PDA

View Full Version : Olympics Present Diverse Range of Body Types


MrsFluffyBunny
08-13-2012, 11:50 PM
I found this article very thought-provoking. Gawd, it's tough being a woman sometimes!!!! SMH (And some of the issues brought to light in this article are part of what drives me to start threads like Strong Images of Women in Sport... http://www.siouxcountry.com/showthread.php?t=19615 , which I hope helps us stay balanced and realistic while fully immersed in, recovering from, taking a break from, running away from, or returning to this hobby of physique competitions. :) )

The Olympics Showcase Diverse Body Types, Body Snarking
from: http://jezebel.com/5934001/the-olympics-showcase-diverse-body-types-body-snarking

Doug Barry, August 12, 2012

For two weeks, the Olympics present the viewing public with a diverse range female body types, many of which will remain unrepresented in future advertising campaigns. Women who compete in the games, argues Time's Sonia Van Gilder Cooke, provide a counterbalance to all those glossy, airbrushed photos of magazine cover models and actresses who offer only a single, unrealistic physical standard.

Though women in the Olympics are creepily objectified, they also help expand the public's idea of the many shapes women's bodies can have. According to Jo Swinson, a British Member of Parliament and founding member of the U.K. Campaign for Body Confidence, the Olympics are "one of the times we actually get to see women without makeup on on television." Swinson believes that, because athletes spend years honing their bodies to perform a single, highly specific task, there's an "honesty" about their bodies that most celebrities, by contrast, do not demonstrate. That's because female Olympians are trying to win competitions, while celebrities and models are essentially helping create the illusion of a certain kind of physical perfection in order to sell something.

Still, the Time piece opens with an investment banker taking his friends to a women's beach volleyball match simply because the volleyball players are wearing bikinis. And even though the Olympics showcases the diversity of the female form, it also presents body snarkers with an opportunity to judge female athletes on their physical proximity to the cover model aesthetic. That's part of the reason why NBC's "Bodies in Motion" video features volleyball, field hockey, and track and field athletes prominently, and why there's nary a female bodybuilder in sight.

Though certain male body types (the swimmers and divers, let's just say) are ogled and idealized, male shot putters, weightlifter, or basketball players aren't subjected to the same snarking as their female counterparts. British weightlifter Zoe Smith, for example, fought back against Twitter criticism that she looked like a "bloke," which is just a Britishism for "bro." British swimmer and four-time Olympic gold medalist Rebecca Adlington showed the world how cruel strangers can be when she retweeted something sent to her in June: "You belong in that pool you f whale." Australian swimmer Leisel Jones also became the subject of a terrible "fat or not" newspaper poll that, thankfully, readers took for the mean and stupid editorial decision it was.

Female athletes lose out in the endorsement race that follows the games because, according to Phillippa Diedrichs, a senior research fellow at the Centre for Appearance Research at the University of the West of England, scoring endorsement deals "becomes very much about [athletes'] bodies and their appearance and their being shown to be attractive as opposed to what their bodies can do." As women's sports gain popularity among spectators (the U.S. women's track and field team, for instance, did waaaaaaay better than the men), that endorsement disparity between male and female athletes may start to change, which would go a long way, in turn, toward helping change the prevailing advertising industry's aesthetic preference for impossibly thin (and exceedingly airbrushed) women.

Becca Staggs
08-14-2012, 12:40 PM
Very thought provoking indeed. Thanks for sharing.

People can be so cruel sometimes! I feel like the internet only magnifies this.

MrsFluffyBunny
08-14-2012, 02:02 PM
Very thought provoking indeed. Thanks for sharing.

People can be so cruel sometimes! I feel like the internet only magnifies this.

Agree. I think the Internet allows people to be cruel, rude, and obnoxious with virtual impunity. Word choice deliberate.

Thick skin required, eh?

Sent from my iPhone using Forum Runner

Che
08-14-2012, 02:29 PM
Sigh.

Some day we will all be free.

Becca Staggs
08-14-2012, 02:30 PM
Sigh.

Some day we will all be free.

:yes:

Scarl3tbutt3rfly
08-14-2012, 02:33 PM
Sigh.

Some day we will all be free.

QFT

figurefelicia
08-14-2012, 04:01 PM
Thanks for posting, C!

Some of you may know I lead a group of women through my church - we discuss issues similar to this, as well as self esteem, confidence, nutrition, etc., and have short, intense workouts. I used EVERY opportunity to the Olympics presented to talk to my women about our bodies, society's "ideal" and "standard", and function over form. For many of the women (some of them well into their 50s), it was the first time any of them had considered the irony of the Olympics: athletes working for years to peak their athletic talents and skills, and being degraded or criticized for highly functional, powerful bodies. Many of them found beauty in the women's figures, and I think the best take-away for them was that I finally got through to them and they found some beauty in their own strength.

I love when you post stuff like this, Crystol! Keep it coming!

MrsFluffyBunny
08-14-2012, 05:08 PM
Thanks for posting, C!

Some of you may know I lead a group of women through my church - we discuss issues similar to this, as well as self esteem, confidence, nutrition, etc., and have short, intense workouts. I used EVERY opportunity to the Olympics presented to talk to my women about our bodies, society's "ideal" and "standard", and function over form. For many of the women (some of them well into their 50s), it was the first time any of them had considered the irony of the Olympics: athletes working for years to peak their athletic talents and skills, and being degraded or criticized for highly functional, powerful bodies. Many of them found beauty in the women's figures, and I think the best take-away for them was that I finally got through to them and they found some beauty in their own strength.

I love when you post stuff like this, Crystol! Keep it coming!

And I love hearing about groups and work like this! Thanks, Felicia. :)

:thumbsup:

Sent from my iPhone using Forum Runner

dvsness
08-14-2012, 05:12 PM
Just an add-on to the topic:


This is the first year that women participated in all 26 sports.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/videos/2012/08/14/the-women-s-olympics.html

Playswithrocks
08-15-2012, 10:00 PM
Just an add-on to the topic:


This is the first year that women participated in all 26 sports.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/videos/2012/08/14/the-women-s-olympics.html
Yes, and also the first year that the US team sent more women than men. :)


Something I noticed and hubby and I commented on while watching the Olympics as well... the complete lack of breast augmentations. Not that they're a bad thing, but the relatively flat chests on most of the female athletes showed that by in large, low body fat = no boobs. Additionally, large breasts would have been counterproductive for most of the athletes. In a society that places such a huge emphasis on breast size, it was refreshing to see it "real."

In no way do I mean to demean women who've had augmentations what so ever. I've gone back and forth with the idea of getting them myself. But, with augmentations being so common now, it seems like many girls with natural and very normal sized breast are self conscious about them being too small. As a mother of a pre-teen, it thrilled me to have her see just what the human body is capable of and that big boobs are not required because yes, she's already asked for padded bras.

dvsness
08-15-2012, 10:31 PM
Yes, and also the first year that the US team sent more women than men. :)


Something I noticed and hubby and I commented on while watching the Olympics as well... the complete lack of breast augmentations. Not that they're a bad thing, but the relatively flat chests on most of the female athletes showed that by in large, low body fat = no boobs. Additionally, large breasts would have been counterproductive for most of the athletes. In a society that places such a huge emphasis on breast size, it was refreshing to see it "real."

In no way do I mean to demean women who've had augmentations what so ever. I've gone back and forth with the idea of getting them myself. But, with augmentations being so common now, it seems like many girls with natural and very normal sized breast are self conscious about them being too small. As a mother of a pre-teen, it thrilled me to have her see just what the human body is capable of and that big boobs are not required because yes, she's already asked for padded bras.

I get you, and agree.

MrsFluffyBunny
08-15-2012, 11:05 PM
I get you, and agree.

Me too, despite the enhanced ta-tas. Which get in the way of power cleans and supported hammer rows among other exercises. Seriously. :p