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These women are Olympic athletes. Why do they have to look like showgirls?

"You tell me that all athletic costumes and accessories are designed specifically to enhance the performance of that particular sport, and I’ll believe you... But if that’s the case, why do the male beach volleyball players compete in long shorts and loose tank tops, while their female counterparts are in bikinis? Why are female hurdlers in essentially underpants, and men in mid-thigh shorts? 

These women are Olympic athletes. Why do they have to look like showgirls? - The Washington Post

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Men's Beach Volleyball


Women's Beach Volleyball


Okay but male divers wear speedos whereas woman divers wear one piece swimsuits.

Both are covering up, specific to their gender. Not like females stripping down, while men don't.

A valid point.

I'm not sure to what extent the Olympics forces them to wear what they wear.

I was under the impression that it's their choice. 

Male Hurdler


Female Hurdler


Male gymnast uniforms showcase their bodies, too.

Yes, and the uniforms are there for their bodies to be in! 



True but the male uniform makes him look like a stripper whereas the woman uniform makes her look like an acrobat.

The moment when women’s Olympic attire became truly jarring was during the individual gymnastics competition. Oksana Chusovitina, a 41-year-old Uzbeki gymnast was competing in her seventh — seventh! — Olympics. The double-somersaulted vault that she chose is known as the “Vault of Death” and Chusovitina, who has a son older than many of her competitors, performed it while wearing a pink leotard covered in sequins, her hair secured into a high ponytail with a scrunchie.

Did she look ridiculous — half spangled, half crows feet? No, she looked like a finely tuned, slightly middle-aged machine. What Chusovitina’s presence revealed as ridiculous was the costume itself: the fact that any world-class athlete should be expected to push through torn ligaments and sprained ankles, complete literally death-defying feats, always stick the landing, and do it while wearing abundant glitter.


I figured it was her choice to wear glitter. Was that actually required?

That is a good explanation I had not heard before. 

I don't buy the sand idea at all; men don't wear Speedos. Elastic banding would hold the sand in... and right at the crotch — ew. I think tradition makes more sense, and I've seen it for years, living in Laguna Niguel and Huntington Beach: "The original way to play beach volleyball was in a bikini and board shorts..."

Good points. Okay, tradition it is. 

So could they wear something different if they wanted to?

Realistically I think it's the TV networks that have the final say. They want ratings. Big difference between women jumping around in bikinis or in broad shorts.

Here's full quote: "The original way to play beach volleyball was in a bikini and board shorts, and I don’t know what else they want us to wear,” Walsh Jennings, who helped designed her uniform for the 2016 Olympics, told The Huffington Post in a recent interview. “… I think we’ve just gotta educate the public, take it with a grain of salt and make sure that we’re working hard and not playing up the sex appeal because it’s inherent anyway.”

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I think the public would support her if she wanted to take a stand on this issue. 

Ok there are a lot more options than I realized. 

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