Way back in December, I posted an article about Hollywood United's "sister" team, Hollywood United Girls Soccer. My read on them was pretty strong, and recently some members of the team have written in with their perspectives. The result has been a really interesting conversation about the use of "sexy" images of women to sell women's football (e.g. their promotional video) and women's sports. They have a lot more support than the great majority of teams playing at their level: But that support comes at what cost? Does the use of the sexual attractiveness of a team to gain publicity & sponsorship deals help the sport?
I hope to do a follow up story about how the women on that team have changed & evolved in relation to their image as a team. Meanwhile, Dave Zirin at The Edge of Sports has posted a spot-on critique of this practice, and brings to our attention the work of gender & sports academic Mary Kane - who has proven through research that the sexualization of women athletes does far more harm to women's sports than good - by profoundly alienating both women and men (who care about the women athletes in their lives) from sports culture. See this interview with her about her work on this topic. (I mention Kane in my rant about the Guardian article below.) Dave Zirin, Mary Kane: Left Wing sends you her best cross!