If you google “female athletes,” some of the first titles that come up include: “Ultimate List of Hottest Female Athletes In The World,” “Top 10 Hottest/Sexiests Female Athletes In The World” and “We Thought Female Athletes Were Catching Up To Men—,” when will we notice women for their achievements and not their looks. Everyone enjoys compliments and the best compliments are those that motivate you.
ESPN’s Body Issue last summer featured naked athletes and powerful quotes about their bodies. Although the article on Shape magazine highlighted positive aspects, the sub-title describes the issue as “the annual ESPN Body Issue, Brittney Griner, Aly Raisman, and more of the hottest women in sports.” Yeah, they have amazing bodies but they also have amazing careers— which is the reason why their bodies look so great. LPGA-golfer Sadena Parks said “I have a butt that is larger than I want it to be,” and when people compliment her she replies, “Well, thank you, but you can have it if you want it. I’ll give it to you, it’s all yours.” Natalie Coughlin, a swimmer featured on the issue, says it’s really hard to shop when her upper body is a size ten but her waist is a size four, but she says, “I want to be as successful as I can; if that means having big arms, I’ll take big arms.” Other athletes described their developed body parts as insecurities because they don’t fit societal norms of what a women’s body should look like. Their developed body parts are what make them great in the sport they play.
Yahdon Israel’s article for ESPNW talks about the expectations in society where he knew about Muhammad Ali’s career but not that his daughter has a 24-0 record “without Googling it.” Israel is supposed to know that in 1960 Ali was one of the greatest athletes; however, he’s not expected to know that Wilma Rudolph, an African American female, won three gold medals at the 1960 Olympics. Of course Israel knows Indiana Pacers Hall of Famer Reggie Miller, but he did not know who Cheryl Miller was. Well— Cheryl holds the national high school record in basketball for scoring 105 points in one game. She’s also the person who introduced and coached her brother in basketball. This is all according to Yahdon Israel’s article. Lets be honest, who talks about or even follows female athletes like we do to male athletes. At our local hockey games, about 2,000 people attend a men’s game. If you do go to a women’s game it will be just you, their parents and some of the girls from the rugby team.
If we were aware of how female athletes contribute to sports we would appreciate them more. The problem is not with the audience, the problem is caused by the media. The day we see female athletes as what they are, athletes, and not as a piece of meat that has a nice body because she kicks a ball around instead of going to the gym, will be a big step forward in our society.
Lets cover women’s achievements. Lets teach the world that basketball is basketball, no matter who is playing it. Lets enjoy sports. We all guilty of looking at the Alex Rodriguez’s butt, but he’s still known for being a great baseball player (and for using steroids), so why can’t we enjoy a female’s beauty and her achievements too?