Roughly 40 years ago, the U.S. education system took a major step towards equality: We're talkingTitle IX, the amendment specifying that any educational program receiving funds from the federal government cannot discriminate against, deny, or judge a U.S. citizen on the basis of their sex. Because of this, women have been allowed more representation in sports, the sciences, and technical schools. However, gender barriers still exist today and so does the association between testosterone and contact sports—but we didn’t need to tell you that.
What's interesting is how photographer Alejandra Carles‑Tolra's images of stereotype-busting female athletes from Ivy League teams are helping to change things. Her most recent subject? Brown University’s women’s rugby team. Inspired by the strong women, Carles-Tolra found out about their team while it was still only a club and not yet a varsity sport. Her photographs capture the ridiculous amount of resilience, fitness, and toughness rugby requires while also depicting the femininity of the players. The sweaty injuries and intense stares are a huge component of these p extreme beauty of these players, who are determined to re-write what it means to be a woman.