Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Behold! Olympic Women’s New Uniform: The Dishrag

Illustration by Mikayla Kelly

Nike’s new uniforms for women’s Olympic Track and Field are a disgrace. For anyone wondering what it looks like, it’s basically a women’s one-piece swimsuit cut disturbingly high at the bikini line. Apparently, the inside look we got of the Olympic uniforms were just one of the options for women’s bottoms.

Why is it even an option for women to wear something that looks like a social experiment? The sneak peek picture quite literally provided us a sneak peek. Thank God it was just on a mannequin. It’s cut so high that you can see the mannequin’s hip bones and far beyond the bikini line. It’s so agitating that women still have to suffer in such simply humiliating ways.

If this was in no way sexist and just a stylistic approach, the men would also have a mortifying uppercut “choice” in case they “wanted to wear it.” I’m sure female athletes, especially in track and field, weren’t even truly taken into consideration when these uniforms were made. If actual athletes were asked what they found the most simultaneously comfortable and efficient and it was actually acted upon, the uniforms wouldn’t look like this.

The concerningly high-cut uniform option shouldn’t even be an option. There’s no sport that requires your cat to be out. Not to mention this uniform option would require athletes to have complete bikini waxes to look presentable. Athletes shouldn’t be forced to pay meticulous attention to shaping their pubic hair to fit in with social standards, it’s not even something that has anything to do with performance of hygiene, it’s just sexism.

Even Nike-sponsored athlete Katie Moon admitted that the fit was “concerning.” There’s really no way around the blatant sexism. You give the men options and you give the women options. The men’s options all completely cover their junk. The women’s ones do for the most part, except for the one cut so far up it gives you a sneak peek of someone’s vagina. I think it’s not really an argument or discussion of whether Nike meant to be sexist, but just that they are. Just like all huge corporations they cater to the standard, and unfortunately the standard in America is that women dress much more scantily than men.

What gets me is that it’s so unnecessary that it’s almost comical. I truly wonder why that certain part is cut so high up. Like why is it not the shoulders or something else? If anything, the overall discomfort of the fit would decrease performance anyways. The women’s kit just looks like they tried to make a sexy swimsuit. I know personally if I was in the shoes of an athlete I would be too worried in that kit about my physical exposure with all the cameras around to even focus on my athletic performance.

The front of the uniform looking like that makes me even more concerned about what it might look like from behind. I mean, if butt cheeks and hoo haa are mostly out why not just tell the women they have the option to run in a bathing suit, or worse yet, naked? No one expects Nike to have outstanding morals but this is plain indecency hurled directly at women and women only. Whether people realize it or not, this temporary sexist controversy puts a lot into context regarding what we’ve made acceptable for women and what we’ve expected of them.

Lauren Fleshman, a track and field athlete, criticized the scandalous kit online: “This is a costume born of patriarchal forces that are no longer welcome or needed to get eyes on women’s sports … Stop making it harder for half the population @nike …” It isn’t even criticism, it’s the truth.

Women are already constantly on the receiving end of so much unnecessary criticism. We are already watched so closely we can’t help but be insecure about legitimately everything about our appearance and how we’re perceived by others. Providing appropriate clothing choices for literal athletes is the bare minimum, let alone regular people like myself. Nike, a famous and well renowned brand releasing a kit choice like this is so humiliating. Nike has disappointed so many current and future female athletes with this kit.

Honestly, we are far from where we need to be regarding gender equality. Women were unable to participate in many sports up until a decade ago so it’s no surprise to me that we still haven’t gotten full respect and recognition in something as prevalent as the Olympics.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Whitman Wire Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *