An Alaskan 17-year old was disqualified for wearing a swimsuit deemed inappropriate during a swim meet last Friday in Anchorage. After winning the 100- meter freestyle race, officials disqualified her from the competition because her swimsuit was judged as inappropriate. It was claimed that the swim suit the athlete was wearing showed too much of her backside, but the disqualification was instead perceived as a hit towards curvier female athletes. By placing this attention on a female athlete’s body while she was wearing her swimsuit, it is possible that body image issues can arise. This is not uncommon in female athletes. They often feel a tremendous amount of pressure to live up to expectations on how they should look because of the representations of female athletes seen in movies, sport attire advertisements and other sport-related outposts. Usually, only a specific body type with minimal diversity is displayed, causing female athletes to feel pressured to look that certain way.
Many of the rules regulating appropriate sport clothing are vague and have grey areas, making the decisions about appropriateness subjective.
It causes you to wonder why female athletes are more susceptible to receiving comments regarding the appropriateness of their athletic uniform than their counterpart-male athletes. The attention should not be on what the athletic is wearing or how their clothes fall on their bodies, but instead on what is truly important in sporting competition, how well they can perform or compete.