Britain’s Daily Mail is catching heat for the above cover photo seen on newspapers for sale on shelves across Britain, and in memes and photos across the Internet and social media on Tuesday, March 28, 2017. The British publication sparked controversy when the Daily Mail featured a photo that compared the legs of Prime Minister Theresa May and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon when the duo sat next to one another with skirts that afforded plenty of views of their legs.
The photo was accompanied by a headline on the Daily Mail that used the Brexit rhyming scheme to title the photo a “Legs-it” competition — a play on Brexit that fell flat with some Daily Mail readers. With the controversial article having been written by Sarah Vine, Twitter reports that related searches like #legsit and #dailymail are trending along with Sarah’s name.
Spot the difference btw early and later editions of the Mail. Later one makes clear "this is by Sarah Vine, folks!" pic.twitter.com/WCuoILrhtG
— Paul Waugh (@paulwaugh) March 28, 2017
However, as seen in the above photo of two different Daily Mail covers, some readers are blaming the Daily Mail for making writer Sarah Vine’s name more prominent as the author of the piece, and only after controversy arose over the article that compared the legs of the women.
The first cover headline reads “Never mind Brexit, who won Legs-it!” on the original Daily Mail cover photo shown above, with a smaller subtitle and directions to Daily Mail readers to see page No. 6 and page No. 7 for more information. The subtitle did not mention Sarah’s name as the writer on the cover in the initial title.
“It wasn’t quite stilettos at dawn, but there was a distinctly frosty atmosphere when Theresa May met Nicola Sturgeon yesterday.”
However, the second Daily Mail cover shows the same “Never mind Brexit, who won Legs-it!” on the updated Daily Mail cover, but they added a different subtitle in bolder and bigger print, with Vine’s name in an attention-getting yellow font.
“Sarah Vine’s light-hearted verdict on the big showdown.”
Whilst still directing Daily Mail readers to page No. 6 and page No. 7 for more information, the second Daily Mail cover moved a bit of the original subtitle to the right-hand side of the controversial cover, which still explained the “frosty atmosphere.”
“Frosty atmosphere: Theresa May meets Nicola Sturgeon yesterday.”
It isn’t known if the alterations seen on the second Daily Mail cover were an attempt to inform readers that the “Legs-it” article was written by a female, and therefore shouldn’t receive the backlash that the Daily Mail is getting from some social media readers who assumed the “Legs-it” piece was an example of “male chauvinism” or machismo. Or, perhaps the Daily Mail was attempting to show readers that Vine’s coverage was “light-hearted” and not meant to be taken with so much seriousness. Either way, folks are noticing the difference between the two covers, and they are commenting a-plenty online about the controversy.
Some people are posting snippets of the article online with commentary about Sarah’s use of the phrase “shapely shanks” and the like. Other Daily Mail readers are creating mock covers of male politicos showing off their legs to show how silly it would be to compare the legs of men, instead of talking about their political views. Either way, the headline and piece from the Daily Mail are being labeled sexist and offensive by some.
— Bonnie Greer (@Bonn1eGreer) March 28, 2017
The original article by Vine on the Daily Mail seems to have been updated, now reading, “One was relaxed, every inch a stateswoman while her opposite number was tense and uncomfortable: SARAH VINE says May v Sturgeon was a knockout victory for the PM.” The talk about legs and “shapely shanks” can still be found therein.
“But what stands out here are the legs – and the vast expanse on show. There is no doubt that both women consider their pins to be the finest weapon in their physical arsenal. Consequently, both have been unsheathed.”
As seen on Vine’s Daily Mail author page, Sarah’s topics range from fashion to more serious fare, such as sexual assault.
— Terri Paddock (@TerriPaddock) March 27, 2017
[Featured Image by Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP Images]