The Sexualization Of Women In Sports

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The Problem In the 2016 Rio Olympic Games there were "264 men and 294 women"(Meet Team USA) who competed for the U.S. Olympic Team. The number of women competing in athletics at every level is increasing, therefore it is important to note how women are portrayed and perceived in the media. There are issues to be brought up about the sexualization of female athletes particularly when compared to their male counterparts who are usually not sexualized. Women, as a whole, are sexualized and objectified through the media; therefore advertisements featuring female athletes are a fantastic opportunity to explore non-sexualized portrayals of women. The fact that these women are athletes cannot undo their sexualization in media. Regardless of their …show more content…
Gabby Douglas, a female Olympic gymnast, is the only Olympian featured in this commercial. The commercial is shot in color, and the music is electronic and very upbeat. The commercial features Douglas practicing various jumps and tumbles. The music turns slightly inspirational as she tries to and then does perfect a jump. The commercial does show Douglas as an athlete, but it does not focus on her athleticism or the effort she has put into being a gymnast. The commercial does not feature Douglas shaving or even discussing Venus razors possibly because seeing Douglas shave would have been too non-normative compared to her otherwise flawless …show more content…
The problem of women being sexualized and taken less seriously as athletes is a complex global phenomenon. Another problem with finding a solution to female athletes being sexualized or portrayed as less serious is that people, such as marketing teams, subconsciously portray women as less serious athletes. The reason that these thoughts and actions are subconscious is because "gendering occurs at an early age, [therefore] the seeming naturalness of such differences is further underscored" (46, Martin). Moreover, to construction and enforcement of gender roles starts as early as preschool and continued through the rest of everyone 's lives through social institutions. Therefore, solutions to problems such as female athletes ' sexualization and lack of seriousness in commercials need to be started at a young age and the solutions need to occur through all social institutions. Complete reform on gender roles and perceptions of women in all social institutions is an unlikely goal to achieve, but it can be started in the school system. For example, programs need to be instated informing teachers on how gender roles are enforced and the negative impact strict gender roles can have on children. Also, discussions, either in the classroom or at home, need to be had about the ways in which women are sexualized in the media and the negative impacts of such pervasive

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