Guest Blogger: Bre Nasypany

Show a Little Leg and They Will Come?

All women have different reasons for playing sports but until recently I was not aware that looking good was one of them. Let’s face it, not all of us look pretty after playing in a game or practice but maybe if we threw on a skirt we would?

Apparently being a competitive, hard-nosed, skilled, athlete isn’t good enough anymore. In order to reel in more fans and money we need to be wearing something for the guys to look at. Women athletes work just as hard as the men, play just as tough, put in the same amount of time and effort in the weight room and on the field, court, pool, or wherever and are definitely just as competitive. So why has being a female athlete turned into a modeling agency? Let us be grass stained and bloody when we are competing. Female athletes should be respected for what they can do in their sport and not for what they show up to play in.

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24 thoughts on “Guest Blogger: Bre Nasypany

  1. I’m guilt of this just this past week–among millions of other Americans. When I saw Venus Williams on the court I immediately thought, “what the hell is she wearing?”

    Female athletes walk a fine line. Danica Patrick is equally famous for her body as she is for her racing. Back to the Williams sisters–they also design their own clothes. Ana Kournikova dry humps Enrique Iglesias in his video. Sports stars have to work harder to become more known in the main stream. They’re not like pop stars where we hear them on the radio 24/7. Perhaps it’s a marketing ploy on the women’s part to get the attention.

    But, I would say guys are just as guilty of this. David Beckham, anyone? Remember a few years ago when L.A. Galaxy paid millions to recruit him and boost popularity in soccer? Too bad he came, busted his ankle, and we all went back to not caring about soccer. BUT, then he takes his shirt off and all is forgiven. That Rinaldo guy has calendars devoted to him. Tom Brady is now red carpet eye candy with his girlfriend when he’s not playing football.

    Normally I would say this a a gender thing where the women have to try harder to get ahead, which is true in a lot of cases. Remember Don Imus, and that ugly comment that managed to be both racist and sexist? But, the world of sports is evolving. It’s not just enough to be good at the sport. You need to be able to work the media and be camera ready.

  2. Sarah Drapela says:

    What about football and baseball pants? I totally agree that athletes are under pressure to look good and that part of it is media induced. But it is not just women and it is not just for the camera. Sex appeal draws a croud.

    I was never all that into watching sports until I got to highschool. It was at that time that one of my friends encouraged me to come along to a baseball game with her because “there will be hot guys wearing tight pants.” She was right and I have been hooked on baseball and football ever since. While I have gotten to the point where I really do enjoy both of those sports for the sport itself, my interest was sparked when I realized that going to football meant I got to look at very fit men wearing tight white pants.

    I also know I am not the only one who is guilty of this. Go to any sporting event and you are bound to hear people talking about how the players on the team look. This is an issue that equally affects both men and women and both sexes are equally responsible for allowing sports to become as much about the looks as the sport itself.

  3. Erin Meehan says:

    I completely agree with Bre about women’s fashion in sports seeming to take a more predominate role than their actual abilities. However, ones’ overall physical appearance in sports in not a new phenomena. I also believe that it is something that men face as well. Another commenter mentioned David Beckham and one can honestly say that he would not be no where near as famous if it was not for his good looks and unique style. This I feel is something that is not completely gender specific in certain cases. Yes, women are under greater pressure to look a certain way but men feel it as well. This brings me to ask then why as a society are we so obsessed with appearances? Why are we taught from such a young age that, “Looking good is half the battle?”. I admit to fall victim to these pressures as well, do I leave my house without looking in the mirror first to make sure I appear at least decent? Yes. Do I feel more confident and happier when I am wearing clothes I like or having a good hair day? Yes. I Know I have digressed greatly from the overall topic of women in sports but I do believe these are important questions and comments to ponder as well.
    Anyway back to women looking sexy on the field/court etc. It brings us back to the readings from class such as “The Feminine Mystique” by Betty Freidan who discusses in her work the great length women would go to in the 1950s to look a certain way. Some women she wrote suffering of cancer refused treatment because, “…it’s side effects were said to be unfeminine” (Freidan 52). This statement in many ways I feel relates to why women exude the need to dress in short skirts and adorn themselves with jewelry while playing sports. Yes, sports is unfortunately dominated by men… thus we must wear earrings, a necklace and numerous bracelets because people may forget we are actually women! How can it be that over a half of century since Freidan we still have not fully realized that the gender roles which exist in the world we created ourselves. I am not at all saying that I do not participate in these roles, I wear lots of jewelry and feel sometimes incomplete if I forget to put something on. My bedroom is decorated with floral prints and light blue and pink… but I think it’s beautiful wouldn’t have it any other way. Maybe it is how I was raised… or it’s biological most likely a little bit of both. Whatever the reason for these roles and our uncontrollable urges to fulfill them to feel satisfied, are buried deep within society and I am not sure if they will ever be fully erased. However, I must admit sorry Serena and Venus but I take all my jewelry off before I go to the gym… sweat and chandelier earrings are never a good combination.

  4. Thank you for blogging about this, Bre! In terms of athletics, media, and gender studies, this is an extremely important issue to discuss.

    Over the summer, I took a course through NYU called “Women and the Media.” For my final project, I researched how the media portray women involved in athletics, specifically the different between female tennis players and female basketball players. I was particularly interested in how different forms of media (TV broadcasts, written articles, etc.) depict women involved in sports. Sports in general say a lot about a society and its gender relationships; they are culture sites, in which social notions and gender relations are reproduced and recirculated.

    I read one article (“Separating the Men From the Girls”), which discussed how gender marking occurred in the men’s and women’s 1989 Final Four and the matches for the 1989 U.S. Open. In addition, the authors discovered a “hierarchy of naming” that was present in these sporting events. The piece stated that in the U.S. Open matches, gender was marked on equal terms (i.e. “men’s doubles finals” and “women’s doubles finals”). The rough symmetry of gender marking in tennis can be attributed to the fact that the men’s and women’s tournament was being played at the same venue, with coverage often cutting back and forth. Therefore, this symmetrical gender marking is necessary (it provides clarification for the audience).

    In the basketball games, however, the women were verbally and graphically marked very frequently. The authors also cited a gender hierarchy of naming that has developed over time. In both tennis and basketball, women were commonly referred to as “girls,” “young ladies,” and “women.” In addition, when the names of female athletes were used, it was the first name in most cases. The authors maintain that this is not due to sexism, but because women tennis players are more likely to be teenage girls (and younger than their male counterparts).

    In both the tennis matches and the basketball games, the ideal of “feminization” was present. This principle dates back to the World War II era. While the men were off fighting the war, the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) was formed. Although this permitted women to participate in baseball – which was viewed as a “male” sport – the players were required to attend charm school; the league emphasized femininity to negotiate compatibility between females and sport as women exhibited male-identified skills on the field. Basically, they needed to take these classes to retain their “feminine” qualities.

    And like you said, Bre, Serena Williams exemplifies this process of “feminization.” She’s always all decked out for her matches—bright headbands, flashing earrings and bracelets, and impossibly short skirts.

  5. kyle Tritten says:

    I firmly believe it is hard to seperate these categories as to saying that women sports need to look sexy when they play as compared to men. In all sports both men and women sex sells. Look at the male sports, football, baseball, and soccer. In football and baseball they wear tight pants, and in soccer their seen as “pretty boys” always look respectful in their facial and hair characteristics. But female are at somewhat of a disadvantage. They are competeing with male sports and what has been a predominantly in sports male dominant. And in one aspect females do need to have a little bit extra sexy looking in order to presuade spectators from male sports to female sports. But i agree with the fact that it goes both ways as Sarah stated with women going male sports based on their uniforms. I feel we are all guilty of this in one way or another whether you realize it or not. In today’s society so much revolves around looks and sex. So either sports male or female the slogan “sex sells” plays into both industries alot in today’s day and age.

  6. Cory Andrews says:

    I agree that athletes walk a fine line, male or female. By virtue of their profession they’re constantly fit and in shape, which is something we as a society find attractive. I don’t, however, think that men and women are both equally affected by sexuality in sports. I don’t think football or major league baseball would lose substantial viewers if the pants weren’t as tight. Women’s tennis, on the other hand, probably would. Even from other men within in the sport of tennis, I hear them talk about only watching women’s matches because one of the players is hot. (I personally would think that if you like tennis in the first place, why not watch women’s matches to enjoy the match itself? Same for any other women’s sport).

    Venus Williams’ dress at this years US Open was rather tight. But at the same time, her play was strong as well as she reached the semifinals. Venus is an established player with hall-of-fame credentials, so I would argue she doesn’t NEED to dress in a certain way to garner attention. But then why does she?

  7. Conor Callahan says:

    Of course we are all guilty. I think the fact that women are starting to wear skirts and such playing soccer is an issue that brings up numerous questions. One of my biggest questions is sports like lacrosse. Why don’t girls just wear the same equipment and have the same rules as boys do. The game of lacrosse for girls is entirely different than that of males, they are given a pair of glasses, a stick and book full of rules, where you can’t invade the space of a shooter, and you can’t check a stick because it might endanger the player. Why don’t they just get the same equipment and rules as guys? Ok so maybe they won’t look as feminine…That should be the decision of the player if they want to play the game or not. There is no need for the game to be completely changed to suit the appearance of the gender. This is only my opinion of course, but our culture is very sexually biased when it comes to athletics. I mean why is there no womens football league? Because it’s not seen as feminine to hit people and play a sport that has only been played by men for years?

  8. Ashlinn Barber says:

    Female athletes rarely get the respect they deserve. While Serena wins over America with her fierce serve and shiny outfits, hardly anyone acknowledges her athletic capabilities. Sure, you hear about her wins and her injuries, but how much do you hear about the training that she does to prepare for competitions? For example, one discussion that is common during the US Open is the commentators discussion of training rituals, such as where the player trains, who their coach is, or how many hours they put in the gym daily. But Serena? The commentators are too busy discussing her fashion forward appearance.

    There are two sides to this argument about female athletes. I argue that female athletes are judged based on their sport and their popularity. Have you ever watched a WNBA game on TV? Well, if you catch a midnight showing of ESPN 2, you might find a game on repeat when 20 people can watch it. Famous commentators like Rebecca Lobo aren’t critiquing what Sue Bird is wearing. Lobo is emphasizing Bird’s strengths on the court and her ability to see the open player. I have noticed that when commentators are females who have played the sport they are more likely to acknowledge physical strengths in players rather than outside knowledge that is not relevant to the game. This sisterhood between female athletes is the only chance that women have! Female athletes are discussed based on their sport. Take for example Sue Bird and Misty May. People don’t focus on May’s toned and athletic body. They focus on her small bikini. This comes from the feminization of athletics. Discussions about female appearance in athletics is a way of keeping females on the back burner. Women can participate in sports and even make a career out of it, but society is going to make sure they are still women and not athletes. Serena is a perfect example of a high status athlete. She is fashion forward, shows up in the pages of Sports Illustrated and People magazine, and designs her own uniforms. Of course she is going to get criticized! Society still has not accepted powerful women. Serena has it all! She can be a powerful, and dominating athlete while still maintaining a female look. People do not criticize female soccer or basketball players because they still maintain the typical uniform. Radical dress has put Serena on top of women in sports because she is breaking out of the norm.

  9. Maggie Bernay says:

    I totally agree with the post. Women athletes are constantly being held to a certain standard. Women are supposed to be athletically talented while also looking good on the court or field. Women athletes are held to different standards than men are. For example, in the 1999 Women’s World Cup, Brandi Chastain tore off her shirt out of complete celebration after scoring the winning goal. The media and public went crazy and many thought this was completely inappropriate. I wonder if the media would have cared if a male soccer player would have done the same. I am sure he would have gotten praise from the audience and attention from the women. In fact in most professional soccer games, men of both teams take off the shirts right after the game and trade jerseys with the other team. Men and women athletes are constantly being held to different standards. What should we do about this or is this the nature of the game?
    Just like athletes, men and women at the gym who may not be athletes just the average male or female working out are seen differently. For example, we have all seen the woman at the gym who is wearing tight spandex shorts and a revealing shirt who is covered in jewelry and has coated on one too many sprays of perfume and who is barely jogging on the treadmill. We all have also seen the man in the cut-off tee showing off his muscles while he is lifting weights. This stereotype is not only in athletics but also in everyday life. Will it always be like this?

  10. Tom Michaud says:

    I really disagree with the idea that sex sells sports. because by that standard women’s sports would be more popular than men’s. men’s sports are more popular because men rule the world. Fact. Women’s sports will never beat out guys sports while guys sports are still around. Guys are bigger, stronger, and faster. The women might work just as hard and put in as much dedication as the guys, but you can’t tell me that the best male athletes won’t beat the best female athletes on their respect fields the majority of the time. like ok, example. Does anyone believe that venus or kim clijsters would beat federer or nadal? And if you do, what have you been smoking? And dont talk about dannica patrick either. car driving is not a sport (even for guys), its an everyday activity that people all around the world need to do. But fact of the matter is that girls and guys sports are different. Our society says that women cant play football, that high school girls hockey has to be non-contact, that girls lacrosse has to be basically a completely different sport. In america, we still cant past the notion of women doing things outside the house. my favorite line about this sort of topic is that “women don’t sweat. they glisten.” I just think that really sums up the whole debate and what people think.

  11. ar5047 says:

    It’s a decent point about the skirts attracting men to watch women sports. I guess it can work, but lets tear this idea apart. For starters, even women sports that have the ladies wear skirts do not have a big fan base. For example field hockey. The Herons wear skirts, but after going to several of their games, I have noticed that event though the ladies wear skirts, there aren’t many people in the stands. The only fans at the games are parents and friends of the players that wouldn’t be there but are there to support their friends.

    I do agree that women put a lot of work into being ready to compete. Your team in particular works very hard, and I agree that you guys should get recognition for it. As I write this, I hear how you girls have 6 AM practices. But you must understand, that everything is a business. If for whatever reason, people do not want to go to women games, then something has to change in order to encourage it. I know its tough to face this, being that you are an athlete, but you must understand that if enough people are not watching the sport, then there isn’t any money to continue these sports.

    This is one of the reasons why I have a problem with title 9. I say that if a women’s sport is successful then it should continue being funded, but if it isn’t then it should be terminated. I say the same about men’s sports. This problem is tough because men normally dominate sports.

  12. Jr. Woodard says:

    I feel with almost anything sex sells. I think it is not too much of an issue for girls to wear skirts in soccer games. I mean thats what girls do. They wear skirts. I mean whatever the business teams have to do to put the fans in the stands then why be a hater. I dont think it is such a slap in the face to put skirts on these girls. Maybe its just a new trend. However, i do tend to feel that women sports are not as much appreciated or fairly treated than mens sports. WNBA women get paid less than a male basketball player and that is my point exactly. The girls that play in that league are as talented at what they do and work as hard as they can to get to that professional level just as a man in the NBA. Yeah, maybe it is more boring haha but come on lets treat our women with a little more respect and pay them.

  13. Marcela Melara says:

    In all honesty, and like everybody before me has stated, sports should be about the abilities of the athletes and important tournaments. But I do also realize that with the immense presence of the media at major sports events, it has become increasingly important to also maintain a good image for the camera. Nevertheless, I believe only a small portion of all the athletes, this includes women and men, wearing rather revealing clothes is ever mentioned, and the rest, well their attire either is part of the show or necessary to be successful at the specific sport.

    First off, regarding Venus Williams… I agree, I wouldn’t have worn this dress to play tennis either, but she has not been the first female tennis player to wear sequins and long shiny earrings on the court. A couple years ago, Maria Sharapova (you may or may not know her, she has done some commercials) wore a black dress with sequins for the U.S. Open as well, and I don’t remember people criticizing her nearly as much. Other professional female tennis players, predominantly Europeans, in the last couple years have worn make-up, nail polish, and carried actual purses onto the tennis court… Where is all the fuss about that? Is this where race comes in? Why would it matter?

    But going back to my original point about the criticism of attire depending on the sport, take figure skating, for example. I’d say 99% of the time, the women wear short sparkly dresses. But this sport is a show about gracefulness and appearance, so pretty much nobody would ever comment on how tight the dress was, or that you could look under the skirt when she was doing a triple-axle. Another example I want to give, one about men this time, is swimming. If it wasn’t for all the muscular men in tight swim pants and without a shirt, would that many people (especially women) still watch swimming competitions? And I was looking at the football players on TV tonight, and man, they have tight pants, too. So it’s not like only the women have a bigger audience for showing their bodies. It works both ways…

    There is another factor that plays a role when “being shocked” about an athlete’s attire: age. Talking about tennis, Cory mentioned in class the other day that the media was talking about Venus Williams’ short, sparkly dress, but not the current world number one’s, Caroline Wozniacki, super-short skirt. Yes, Venus’ dress would obviously draw more attention because it was bright magenta and sparkly, but she is also about 10 years older than Caroline Wozniacki. The media is alright with younger women revealing their bodies, but once they start getting older – and not that Venus looks 30, but she is – clothes like her oh so scandalous dress starts to become inappropriate for some people. What’s this all about?

  14. Sam Higgs says:

    I never knew female soccer players went from regular shorts to skirts. I know I would be real uncomfortable if my high school basketball coach told me we had to wear tighter shorts so more girls would come and stare at our gluteus maximus’. It cant be right for women to have to worry about their game at hand and worry about how they look. I can not lie, Venus and Serena Williams make tennis very attractive with the outfits they wear. I probally would not watch a bit of tennis unless they were playing. It is kind of sad to admit but it is a real issue. As hard as it is for a women to even be seen as equal to a man, they have to subject themselves to appeal to a man, just in order recieve any type of exposure. For example, google Danika Patrick. You will see a few main pictures. All nine of those pictures are of Danika Patrick in a revealing swimsuit. Next, google Michael Jordan. Scroll down the page and all you see is videos and pictures of Jordan playing basketball. Danika is a professional race car driver. She is mainly sponsered by godaddy.com. All her pictures on the first page of google show her half naked, most likely promoted by godaddy.com. Michael Jordan was a professional basketball player sponsered by nike. All his media on the first page of google portray him as such. Why is Danika portrayed as a swimsuit model, when in actuality, her profession is racing? Why don’t we see Michael Jordan modeling a pair of Hanes finest briefs when we google his name? Food for thought.

  15. Colleen Lukas says:

    As an athlete myself I have made jokes with my teammates like, “If you look good you play good!” But obviously that’s not the case at all. Reading this post made me think about the uniforms my team wears and how they are designed to “make us look good.” Not only are they different from a men’s basketball jersey, in that they are razor back jerseys, but they are also extremely tight fitting. Much tighter fitting than a men’s jersey would be. In addition, ever since we got these new uniforms it seems like my teammates and I get more comments about how tight our jersey are than about how well we are playing. As an athlete it sucks to know that when you step on the field or the court many people are paying more attention to your uniforms than your athletic talents.

  16. Matt Hursh says:

    I certainly agree that sports should not be about sex appeal at all. Sports are raw and intense, and a close competition will rip anyone down to their core, exposing anything and everything inside them. With that said, I still appreciate sports like women’s tennis because I can appreciate the amount of dedication those athletes do to perform at such a high level. And given their work ethic and determination as athletes, it’s incredibly disrespectful to focus the discussion on the clothes they wear on the court rather than the emotions they wear on their sleeve.
    Still, I can’t help but wonder if athletes like the Williams sisters turn the focus towards fashion themselves, spoiling it for the rest of women’s athletes. Remember, the Williams sisters took a year off from their sport to focus on their fashion careers. And they’re not the only ones. Almost all women’s tennis players are given millions to wear fashionable outfits on the court, and they embrace it. The fact is that fashion is an inextricable part of the sport of women’s tennis, and the players are partly to blame.
    Other sports, however, seem to be different. Personally, I respect women’s athletes even more when they are able to get dirty and bloody when putting everything they have into their competition. Women’s soccer, hockey and basketball players are good examples of athletes that put their heart into the competition and are not worried about looks. However, I can’t help but wonder if sports like women’s tennis ruin the reputation of women’s athletes in general.

  17. Mike Brown says:

    I believe that we live in a culture which does tend to objectify women but when does agency become involved? When we see a magazine cover with a woman dressed “provocatively” we ask why did “they” make her wear that and not why did she choose to wear that. We draw too many conclusions, we see one thing and call it another. Maybe a magazine photo shoot is a bad example but one thing that comes to mind is the drama over the mexican reporter who was being heckled by the Jets football team. Sure they’re wrong for heckling her, but to be honest…what do you expect to happen.. in a locker room….full of football players. There are way too many public apologies and way too much media attention over this. Im NOT at all saying she deserved to be heckled but if you stand under a tree full of birds expect to get shit on.

  18. Michael Kane says:

    I understand many of the arguments presented, and yet the issue at hand comes down to women’s choice. It is not as if these uniforms are being forced upon them or that they are somehow not in control of what they wear. In the US, some of the major professional sports governing bodies are called the following; The National Basketball Association, The National Football League, Major League Baseball, and The Professional Golfers Tour. No where in any of those names does gender become involved. Furthermore, no where does it say that women are forbid.
    Women create a different expectation from their sports because they have decided that equally means 1 for 1. If there exists a professional sports body and it happens to be employing all men, there too should be a women’s professional sports body. From this separation comes the discussion of disparity in skill. Just as a fan would not watch a Division II basketball game on channel 2 if a Division I game was on 3, tuning into the WNBA is hardly a decision that runs through their mind if a game of higher skilled players is also being aired. Maybe the answer to equality in sports and the nature of sports appeal is have 1 professional league.
    As women’s sports have developed, women have become far more skilled in their respective sports. However, in order to eliminate differences in broadcasting or sex-appeal, I believe the next step is to integrate with the men. Just as Michelle Wie has done in previous years, playing with the men will ensure an equal comparison between genders and promote professional sports as they should be, the summit of skill and athleticism regardless of gender.

  19. Kylie B. says:

    After hearing about this post in class I knew I had to post something since I participate in a sport that is truly based on half talent/ half looks. I will admit it, Figure Skating is a sport where it is pretty much a requirement to wear very short skirts/ tight pants/ low cut dresses etc. not to mention all the makeup/ diamond stud earrings and sometimes a necklace here or there. I know there are some people out there who will argue it is not a sport because of this or that it is not as “tough” as say soccer or lacrosse, but to those people I ask them to try a double or triple jump over and over again constantly falling on the ice and bruising your entire body.

    Maybe sports such as Gymnastics and Figure Skating have caused other sports such as tennis and soccer to become more “sexualized” in the way they dress I couldn’t actually tell you when it started but it is interesting to see that attention to looks in sports is moving outside of the “pretty sports” and into the more tom-boy rough sports! Maybe these other sports will know what it is like to walk into a grocery store in their uniform and get odd looks of…wow why is she/he wearing that?!

  20. Claire Criniti says:

    So after reading the original post and the comments that followed, I wanted to look up what the actual definition of “sport” was. Now I know that almost everything in our society is heavily influenced by our culture and sometimes that is simply unavoidable, but activities like sports don’t necessarily have to be. The definition of sport (taken from dictionary.com) is, (n) an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature, as racing, baseball, tennis, golf, bowling, wrestling, boxing, hunting, fishing, etc. While I understand there are also other definitions, I feel that at the end of the day what a defines “sport(s)” is athleticism. So why have sports become a gendered sphere, where once again men and women are separated? Why do sports commentators, whose jobs are to discuss sports, choose to talk about uniforms and outfits (specifically those worn by women)?

    Hard work is not defined by gender, determination is not defined by gender, winning and loosing is not defined by gender and therefore neither should playing sports . Colleen makes a good point in her blog when she says, “that it sucks to know when you step on a field or court many people are paying more attention to your uniforms then your athletic talents”. What defines great athletes isn’t what they are wearing, it is what they do. Femininity shouldn’t be a concern on the athletic field. Like Bre said in her blog, since when has looking good become a qualification for women playing sports. I don’t look good after practice, and I also don’t care, and no one else should care for that matter. Focusing on the athletes and the sports they play should be the the number one concern.

  21. Conor, I completely agree with your point about women’s lacrosse. I tell people this all the time: If women’s lacrosse were played like the men’s game, I would’ve given the sport a try. Unfortunately, my experience was limited to a handful of days in gym class.

    I would also try football in a heartbeat. At my high school, there is one girl who plays football. I believe she’s on the modified team currently, and her decision to play was criticized heavily: What is she thinking? How can her parents let her play? Why doesn’t she play a female sport instead? I’m interested to see how the story plays out. Technically, because of Title IX, she cannot be cut from the varsity squad on a basis of sex, but I cannot picture my small, conservative hometown letting a girl put on pads and play football.

    A couple of people have mentioned sports in which skirts or kilts are commonly worn. I played field-hockey in high school, and we wore kilts. I’m not going to lie, they were pretty baller—they were shiny and reversible. On a more serious note, I think sports like field-hockey, golf, lacrosse (and even volleyball to an extent) wear the uniforms they do because of tradition. Although my field-hockey teammates and I wore normal shorts and t-shirts for practices, I couldn’t imagine playing in a game and not wearing a kilt. With this idea of tradition comes its institution, its relevant ideologies. If the history of field-hockey didn’t dictate that its athletes (yes, athletes, men must rock the kilts as well) wear kilts, would it change how the sport is perceived? Simply because field-hockey players have always donned kilts, tradition will prevent anything from dramatically changing in most cases.

  22. Brooke says:

    Well I am pretty late to respond to this post so I didn’t really read many of the post but I just have something interesting to add here. I interned with the Boston Breakers of the Women’s Pro Soccer (WPS) league. They are in the first picture on this post. And in the office we were talking about the whole skirt thing. I asked if they actually were supposed to wear skirts for their uniform, because as seen above they wore them during their “preseason fashion show”. They told me that Puma wanted them to wear skirts for their jerseys. The players absolutely refused to wear skirts so it never happened. Though some women’s teams do wear skirts overseas for Puma. After the skirts in the WPS were refused Puma wanted to do a onesie uniform, but the women also refused that. It’s funny because Puma is the one trying to set a fashion statement.

  23. Bre Nasypany says:

    Just a little side comment about women athletes getting less attention and respect than the men’s teams in sports at all levels…. When the NCAA tournament brackets were set to be announced on a Monday morning in mid-November, our William Smith soccer team gathered to watch the brackets be announced on a live showing via webcast. We waited and waited until finally the sports communication man we got a twitter from the NCAA saying that there was not live showing for the women’s bracket but the men’s show would be on later that day. Did that tick us off? Of course it did. To this day even at the highest levels within collegiate athletics there is discrimination. Did the NCAA office mean to discriminate against women when they decided not to show the live bracket? Probably not, but by webcasting the men’s show and not the women’s we heard, “The men are more important.”

  24. Jacqueline Murphy says:

    Women are constantly held to a certain standard and that does not change because of sports. Women in sports are now being held to a certain standard of clothing. We are athletes and not models. If we wanted to model I am sure we would not be playing sports at the same time. Why does it require short skirts and skin-tight clothing for anyone to recognize women’s athletics? Women in sports are not given credit or respect when it comes to their sports. Broadcasters never focus on how well a woman is in their specific sport, rather they focus on what they are wearing and appearance of that woman. I personally think it is ridiculous that women now are wearing skirts when they are playing soccer. Is that real? If someone is not going to come and watch me play my sport based on what I am wearing I wouldn’t want them there to begin with. How does a female soccer player play in a skirt? They are running around, kicking their legs high in the air getting after balls and sliding at the ball. How can you expect/allow a female soccer player to wear a skirt. I feel as though women should be able to wear what they want when they are competing. Well maybe not whatever but they should be comfortable while they are playing their sport.
    Women athletes are constantly being held to a certain standard when it comes to what they are doing. They are supposed to be good-looking, hard-working, and sexy all while trying to be rough, physical, and competitive. How are women supposed to do all of this at once? We are running around getting sweaty because we are working hard, so realistically it is hard to look good while we are trying to train and play well. I think it is foolish that women have to try and pull in fans by showing off their bodies. If the fans are there to watch their bodies and not their athletic abilities why bother even going?

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