Leila Jeffreys’ Elegant Bird Portraits Show Feathery “High Society”

The Tweets High Society

The Tweets

Photographer Leila Jeffreys holds intimate portraiture sessions with her intriguing, colorful muses: cockatoos, doves, and hawks. The Sydney-based artist began her avian projects a decade ago by photographing the colorful budgerigars of her childhood memories. Jeffrey’s most recent series is entitled High Society and marks a return to her original feathery subjects. The series explores the flock as a community, and the relationships between the budgerigars are on magnificent display.

For High Society, Jeffreys sought to draw parallels between the communities formed by both birds and humans. “The idea came from observing flocks of birds in trees,” she explains. “From a distance the birds are hard to distinguish, they look like leaves, but when you look up close you can see that there’s actually an entire society of birds living up there, living their own lives.” Jeffreys has built her artistic practice on highlighting the individuality of each bird within the crowd. By creating larger-than-life prints of her feathered friends, the photographer asks her audience to confront the subjects as individuals that are as unique as humans themselves.

To craft her stunning portraits, Jeffreys immerses herself in the lives of each individual bird she photographs, often traveling hundreds of miles for a brief session with an animal. Her work is informed by extensive research on each species as well as her connections with bird rescue organizations. By forcing the viewer to see the creatures expressing emotions, her work demands the defense of these species. Speaking about her work’s conservation message, Jeffreys says, “Humans sometimes need reminding that we are not the only species on this planet; that it’s our responsibility to ensure that there are places for the other species we share the planet with to live and thrive.”

Learn more about Jeffreys’ photographs, exhibits, and art book by visiting her website.

Photographer Leila Jeffreys takes intimate and emotional portraits of birds, including cockatoos, budgerigars, and hawks.

Bluey and Liquorice

Bluey and Liquorice

Her most recent series, High Society, contemplates the flock as a community while highlighting the birds as individuals within their relationships.

River and Cloudy

River and Cloudy

Rain and June

Rain and June

Jeffreys has spent a decade researching and photographing birds, many of which have been rescued and rehabilitated.

Blue Blossoms 2

Blue Blossoms 2

Gum Leaves

Gum Leaves

Pineapple

Pineapple

By portraying birds as worthy, beautiful, and emotional individuals, Jeffreys’ work asks viewers to consider the moral imperatives of environmental conservation.

Celery

Celery

Revival

Revival

Buckbeak

Buckbeak

Coral

Coral

Charcoal and Ash

Charcoal and Ash

Candle

Candle

Leila Jeffreys: Website | Instagram | Facebook

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Leila Jeffreys.

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Perception of ‘cute white girls’ helps U.S. women’s soccer: Bird

(Reuters) – Seattle Storm’s Sue Bird believes women’s soccer players in the United States are more widely supported than their counterparts in the WNBA because of the public perception of them as “cute little white girls.”



Sue Bird on a court with a racket: FILE PHOTO: WNBA: Finals-Seattle Storm at Las Vegas Aces


© Reuters/Mary Holt
FILE PHOTO: WNBA: Finals-Seattle Storm at Las Vegas Aces

Point guard Bird, who won her fourth WNBA title this month, said in an interview https://edition.cnn.com/2020/10/17/sport/sue-bird-megan-rapinoe-wnba-spt-intl/index.html with CNN that elite basketball players were more quickly judged by people based on their appearance.

“Even though we’re female athletes playing at a high level, our worlds … the soccer world and the basketball world are just totally different,” Bird said.

“To be blunt it’s the demographic of who’s playing. Women’s soccer players generally are cute little white girls while WNBA players, we’re all shapes and sizes… a lot of Black, gay, tall women … there’s maybe an intimidation factor and people are quick to judge it and put it down.”

Bird’s comments reflect those of U.S. women’s soccer skipper Megan Rapinoe, who wrote in a Players’ Tribune column https://www.theplayerstribune.com/articles/megan-rapinoe-seattle-storm-wnba-finals that the national media had to “scan tall and Black and queer” players.

The main problem, according to Bird, is not in the marketing of the WNBA.

“It’s how society and how the outside world is willing to accept the cute girl next door, but not willing to accept, or embrace, or not judge these basketball players who are tall, Black, gay,” she added.

“That … is where the issue is. Where I feel like I’ve learned throughout that process is you have to be who you are. You have to be to be true to who you are and authentic.”

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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Sue Bird Shows Support for Megan Rapinoe After Comments on Women’s Soccer, WNBA | Bleacher Report

Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird, right, poses for a photo with girlfriend Megan Rapinoe after the Storm won basketball's WNBA Championship Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020, in Bradenton, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Chris O’Meara/Associated Press

Seattle Storm point guard Sue Bird backed comments made by her girlfriend, United States women’s soccer captain Megan Rapinoe, regarding her belief as to why women’s soccer receives more public support and adoration than women’s basketball, per ESPN’s Mechelle Voepel.

Rapinoe wrote the following in an Oct. 5 Players’ Tribune piece:

“This country has a deep history of racism, and a deep history of homophobia.

And if you look at the players in the W: Most of them are Black, and a lot of them are gay.

I just think that needs to be said, loud and clear, so there’s no mistaking things. Because, again: I’m so proud of the run that we went on last year at the World Cup—and so damn grateful for the support that we got. And in a lot of ways, I’m OVER THE MOON about how it was seen as this ‘breakthrough’ moment. But I think the conversation around what our team represented tended to be somewhat incomplete.

And what I mean by that is: When it comes to U.S. women’s soccer, the general perception is that—let’s face it—we’re the white girls next door. The straight, ‘cute,’ ‘unthreatening,’ ‘suburban’ white girls next door. It’s not actually who we are—the WNT’s racial diversity, though not yet where it needs to be, is improving every year. And, you know, breaking news….. I’m gay. But by and large, that’s the perception. And it’s certainly how we’re marketed to a lot of people.

Regarding those comments, Bird said the following in part to Don Riddell of CNN’s World Sport, per Voepel.

“It’s 70-80 percent Black women, a lot of gay women. We’re tall; we’re big. And I think there’s just maybe this intimidation factor with that. People are quick to talk about it, judge it, put it down. And soccer, you just don’t see that just based on how they look.”

Bird rejected the notion that marketing was an issue causing the problem.

“The problem is not the marketing, per se. The problem is how society and how the outside world is willing to accept the cute girl next door, but not willing to accept, or embrace, or not judge these basketball players who are tall, Black, gay.”

The women’s World Cup typically captures the nation’s attention in a way that women’s hoops has not despite the latter sport’s incredible success on the international stage and the high quality of play in today’s WNBA.

Per Sports Media Watch, the USWNT vs. Netherlands 2019 Women’s World Cup Final averaged 16.9 million viewers, and that was down from four years ago, when USWNT vs. Japan averaged 26.7 million viewers.

In 2016, NBC’s full telecast window featuring the Olympic women’s gold-medal basketball game between Team USA and France averaged 7.3 million viewers, per Sports Media Watch. Four years earlier, the gold-medal matchup between Team USA and Croatia garnered 11.4 million viewers, per Sports Business Daily.

The WNBA’s popularity is seemingly growing if television

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Sue Bird backs Megan Rapinoe on contrast between women’s soccer, WNBA

Seattle Storm point guard and 2020 WNBA champion Sue Bird reiterated remarks made by her girlfriend, soccer standout Megan Rapinoe, about why the U.S. women’s soccer team seems to enjoy more public support than the U.S. women’s basketball team and the WNBA in an interview with CNN that aired Saturday.

Bird, speaking to Don Riddell of CNN’s “World Sport,” was asked about Rapinoe’s remarks in an Oct. 5 article in The Players’ Tribune in which she talked about the U.S. women’s soccer team getting broad-based acclaim for the winning the Women’s World Cup in 2019, and contrasted that to less attention paid to women’s basketball. Rapinoe wrote that the perceived demographics of the sports was a primary reason.

Asked by Riddell to summarize that, Bird said, “To be completely blunt, but also kind of simple, soccer players generally are cute little white girls. And I think basketball players, we’re all shapes and sizes.

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“It’s 70-80% Black women, a lot of gay women. We’re tall; we’re big. And I think there’s just maybe this intimidation factor with that. People are quick to talk about it, judge it, put it down. And soccer, you just don’t see that just based on how they look.”

Bird and the Seattle Storm won the WNBA championship on Oct. 6 in the bubble in Bradenton, Florida. It was Bird’s fourth WNBA title, and she also has four Olympic gold medals. Rapinoe spent the summer in the bubble with Bird. They’ve been a couple since 2016.

Rapinoe wrote in her piece for The Players’ Tribune that the players for the U.S. women’s national team in soccer were perceived as “straight, cute, unthreatening, suburban white girls next door. It’s not actually who we are — the WNT’s racial diversity, though not yet where it needs to be, is improving every year. And, you know, breaking news … I’m gay. But by and large, that’s the perception. And it’s certainly how we’re marketed to a lot of people.”

Riddell asked Bird if the WNBA needed to market itself in a similar fashion to how Rapinoe described soccer’s marketing. Bird, who turned 40 on Friday and has been in the WNBA since 2002, said she was part of a similar “girl-next-door” marketing approach that the league tried several years ago. But she said that does not represent a lot of the league’s personnel. Bird also has spoken in the past about how limiting and restrictive that view of women’s sports is.

“The problem is not the marketing, per se,” Bird told CNN. “The problem is how society and how the outside world is willing to accept the cute girl next door, but not willing to accept, or embrace, or not judge these basketball players who are tall, Black, gay.

“That’s kind of, to

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