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Saturday, August 4, 2012

Let Sport Do the Talking!

I would say that probably 99% of the world’s women want to be taken seriously. They want to be judged on their character, personality, abilities, talents, and intellect. They want to be valued for who they are as a person, who they are deep inside. They don’t want to be judged as just another pretty face or just another pretty figure. They want to present the best appearance possible, but they don’t want to be judged only by their bodies, as mere sex objects.

I know this. I am a woman. I counsel women. I think I understand women.

Knowing that women want to be taken seriously, I am amazed at the choices athletes are making in the clothes routinely worn in sports competitions. (Now, I enjoy sport as much as anyone. The Olympic games find me yelling for my team. I scream along with everyone else when someone wins. I am all for these young women.)

I don’t really understand why so many competitors choose the skimpiest outfits possible, when I think, with maybe one or two exceptions, they would be allowed to wear clothes that actually cover their bodies. It can’t be necessary to have one’s backside halfway exposed. It can’t be necessary to expose one’s whole middle. I can’t see that showing one’s body could possibly help sports performance.

The other day I saw a runner line up wearing an adorable and modest outfit. She wore a very bright yellow short-sleeved top with black trim. Her black pants, which extended to just below the knee, had bright yellow stripes on them. Nothing was baggy, and she looked very stylish.

Right now as I type, the women are competing in diving. (I love that sport and used to practice it myself.) The fronts of most of the suits are fine, but when the girls turn around, it looks like the seamstress ran out of cloth! Could they not design suits to cover the girls’ backsides? Years ago—not that many years ago—competitors in diving wore more coverage. Does nakedness help them dive? I think not.

In most sports, the athletes have a variety of choices. They can choose tighter or looser tops, shorter or longer tops. They can select shorts, bikini bottoms, longer shorts, just above or below the knee shorts, long leggings, or regular pants. They have options. Why do they usually choose skimpy? Is it for TV ratings? Is it because they think they need to be sexy?

I understand that many of these girls probably grew up in sport, wearing what almost everyone else does, and not really considering the alternatives. Probably, most of the girls we see performing in the Olympics haven’t given dress a second thought. I am certainly not judging them. But I am concerned for them.

These girls want to be taken seriously for their accomplishments, their character, and their athletic prowess. They will be photographed many times during these Olympic games, and everyone will be looking at their bodies. They will be known for their image, which displays a lot of skin.

I don’t think it’s necessary to undress for good athletic performance.

Maybe we could encourage young women athletes to consider making smarter clothing choices. We can encourage them to display their character and accomplishments instead of their skin. Let the sport do the talking!

God’s dress guidelines are modesty and moderation. If we are Christians, and we practice a sport, we need to keep those two guidelines in mind. If we do, we’ll be taken seriously, and we’ll gain respect.


  1. I agree, Lou Ann. It used to be that even unsaved people had some degree of common decency. I saw an interview with one of the beach volleyball players where she said she liked pushing people's boundaries and making them uncomfortable. (Rolling eyes....)

  2. So well said! Thanks for being bold enough to say it! I miss watching diving and running with you, Mr. K., & Fuzz!


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