2018 image of U.S. girls’ water polo team edited to add sexist text on swimsuits

By: Umme Kulsum
March 20 2024

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2018 image of U.S. girls’ water polo team edited to add sexist text on swimsuits

Screenshot of post showing the altered image and the original photograph. (Source: X/Ransom Everglades School/Modified by Logically Facts to mask identities)


The Verdict Fake

This image has been digitally altered. The original image does not feature the text ‘Not a Dude!’ written on the girls’ swimsuits.

Claim ID 9ba0e2a5

What’s the claim?

Images depicting girls in black swimsuits with the phrase “Not a Dude!” printed across the crotch area are circulating on social media platforms. A user on X (previously known as Twitter) shared the image in a post alongside the caption, “Not dudes!” At the time of writing this article, the post had amassed over 17 million views and 9,000 reshares. Archived versions of similar posts are accessible here and here.

Screenshot of claims made online. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts to mask identities)

The claim presented in these images is the outcome of digital manipulation. Text was added to swimsuits in a photograph from 2018 to spread gender-based misinformation.

What we found

A reverse image search conducted by Logically Facts, utilizing Yandex, uncovered the original version of the widely circulated photograph on Img Box. This version lacked the contentious text “Not a Dude!” on the swimsuits of the female swimmers. The logo on the white shirt worn by one of the women in the picture identifies them as members of the Ransom Everglades Water Polo team. Further investigation revealed that Ransom Everglades is a private school in Miami, Florida. 

Comparison of images (Source: Img Box/X/Modified by Logically Facts to mask identities)

Through Google reverse image search, we could trace the image back to 2018 post, shared by an X user on May 27.

Further investigation into the Ransom Everglades School’s social media presence revealed a photograph, seemingly of the same team in identical swimsuits, celebrating a championship victory in April 2018. The image, posted on the school’s Facebook page, was accompanied by the caption: “Two titles in two hours: Congratulations to our district champion boys' and girls' varsity water polo teams!”

The image of the water polo team uploaded on Facebook in 2018. (Source: Ransom Everglades School/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts to mask identities)

A similar photograph was found on the school’s Instagram account, which credited the photographer, Carl Kafka, in the caption: “@carlkafkaphotography.” Contrary to the viral claim, these photographs showed no such text on the swimsuits.

Logically Facts has contacted the photographer, Kafka, for further comments, and the story will be updated upon receipt of a response.


In January 2024, a controversy erupted surrounding Lia Thomas, a transgender swimmer from the United States, who announced her intention to take legal action for the right to participate in competitive swimming events. This move came in response to regulations established in 2022 that prohibit transgender women from competing in women's swimming categories unless they underwent gender transition before the age of 12. 

Amid this backdrop, a digitally manipulated image featuring a woman in a pink swimsuit circulated online, falsely attributed to Thomas. The creation and sharing of this image seem to parody Thomas's legal battle, illustrating the heightened public and media scrutiny facing transgender athletes today.

The verdict

The investigation proves that the original image did not feature the text “Not A Dude!” on the swimsuits. The image is fake.

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