Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

A-level results day

Today is A-level results day. I take a bit more of an interest in this than I used to because I know so many A-level students from having run 'You're Hired!'.

Some of the results day traditions you now get in the media amuse me. Newspaper photographers only have a limited range of ideas of how to illustrate this story and seem to compete against each other using a simple points system. It goes something like this:

1. 1 point for every attractive female student pretending to open her results for the camera.
2. 1 bonus point if she has long hair.
3. 1 bonus point if she has blond hair.
4. 1 bonus point for each exposed female thigh.
5. 2 bonus points for every glimpse of cleavage.
6. -1 point for every male student in the photograph, even if they are in the background.
7. -1 point for every facial blemish - spots / zits etc
8. 10 points for a pair of twins, but only if they are female and attractive.
9. 5 points for a successful Oxbridge applicant.
10. 2 points for each student pretending to spontaneously jump for joy.
11. 2 bonus points if the mid-air jump-for-joy pose involves both hands above the head, the results clutched in one hand, a silly grin and the legs bent 90 degrees at the knees
12. -3 points for anyone in the photo not deliriously happy with their results
13. -5 points for anyone whose expression shows clearly that they think the photographer is a perv.
14. 10 bonus points for any girl in clothing so transparent you can clearly see her underwear when you cleverly shoot her with the sun behind her.
15. -10 points for each teacher in the photo.
16. 5 points for a group hug, but only if there are no boys involved
17. 5 bonus points if the there is the vaguest suggestion that 'lezzing up' is only minutes away
18. 25 points for attractive female student who despite being a professional model can still be persuaded to pose in a naff way for a newspaper photographer.
19. 10 points for a bona fide beauty queen

Here are some examples from today's and last year's newspapers (or rather their websites):

Textbook stuff from Metro:

This is London going for a rare number 14 conbined with double-10 and an 11:

The Reading Guide going for quantity of 1s:

Wales Online let down by a definite number 12:

Interesting poses, but a clear 6 from the Irish Times:

Top quality multiple 11s from the Lancashire Telegraph, but tragically a clear 15:

Textbook 16 from the Independent:

And a quality 17 from the Daily Mail:

Quantity and a clear 17 from the Daily Telegraph:

An 8 from BBC Wales:

A mixed bag from the Daily Mail - plenty of 6s (and nurdy 6s at that), clever use of a 1/2/3 to illustrate a story about a male student from an inner city comp going to Cambridge, but above all, the holy grail - an 18! (You do have to feel sorry for the girl with ten As at A-level, who played the piano and violin to grade 7 and was school sports captain and who still wasn't good enough for Oxford though.)

Even a politically-correct editorial policy is no reason to not show a bit of sloane cleavage:

Superb 17 from the Oxford Mail:

An actual 19 from the Sun (Miss Newcastle apparently):


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 19th, 2010 02:51 pm (UTC)
Our local paper has tried, but is a mere novice. It has students jumping for joy, but two out of the five are boys, and none of the girls are blonde. The results are held at chest height, and the jumping is badly coordinated, so one girl is landing with both feet on the ground, as others are still mid air.

However, to be fair, opening an envelope and reacting to the news isn't very photogenic, so I'm not sure how else they could pose a picture. Well, yes, obviously they could include boys, but the whole thing doesn't really lend itself to dramatic action shots involving abseiling or wild beasts.
Aug. 19th, 2010 02:58 pm (UTC)
The news may not be photogenic but some of the students might be. I suspect the skilled photographer knows which school to go to for the best combination of grades and totty...
Aug. 19th, 2010 03:05 pm (UTC)
Aug. 19th, 2010 03:42 pm (UTC)
And nobody uses a photo of the poor student sitting quietly in the corner in complete despair, which given the national situation about applications would probably be just as fitting. Always awkward to know what (if anything) to say to those ones...
Aug. 19th, 2010 03:47 pm (UTC)
Or the students spending hours on the phone (or internet nowadays?) trying to get somewhere through cearing and having to decide instantly where to live and study for the next three years.

Or (and I'm thinking of you here) the teacher trying to console the student sitting quietly in the corner in complete despair.

Pieces of information that would both situations:

1. Employers often don't care which university you went to. (I think they should, and believe me I've tried to convince JOLF of this.)
2. Or what course you did.
3. So many people go to university nowadays that it doesn't prove anything anyway.
Aug. 19th, 2010 03:56 pm (UTC)
It's mostly on the phone. The lines are jammed, of course, but there's more chance of getting through than finding a stable connection to the UCAS site (which surfaces for 10-second bursts on results day)! Agreed about the general points you make -- I tend to err on the side of leaving the student well alone unless they come to seek me, on the grounds that it's what I'd want.
Aug. 19th, 2010 05:50 pm (UTC)
This is very, very funny. Bet it's the photographers' favourite day of the year.
Aug. 19th, 2010 07:18 pm (UTC)
What she said :-)
Aug. 19th, 2010 06:24 pm (UTC)
Come to think of it, there's normally at least one results photo in the nationals from Newcastle. And it never seems to be from our (mixed) school!

I can confirm that assorted jumping, hugging and squealing does actually occur even in the absence of photographers. However, it's rarely outside in good light..!
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )