Talk of uniforms and body politics in the Olympics has been covered throughout the feminist blogosphere (check here for a summary and here for a generally great post). As usual, the word has not spread so quickly throughout the news circuit. So imagine my surprise when I see a lengthy article about uniforms at the Olympics over on ABC News. (I'm telling you, these people are after my feminist heart-- first a story on men's skirts, then intersexuality, now this!)
The article touches on some of the sports with the biggest uniform differences - namely, beach volleyball and gymnastics - and tries to explain the functionality of the uniforms. Apparently, the athletes themselves are the ones that prefer to wear their respective uniforms. I thought it was interesting that they mentioned one woman, Melody Drnach, who wanted people to take a closer look at the disparities in the uniforms, but she is not an athlete herself.
This made me curious to find out how other athletes feel. It seems that a lot of the opinions we have about what we see women wear mostly come from a place outside of the actual sport. If it makes more sense for these women to wear these uniforms, then maybe we should be looking at how comfortable men are in their own uniforms. Or, perhaps, it should all be more of an individual choice rather than a standard in each sport. The article suggests that there is already not that much detail in regulations about uniforms themselves, so perhaps it's a possibility.
They also mentioned something my guy and I talked about a few days ago, which is that fashion also plays a role, with uniforms sometimes just changing over time to what people find appealing. Admittedly, I'd rather they analyze that a bit more, because to me it seems that part of the discussion needs to center around what "fashion" means in this case, but, there's only so much detail any article can have I suppose.
What do you all think about this? As spectators, are we over-analyzing the uniform deal? Or is there a deeper link here than the athletes themselves are recognizing? Also, do you think there is a connection between the fashion of the sport and pressures that come up (particularly eating disorders)?
(Cross-posted at Jump off the Bridge.)