deserve much more than the disrespect that they receive day in and day out. I used the hashtag: #womensbasketball on these posts because it is the most commonly used hashtag for this subject, so I am hoping that other people will follow my account or, at the very least, take a look at my posts from searching that hashtag.
Lastly, I added an eleventh photo to enhance my position on women’s basketball. The final photo is not a meme like the other, but it provides a very powerful message. The photo is a list of accomplishments from the very talented and admirable coach in Pat Summitt. Pat Summitt paved the way for women’s basketball. The legendary coach was the first women’s basketball coach to make the front cover of Sports Illustrated. The game of basketball, but women’s specifically, will be forever indebted to her. The passion she had for the game and her players was immeasurable, and Pat Summitt continues to be a role model for all of those that followed her as well as those who were lucky enough to play for her. Additionally, many men’s coaches have also noted Pat Summit’s impact on their coaching careers. Pat Summitt’s name should not have to be associated with the negativity around women’s basketball since she is the face of the sport.
Through my Instagram posts, I hope to bring recognition to the negativity brought upon women’s basketball in the media. I hope a change will occur in the way people discuss and address women’s basketball.