As a professional journalist of great stature (no, not me), you are often called upon to offer opinions on important current events that have great impact on the impressionable public at large. You are often sent to distant lands (again, not me) to report upon world affairs, private affairs and affairs of state (again, not me). Occasionally you are sent to Florida to cover disasters, such as hurricanes and elections. And every four years your editors send you to the Olympics. Sadly this, again, does not include me.
But that doesn't mean I can't form opinions and offer them up anyway, just to embarrass my children.
What I am called upon to do is render my opinions on world matters that matter at home, such as the uniforms of the women's Olympic Beach Volleyball teams. Of course, they would have had to have been actually wearing uniforms for me make a comment upon them. Perhaps they were giving a fashion nod towards the Olympians of ancient Greece who, so they say, competed sans clothing of any kind. If this was their intent, then fine. But I think there is a bigger issue in the wings here, and it has nothing to do with trivializing a great sport by making the toned, tanned female athletes parade around nearly nude in order to make their sport more enticing to watch.
Obviously our Olympic athletes and their beach volleyball sponsors are out of money, and I think I know where it went.
Glitter. Body glitter. Lots of it.
I happened to be flipping channels one night and came across some young women in itsy-bitsy body suits, gyrating on pieces of wood, bouncing off trampolines and throwing themselves across floor mats at speeds that would cause me to burst into flames. These were the female gymnasts competing for the gold, and it appeared to me that most of them already had it. There were gold and silver flecks in their hair, on their faces and chests, dazzling all 15 spectators there to watch them and going all disco-ball-like in the lights. Apparently the glitter is used to distract the judges from noticing slight imperfections in their routines by blinding them. One judge was handing out tens to all glitter-covered gymnasts as she oohed and ahhhed, pointing at all the shiny things flying by.
Money is being diverted from volleyball athletes' uniforms to pay for the glitter on the gymnasts. It's the only explanation that makes any sense.
Hmm. Or, perhaps being scantily clad and leaving nothing to the imagination might make our beach volleyball sisters more aerodynamic and therefore give them an edge in the competition! It could be a well-thought-out plan to improve their performance in order to garner more medals, plus it cuts down on that pesky dressing time. Being a modern and intelligent society, we know that it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that sex sells, right? It's all about the sport, right?
These women are role models for our up-and-coming young women, aspiring to be known for their athletic prowess, rather than their bodies. What signal does this send to, oh, say, my 15-year-old daughter?
daughter: "Hey, Mom, I'm going out for volleyball this year."
me: "How much are the uniforms?"
daughter: "What uniforms?"
Needless to say, I'm not signing any sports waivers for my daughter this year. I'm afraid the teams will be dressing for success, just like our Olympic Beach Volleyball team members.
So, as a professional mother (yes, this time it is me), I must draw the line somewhere in this battle about "less is more" in the area of clothing, which now includes sports. I vote we go back to the era of big, bulky, gray sweatpants and sweatshirts. It may not be more aerodynamic, but we could always spice it up with a little glitter.