Is St Albans Beer Festival sexist?

A CONTROVERSIAL picture in the programme for the St Albans Beer Festival has been altered after questions were raised about its suitability.

The picture, described as sexist and a backward step, shows a young female model with her bare midriff on show as she holds a pint aloft.

One Herts Advertiser reader contacted us to say it was disappointing and queried whether images like this would broaden the appeal of the festival to women, as CAMRA are keen to do.

She said: “CAMRA is a high-profile group in our city and the beer festival attracts lots of visitors. I think using this photograph shows poor judgement and will put many women off attending the beer festival.”

Defending CAMRA’s actions, John Bishop, publicity organiser for St Albans and Beer Festival, explained that despite appearances, the shirt the model was wearing was a medium sized and that the woman had chosen to roll it up without any prompts from them.

He said: “I guess we’d need to ask the amateur model why many of her generation do this. No intention to portray other than a fashion statement.”

The picture has since been cropped in the programme and no longer reveals her stomach but remains in its original form on the festival’s website.