Tennis girl

This is a piece I submitted for my journalism course. The brief was to write 250 words about a news item, in a general opinion piece stylee.

The girl behind one of the UK’s most iconic images has revealed herself to the world… again. You may not have heard of Fiona Walker but you’ve likely seen the poster of her – walking away on a tennis court, skirt hitched up to reveal a cheeky glimpse of what lies beneath. Ms Walker has remained anonymous for 34 years, but as with most things, secrecy is not important anymore.

Similarly, last year, when Top Gear suffered yet another Stig revelation, it was a slight unraveling at what had been an incredibly important part of the show. A small piece of magnificent theatre ruined for the sake of a book deal.

Scientists continue to study the Mona Lisa painting, searching for clues behind her mischievous smile – if it even is a smile. Do we really need an official answer? Is there any harm in letting people come to their own conclusions?

With answers so readily available at our fingertips, via internet and mobile technology, there are fewer chances to use our imaginations as it is. It’s almost impossible to find yourself in an argument over a dubious fact, because the answer is just a couple of taps away. We need more anonymous items, more questions without known answers, more mystery to ponder over, not less.

Meanwhile, Tennis Girl, as Ms Walker is still being dubbed, made no money from the poster, and doesn’t seem likely to create any revenue by revealing her identity now. Unlike The Stig, there is nothing in it for her, so why break her silence, and shatter the illusions of so many?