Can you hear it? There’s a storm on the horizon. A sexist storm, erupting over tennis outfits.
Yes, you read that correctly. You see, a new trend has developed in the world of professional women’s tennis: the trend of sponsors strategically placing their advertising logos over the breasts of female players.
Apparently, it’s because everyone is most likely to look at the breasts of a female tennis player when they’re watching her play.
Players such as Italy’s Camila Giorgi, Slovakia’s Dominika Cibulkova, China’s Shuai Zhang and Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska have all been seen sporting the breast logos recently.
Take a look:
Camila Giorgi of Italy (Image: GETTY)
Shuai Zhang of China (Image: GETTY)
Compare that look to what tennis outfits used to look like:
Unsurprisingly, it’s a little bit different for the male tennis players. Their logos are generally placed on their shoulders, their shorts or above their chest. If they do have something on their chest, it’s usually just one logo – not the two or three that female tennis players have been seen wearing.
I know what you’re thinking: Is this really worth getting outraged about?
After all, it’s just about some logos on some boobs. It’s not exactly Nigerian schoolgirls being kidnapped and sold to strangers. And besides, women’s tennis outfits generally don’t even have sleeves, hence the placement of the logos needing to be on the front or the back of the outfit.
As Melissa Hoyer from news.com.au says:
Here we have incredibly fit, healthy sportswoman whose number one aim is to play and win at a sport they are bloody good at, the least of their worries is where the sponsor logos are placed.
Do we complain when we see a much needed sponsor plastered their logo on the tight shirt of a footy player? Or on his back, Or on the backside of his shorts?
Women have breasts, Hoyer says. And that’s as far as this story should go.
Hey, what’s the old advertising adage? You place ads where people will see them the most.OK, some will be up-in-arms about that comment but honestly it is NOT up to you or me to play Fashion Police and tell them to get their logos removed.
Let the players decide. They’re big, strong and bright enough to do what they want.
But you know what? To me, this isn’t at all a case of playing Fashion Police. It’s yet another case of women’s sport being unnecessarily sexualised. And that’s something that we need to rile up about.
I write the Sport on Saturdays column here at Mamamia, which runs every Saturday and is designed to be a celebration of the best Australian female athletes. I’ve interviewed surfers, basketballers, cricketers, swimmers, netballers, golfers, rugby players, obstacle runners, skiers and wakeboarders. I’ve even interviewed the only female lifeguard on Bondi Rescue.
I’ve asked every single one of these women about their take on sexism in sport. And every single one of them has told me the same thing:
There is not enough coverage of women’s sport. There is not enough sponsorship for female athletes – especially for female athletes that don’t fit the aesthetically pleasing, size-zero image that is a marketing dream.