On September 2, 2021, the day after the country’s strictest abortion law went into effect in Texas, a photograph started circulated on social media that supposedly showed the new “Handmaid’s Tale” uniforms of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders:
This is not a genuine photograph of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders in new “Handmaid” uniforms. This is a digitally edited image that was created to comment on Texas’ new restrictive abortion laws.
This image was created by Twitter user Paul Leigh (notice the watermark in the bottom left) and was originally shared to his account on Sept. 2, 2021:
— Paul Leigh (@Pleightx) September 2, 2021
The “Handmaid cheerleader uniform” image was created by altering a photograph from the television show “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which is based on the Margaret Atwood novel of the same name. The show takes place in a dystopian universe where women have been stripped of their rights and are treated as little more than enslaved breeders. The show is frequently mentioned on social media when talking about real world laws that restrict women’s rights.
— Joy-Ann (Pro-Democracy) Reid 😷 (@JoyAnnReid) September 1, 2021
Here’s a look at the genuine image from “The Handmaid’s Tale,” compared with the doctored image created by Leigh:
Rabin, Roni Caryn. “Answers to Questions About the Texas Abortion Law.” The New York Times, 1 Sept. 2021. NYTimes.com, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/01/health/texas-abortion-law-facts.html.
Weigel, Moira. “We Live in the Reproductive Dystopia of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’” The New Yorker, Apr. 2017. www.newyorker.com, http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/we-live-in-the-reproductive-dystopia-of-the-handmaids-tale.