On September 2, 2021, the day after Texas enacted the state’s strictest abortion law, a photo purporting to show the new “Handmaid’s Tale” uniforms of the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders began circulating on social media:
The Taliban seem to have taken over Texas as well. #dumptrump #liberal #equality #democrat #voteblue #blacklivesmatter #lgbtq #feminism #prochoice #southernliberal
♬ It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Good) – Remastered – R.E.M.
This is not a real photo of the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders in the new “Handmaid” uniforms. This is a digitally edited image created to comment on Texas’ new restrictive abortion laws.
This image was created by Twitter user Paul Leigh (notice the watermark in the lower left corner) and was originally shared on his account on September 2, 2021:
— Paul Leigh (@Pleightx) September 2, 2021
The picture “Handmaid cheerleader uniform” was created by altering a photo from the television show “The Handmaid’s Tale”, which is based on the novel of the same name by Margaret Atwood. The show takes place in a dystopian universe where women are disenfranchised and treated as little more than enslaved breeders. The show is often mentioned on social media when discussing real-world laws that limit women’s rights.
Good morning, Texas…? #underhiseye pic.twitter.com/iIVbbCELKN
— Joy-Ann (Pro-Democracy) Reid ? (@JoyAnnReid) September 1, 2021
Here’s a look at the real image from “The Handmaid’s Tale,” compared to the fictional image Leigh created:
Rabbi, Roni Caryn. “Questions About Texas Abortion Law Answered.” The New York Times, 1 Sept. 2021. NYTimes.com, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/01/health/texas-abortion-law-facts.html.
Weigel, Moira. “’The Handmaid’s Tale’ We Live in a Reproductive Dystopia.” The New Yorker, April 2017. www.newyorker.com, http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/we-live-in -reproductive-dystopia -handmaid’s tales.