The issue here is that a female tennis player, being interviewed after a big victory, was asked to "do a twirl" to show off her tennis dress. She was not the only player in the tournament who was asked - in fact, Serena Williams (arguably the most famous tennis player in the world) was also asked to show off her skirt with a little pirouette. The reporter who asked for the twirl was slammed for his "blatant display of sexism".
First off, I am not really a tennis fan. I used to play, just a little bit, but I was never very good, and I don't think I could ever sit through a match as a spectator. I DO, however, absolutely love some of the cute outfits women in tennis wear. Tennis is a sport in which women can get away with looking absolutely fabulous while still being an absolute BEAST on the court.
I can't even manage to look that good when I go to fancy parties!
And let's not even focus on just tennis. There's an entire industry built on "looking good while working out" - the days of sweaty-pitted t-shirt and ratty gym shorts are over. The fitness fashion industry is growing rapidly, and it's for the same reason ANY facet of the fashion industry grows: people (especially women) like to be noticed for the way they look. I sure do. Getting a compliment for my outfit always puts a smile on my face, and I guarantee I'm not the only one who feels this way.
So why, when a woman wears a cutesy outfit that is by design meant to be eye-catching is asked to show off that outfit, are we up in arms over sexism? No, reports aren't asking male tennis players to "do a twirl", but they also aren't wearing outfits that, well, twirl. Here's the thing about women in sports like tennis: it's an individual sport, you're not in a uniform - you get to CHOOSE what you wear on the court. You can choose to follow the fashion industry and wear outfits that are designed to be feminine and noticeable, or you can choose to wear something more modest or unisex. Making that choice can certainly affect the way you are seen when you are in the spotlight - but it's a choice that is on your shoulders. If you don't want to be noticed for a girly tennis skirt, don't wear a girly tennis skirt. It isn't really "sexist" for a person to pay attention to the attention-grabbing outfit you pulled out of the closet in the morning.
Of course, there are lines that can be crossed. Asking her to lift up her skirt and show her undershorts? That's a little more over the line. Asking her to twirl in her skirt? I'm struggling to see the sexism there. In fact, I sometimes wear twirly skirts for the sole purpose of getting to twirl in them! It maybe girly, but it's hardly sexist.
Because all of us stop to pose in the middle of EVERY workout.
What do you guys (and gals) think? If we're going to build multi-million dollar industries around fitness fashion for women, is it fair to then bash the people who call attention to the fashion aspect of fitness? Was this reporter crossing the line, or just making a cute play to the fans? I'd love to hear other opinions on this one!