New Uniforms for the Sexylympics and WTF?

I guess I should just be glad that the IOC isn’t considering THIS judo uniform…

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  I love, love, LOVE the Olympics.  In general, I don’t watch much TV.  I haven’t had cable for many years.  But for two weeks out of every two years, my entire life stops and I become an Olympiholic.  But darn it all Olympics, you’re making me so sad!

A while back we heard that there are several sports on the chopping block for inclusion in upcoming Olympic games.  Not surprisingly, many of these are the less “sexy” sports– the ones without sexy sound tracks or spectacular equipment, the ones without form fitting, revealing, sexy outfits.  The sport of Taekwondo is one of those sports considered most at risk.  So in an effort to spice things up, the World Taekwondo Federation is reviewing some new uniforms, especially for the lady fighters.

Don’t get me wrong.  This uniform is far from pornographic.  Unlike the women’s beach volleyball uniforms, it does manage to cover most of the body.  But this uniform proposal does leave me with a few nagging questions:

1.  What is the motivation for the change, and

2.  Will the uniform change equally for men and women?

Now, as this piece in the Powder Room points out, it appears that much of this site is translated loosely into English.  It’s difficult to know how much of this is because of a mangled English translation.  But the site does give me cause for concern.

On the one hand, the site lists a desire to move up to more technical fabrics that move and bend with the body (good) and will allow the sport to attach all of the important sensors that help spectators and judges know what is happening during the match (also good).  But the site also states that:

The most important reason is to take a better advantage of our female competitors because they are a treasure.  It is important to show that practicing Taekwondo gives good health, helps to stay fit and gives a beautiful body shape.  This last issue must be exploited and must be used to promote Taekwondo in this specific moment, after the success in the Olympics and a great World Championship, to attract television and mass media interest.

The site also states:

The most important reason is to take a better advantage of our female competitors because they are a treasure.  It is important to show that practicing Taekwondo gives good health, helps to stay fit and gives a beautiful body shape.  This last issue must be exploited and must be used to promote Taekwondo in this specific moment, after the success in the Olympics and a great World Championship, to attract television and mass media interest.

Female beach volleyball uniforms help amateur spectators (and lecherous camera people) determine the difference between male and female players…

I guess I shoulda seen this coming.  After all the World Taekwondo Federation acronym is “WTF”.  And with last year’s Gold-Medal-winning gymnastics hair kerfluffle and soft core porn “sports reels” this is just one of a long, long line of disappointments.

And I haven’t even begun to speak yet about the IOC’s response to Russia’s “reassurances” that their laws banning “homosexual propaganda” are still in line with the ideals of the Olympic spirit.  Seriously?!  What was the IOC thinking?  How can this ban on “homosexual propaganda” during the games possibly be okay?

We are still a few months out from the Winter Games scheduled to start in February.  But I have to admit I am fearful that the thing that always drew me to the Olympics–the different countries, the spirit of world community, the focus on the incredible athleticism displayed by the competitors, the sheer joy of watching curling at 3 AM–all of these things may be fading away.  I hope I’m wrong.  Here’s to hoping I can continue to enjoy two weeks of 24-hour Olympics coverage (sans sexist “costumes” and blatant objectification, et avec “curling”) for years to come.  As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts.  So go ahead and leave your mark in the “comments” section.

Love,

The Fat Chick

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3 thoughts on “New Uniforms for the Sexylympics and WTF?

  1. Pingback: The Unwritten Sports Stat: Female Athletes Must Be Gorgeous | The Fat Chick Sings

  2. neverdietagainuk

    To MSGeekMedia (and others – it’s not just you),

    I actually think it’s quite sexy, but that is clearly a matter of taste. Whether or not any given person finds this outfit sexy is not the issue at hand.

    It is possible that the material is better to work in and to move in, neither of which I have a problem with. It is definitely form-fitting and looks fairly see-through. Not entirely sure of the need for this, but ok.

    What is outraging the bloggers who have covered this, and myself, and apparently not many of the commenters, is that this design is intended to exploit the bodies of female competitors (not male competitors) for prurient titillation, in a cheap attempt to raise the profile of the sport, while at the same time reducing it to an exercise in eye candy. Only for the women’s game, mind. This is the problem, whether you think it’s sexy or not.

    Reply
  3. msgeekmedia

    The proposed TKD uniform is actually quite un-sexy.
    Bruce Lee did it so much better back in the day…

    And Lee could tell you the exact reasons why he went to the unitard as an outfit to wear when practicing Jeet Kune Do, and I guarantee none of them had to do with sex appeal.

    Reply

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