Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Lingerie--not just for football players anymore

While I certainly do not support the concept and execution of the Lingerie Football League, I see why it exists. It plays on a variety of sexual fetishes and, of course, makes these female athletes far less threatening because of the sexualization and because what they are doing doesn't look like "real" football. Again, not a fan. Wish it would go away. Will write letters or engage in other methods of discouragement to get that to happen.
What did genuinely surprise (ever so cynical) me is the news that there is now a Lingerie Basketball League. I found out about it on some mom blog. Said mom does not seem too upset, after her initial questioning, that the league exists because, once you get past the uniforms, you can see (there's a video) that they are skilled.
Yes. They are skilled. But there are a lot of women who are skilled basketball players. They play at all levels: high school, college, professionally, recreationally, in the pick-up games at my gym. They don't wear bras, and ass-cheek revealing butt huggers, garter belts, and some kind of ribbons that are laced up their legs. In other words, it's kind of hard to get past the uniforms. In fact, I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to "get past" the uniforms. After all, the league's reason for existence is the uniform. Why else would it be called the Lingerie Basketball League? And though the writer tries to argue that the uniforms are similar to--if not less revealing--than those worn by beach volleyball players, I'm not buying it. Yes, those uniforms are skimpy--arguably unnecessarily so--but they fit the sport, which is played on a beach.
Other problems with the league:
1) Sure, players have to be good; but they also have to be pretty. They have to fit a type. They are not large forwards planted under the basket ready for the pass or the rebound. As one player said: "we play hard and we look doing it." A prescribed and mandatory looking good.
2) The players are constantly referred to as girls. (Watch the video.)
3) The coverage highlights the pushing and shoving. A "reporter" asks one of the players if the other girls are just too tough for her because she is tiny and so demure. She's also Asian playing with a majority of black woman.
The league seems to be in its infancy. And indeed it's very infantilizing. I hope it goes away before it reaches the Terrible Twos.

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