Sex Appeal to Market Our Athletes Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

They are there to play and not to show off their bodies.

Female athletes with larger body size will find discomforts in the tightly fitted uniforms. This then presents problem to safety. The female athletes who will not be at ease to the required uniform could not focus on the game she is playing. She will, from time to time, try to rearrange, pull or push some parts o the garment where she thinks she needs to be covered. With such attention that will be given to the garment, how can it be assured that the athlete will be safe in performing on her sporting event?

Lastly, female athletes who have larger body size will not be motivated to join any sporting activities anymore because of the fear for negative judgments from the crowd and the media. The sports arena is becoming more of an area for the body image issues. Teenage girls who are uncomfortable with wearing shorts or small skirts are hesitant to continue playing their sports.

A bipartisan report produced from a Senate inquiry into women's participation in sport found that teenage girls were leaving amateur sports because of body image issues exacerbated by uniforms." (Burke, 2006)

The Argument

Assert point 1. Many female athletes today are famous and are continuously becoming a household name not for their sporting abilities but because of their beautiful faces and good body image.

Yes, granted that the female athletes have climbed themselves up to the ladder of success. They forced themselves to continue playing and earning medals of success for the love of sports. However, such success always ends up with the female athletes commercializing their physical attributes to earn more. Those with better physical attributes tend to be the crowd favorite. Those who looks sexier in the uniforms tend to receive more offers of products endorsements. Those who wear tighter and skimpier garments tend to receive more focus by television and media companies.

This is not the case among male athletes. For the male athletes, they don't have to wear shorts and/or tight-fitting uniforms to be noticed. Their skills and abilities in sports are highlighted better than the female athletes. Yes, at some point in time, face value of the value athletes also matters, but the fact remains that they do not have to wear any revealing clothes to be noticed.

There is a double standard when it comes to male and female athletes. Can anybody tell me why Anna Kournikova is a household name? It has nothing to do with her tennis skills, which honestly are really not very good. It has a whole lot more to do with that face and that body of hers. She is using her assets to her advantage. This probably takes away from those women who may not look like her (who does?) but are equally talented, if not more so." (Gitlin, 2000)

It may be argued that there is nothing wrong with having beautiful faces or of voluptuous body for an athlete. But what is wrong is the concept that the female body and face becoming more revealing because of the tight or clad-fitted garments that are designed as their uniforms. Through the scantily designed uniforms, the female athletes are admired not of their skills and abilities but because of their bodies. Much worst is the fact that they have become the common target of "desires" for the men population, again not because of their skills and abilities in their chosen sporting events but because of their revealing pictures and images.

A it is really hard to believe that female athletes are taken more seriously when it is evident that the polls and surveys existing nowadays such as in, which is less mature and only slightly more clever than something that can be found in Teen Magazine are focused on the sexy images of the so-called "known" female athletes. The "Beauty Pageant" displays pictures of Kournikova, volleyball player Gabrielle Reese and boxer Mia St. John, accompanied by lewd comments and the opportunity to choose the male's favorite chickie/female athlete. "(Gitlin, 2000)

Why and how are these images existed? The media contribute greatly for this. Nowadays, the media have increased its focus in giving more highlights to the physical attributes of female athletes. These highlights are done in a way that the body images are given more importance at the expense of the sporting achievements. Thus, the female athletes are portrayed more with the idea of titillating factors of the naked or scantily clad bodies than as a real sportswoman (Phillips, 1997).

There are different studies conducted that female athletes struggle greatly to become renowned but results also reveal that they struggle less if they can attract the media much more than any other athletes.

The best strategy, as believed by the female athletes, to attract the media is by wearing noticeable garments that will help in "exposing" or highlighting their bodies. More so, to get the media's attention in a longer term basis, female athletes need to maintain their image by wearing the same type and/or style of uniforms. The more noticeable the garments are, the longer the camera will be focused on them.

When compared to the male athletes, personification of the female athletes is entirely different. For the male athletes, their performance is much important, while for the female athletes, their physical appearance gets to have more comments.

Women were often photographed in inactive shots, in relationship caricatures or as models; men were more often shown in active poses, less in relationships and never as models" (Phillips, 1997).

With such idea, the male athletes become the image for activeness, toughness, aggression and good sporting abilities, while the female athletes are more of an image for sexy bodies, facial attributes and an item of beauty. It can be easily perceived that because of this, the image of the male athletes are more related the sports where they perform, while the female athletes are just a passing item to be admired for their physical attributes and not because they also do well in sports.

A the writing that described women's and men's sport reinforced a gender dichotomy. Women were stereotyped by their physical traits, their clothes, their emotions and their relationships; men by their courage, aggression and toughness... These socially constructed images lead to a gender hierarchy in which women's sport is not taken as seriously as men's." (Phillips, 1997).

Assert Point 2. With the scantily uniforms being used by the female athletes today, they are more exposed to sexual exploitation.

Female athletes who are used to wearing skimpy and/or tightly-fitted garments do receive numerous offers for product endorsements like wines, cigarettes, men's cologne and the likes. These products may be entirely different but there is one common denominator - and that is the concept that the product itself is specifically designed for men but the use of the female athletes as endorsers aroused the idea that the females are just the "males' materials."

The female athletes are the common subject of sexual exploitation because they allow themselves to be the subject of such acts. They choose to wear garments that are exposing even the supposed to be private parts of their bodies. They pose on camera shots and commercial advertisements which are not sporty in concept or in nature. They allow themselves to be commercialized not on the aspect of sports or of them being athletic, but on the aspect of their sexy bodies. This is enough reason to believe that the female athletes who are fond of wearing scantily uniforms are losing their own image as an athlete. They are now comparable to the runway models or commercial athletes whose physical attributes is considered an asset, instead of what is in their minds or what they can do.

Assert point 3. The female athletes who are wearing scantily uniforms are not putting their self-image as an athlete to a losing end, but also they are promoting wrong connotation to the aspiring athletes. With the way female athletes wear their uniforms, they are subjecting their admirers and fans to have the wrong perceptions of body image.

It should be noted that there are younger generations avidly watching the athletes - females or even male ones. With the falsely constructed image of the female athletes wearing skimpy and tight-fitted uniforms, posing like a model in a sexy fashion, they are promoting the idea that what they are doing are what and how female athletes should be.

Girls and women are constantly bombarded with images of female athletes cum models on television, magazines or other forms of media. Nowadays, most of the teenage girls wanted to be skinny and wear skimpy shorts and skirts like the female athlete models and starve themselves in order to attain the body shape and size of the female athlete tuned models (Mendelowitz). Skinny athletes having atypical body size and ideal shape affecting numerous women worldwide obsessed with having the figure of…

Sources Used in Documents:

references of college women basketball players. Master's Thesis

Ford, S., & Feather, B. (May, 1993). Women's basketball uniform analysis. Final report presented to Russell Athletic Corporation.

Gitlin Cara. (November 2000). "Male gawkers have all the fun." The John Hopkins News Letter.

Girls Skip Meals to be like Skinny Models." 04 Feb. 2003. BBC Newsround. 8 Aug. 2005.

Hellmich, "Do thin models warp girls' body image?" 26 September 2006. USA Today. 30 Nov. 2006.

Cite This Term Paper:

"Sex Appeal To Market Our Athletes" (2006, December 09) Retrieved September 28, 2020, from

"Sex Appeal To Market Our Athletes" 09 December 2006. Web.28 September. 2020. <>

"Sex Appeal To Market Our Athletes", 09 December 2006, Accessed.28 September. 2020,