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The feminist faces of Brazilian soccer

For the women playing soccer in Brazil, their biggest challenge can be found off the pitch, as photo-journalist Isabella Melody Moore discovered.

The 2014 World Cup once again demonstrated that Brazilians are passionate about their soccer.
Brazil stops to watch their team and the men who play are considered Gods on earth.
But that passion presents a double standard when it comes to the women involved in the sport as photo-journalist Isabella Melody Moore discovered when travelling the South American nation.
The Sydney-based snapper photographed several aspiring female soccer players while in Brazil and learned that these women – despite their passion – have to fight to be recognised in the male dominated arena.
“They have a great determination and spirit and I admired the way they spoke openly about their passion for playing soccer but sadly they talked about gender inequalities that go along with it,” Moore told The Weekly.
“I learnt that trying to make a career out of a fiercely male dominated national sport is something I see as very brave.”
Moore embarked on the project not long after the sports brand Adidas was criticised for releasing a controversial World Cup ad campaign which featured a bikini-clad woman holding a soccer ball with the words “Lookin’ to score”.
After a request from the Brazilian tourism board to reconsider the slogan the sports giant pulled the shirt but the campaign had already touched a nerve with the women of Brazil who struggle with stereotypes that hint at sexual objectification and exploitation.
Moore told The Weekly that the women she met deserved more recognition and said, “they deserve better opportunities to help them further themselves within the sport.”
The women of Brazil still struggle with equality on and off the pitch. It’s a place women’s wages are about 75 per cent less than a man’s and dominating Catholic values and lack of education mean that sexiest gender roles are rampant – a woman’s place is in the home.
But Moore hopes that people can see the hope for the next generation in her pictures.
“I would say it was both eye opening and profoundly inspiring to photograph these strong and warm hearted Brazilian women,” said Moore.
“I hope that women and predominately sports women can appreciate that in Australia, we don't experience the same degree of sexism driven by males towards females through sport, because our society is not predominately 'macho' led like it tends to be in South America.”
Pictures by Isabella Melody Moore via her website itswhatartis and via her itswhatartis Instagram. Additional words by Anna Kaiser.

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