Male athletes vs. Attractive Female Athletes

This article calls our attention to the different ways in which talented male and female athletes are seen. Males are noted because of their athletic ability whereas the females are noted more frequently for their physical beauty. Amanda Beard is an attractice swimmer, this fact setting her apart from her peers and exalting her above them to stardom as a celebrity – marked by her upcoming appearance in Playboy magazine.

“Female athletes have as high a profile as they ever have — I would wager there are more famous female athletes now than at any time in history. But to the extent that those athletes have been able to cash in on their fame, it has been as endorsers more than as athletes.” How does this problematize the effects of Title IX? I’m not trying to claim that Amanda Beard shouldn’t pose in playboy or that other, less “attractice” athletes should, but the focus on beauty within female athletics leaves us attached to the old ideals of femininity, as willingly subject to the male gaze.

I would challenge this article’s conclusion that Amanda Beard is hurting womens sports because in support of this conclusion his lists the numorous times she’s posed in a swimming suit, and a non-competition suit at that.

“[H]er athletic fame is the fame of a model.” This statement should be inverted. No, I do not believe that that “most sports fans know who Amanda Beard is”, and they absolutely do not know her best stroke. By posing in these magazines she brings herself recognition, bringing fame to her body first and foremost with her athletic accomplishments mentioned in the captions – marginalizing the achievements that Title IX hoped could spur further generations of athletes, not athletic models.

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One response to “Male athletes vs. Attractive Female Athletes

  1. Michael Jordan was mass marketed by Nike for his entire career, and so were many other great male athletes.

    It kinda goes both ways, however, it’s not with the same connotation as with women. Let these women make as much $$ as possible, they’re more apt to doing some good with it anyway.

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