Rain Dove: We Need to Talk About Gender │ The Men vs Women Olympic Athlete Attire
I’m releasing a series of images today (as well as over the weekend) tackling the aftermath of the Olympics through sexism and fashion. Enjoy and share! I took on MENS vs WOMENS Olympic athlete attire. Practical or Sexploitation? You decide!
These people play the same sport — so why don’t they remotely wear close to the same things?
Some of it has to do with design and some has to do with sexual oppression. Together with Mark Wijsman, we created these five images after studying the Olympics. Because the aftermath will not just be an empty stadium, medal winners/losers, and endorsement deals gained. It will also be the statement that the Olympics made about the GLOBALLY accepted standards and values set for “men” and “women”. (Because it’s all binary!)
Kids will be going back to school soon knowing that these are the top athletes in the world. Knowing that this is how you have to dress to be a professional. And statistically 6/10 “women” will stop playing athletics they love in college and highschool because of “body image” or exposure.
This Olympic year had more “women” playing then ever before… But as you check these series of posts, you will see. We still have a bit of a way to go before all bodies are treated equally.
Beach Volleyball — men typically wear loose long shorts and a baggy-ish muscle shirt. Hats and sunglasses are frequently seen. Women often opt for bikini bottoms and a sports bra creating a striking difference between the two sexes. In 2012 the rules changed to allow women to wear short shorts and even approved covering (this year Muslim athletes were allowed to compete in covered gear… That had to be approved first). Many people say this is a sexist sport and the statements from athletes are split. Some say that wearing so little is actually easier to play the sport in and better for the sand. Some say that they need to look good for endorsements and sponsorship opportunities. So covering up isn’t an option. Pressure? Or practical?
Tennis — “Women” may wear a skirt, dress, or short shorts. But their fashion choices are commented on more (statistically 60-65 times more) often then “Men”. With most “men’s” games not mentioning the players outfits at all. The flip side is that “men” don’t get a lot of choices at all- so while there’s no worry, there’s also no freedom. (Ps fun fact…I’ve never played tennis before. No clue what to do besides hit the ball. Every other photo in the tennis shoot I look like a confused baseball player or cave person stalking their prey. Lol!)
Track — women often run with a full face of makeup and wear short shorts and a sports bra. Men wear long tight spandex to the knee and semi tight muscle shirts. When doing this challenge I actually found that the women’s attire is easier to move in. Faster. But if you are body conscious or have large breasts then you may want to swap uniforms.
Swimming — one of the few sports where “men” bare more skin than “women”. Because of Facebook guidelines And cultural titty shaming I had to stand with the towel over my chest for the men’s outfit.
Gymnastics — women bare their legs and suffer moderate camel toe in their one piece arm covered attire. They wear full make up and often glitter everywhere. Men usually have long pants or leg covering and have only bare shoulders. Part of this is because of the fact that each competes in different types of gymnastics. And part is because a onesie would hug curves that the world has apparently agreed would be best left Unhugged. Men don’t usually wear makeup either. But their events are watched 50% less to women’s events.
Our younger generation is watching and they are affected. I know that in many occasions, girls quit a sport they are passionate about simply because of the fact that their outfits are far more revealing and they get insecure about their bodies. THIS IS NOT RIGHT.