The Naked Truth!
Baring It All!
An Australian academic named Dr Murray Phillips who conducted a significant report into the sexualisation of women in sport, once wrote:
"It excludes many female athletes who do not fit into the appropriate body types, it glorifies certain female shapes and sends messages about what is appropriate and inappropriate for aspiring female athletes. These images fit neatly into stereotypes that have historically prevented women's sport from being accepted on par with men's sport."
n that short period of time, each Olympian needs to capitalize on media exposure and endorsements to fund the next four years of training. For women this has traditionally meant playing up sex appeal.
The rapid increase in popularity of female athletics has affected the entire society in a variety of ways. On one hand it is wonderful that little girls are growing up with the opportunity to be involved in athletics, but on the other hand there are new added pressures and stereotypes that are applied to female athletes that must be faced on a daily basis.
As female athletics increases in recognition, large agencies have begun marketing female athletes in a more provocative manner. Some advertisement firms believe that any media attention a female athlete can get will benefit the sport overall. Others have different views regarding how a female should market herself and the sport. Sexuality is playing a larger role in society and has bled into many other facets of life including sports. The question of whether it is morally right for a female athlete to remove her clothes for a photo shoot has caused a division in the sporting arena, the marketing field, and the advertisement industry.
Sexploitation in context with women's athletics is defined as types of marketing, promotion or attempts to gain media coverage which highlights the sexual attributes of female athletes, especially the visibility of their bodies. Many people believe that this has a negative affect on women and athletics because it does not send a valuable message about athletics and highlights a woman's body rather than her athletic abilities. Dr. Murray Phillips, an author who wrote a book on media coverage and women's sports, argues that there are several flaws in sexploitation. In his book he states, "It excludes many female athletes who do not fit into the appropriate body types, it glorifies certain female shapes and sends messages about what is appropriate and inappropriate for aspiring female athletes. These images fit neatly into stereotypes that have historically prevented women's sport from being accepted on par with men's sport."
A basic adage of advertising involves a simple concept “sex sells.” Everyone knows and understands this to be true. Images of sex appeal are commonly used to sell a wide variety of products. Commercialized sports are products to be consumed by the mass audience. The sports mass media often utilize the “sex sells” mentality in their approach to promoting and selling sports. As a result, a great deal of objectification of athletes occur in sports. This marketing tool is most evident in the representation of young females athletes in sport today. The continued use of sex appeal by sports advertising/marketing agencies portrays a negative representation of young females in modern sport.
The public are constantly smothered with the overwhelming use of images in media of sex appeal. This marketing tool is commonly utilized by agencies to sell a variety of different products.
Sex sells! In todays society, we worship our sporting heroes like gods, but nobody is perfect. The media amplifies the positive and desirable qualities of an athlete and shadows the negative traits resulting in a misleading representation of athletes to the public. This is a very powerful and effective marketing tool known as sex appeal and is used by many agencies to sell sports product and merchandise. This…