As I flicked onto the sports pages of a well known British broadcasting establishment’s website a minute ago, the title ‘Sexing up key to boosting profile of women’s sport – Rainford-Brent’ caught my eye. What the bejeezus was this woman on about?
Now from the article headline I would have expected Rainford-Brent to be suggesting that all women’s sports should be played in underwear, an idea further cemented by her opening quote “You want women to be attracted to the sport, but sex sells“. Seriously, for a moment I thought it was all going to go a little bit Lingerie Football League (vomit), however Rainford-Brent then goes onto sensibly highlight what is sadly one of the key reasons women do not play sport; because it doesn’t make you look feminine.
80% of women are not active enough and one key factor of this is the fact that getting sweaty is often seen as masculine. Even when the women’s section of sports shops is now a mass of neon pink, baby blue and nice shades of purple there’s still something deep routed in woma- kind that would rather risk our health than be seen in running gear. Rainford-Brent points out that sports such as tennis and netball are very popular with women because they still allow you to look feminine as well being active. This could also be due to netball being biggest sport women will play at school and therefore is more likely to be carried on into later years and tennis is about the most widely broadcast women’s sport going, however Rainford-Brent does have a point, both sports do allow the participants to…well…dress like a girl.
Rainford-Brent sums up what she’s meaning to convey by saying how when Women’s cricket set out, they had to wear the men’s kit and were lost under unflattering, baggy clothing. However once the EBC realised women would actually be playing Cricket at a high standard for a long time and that it wasn’t just a phase, more fitted kits were invested in. “Simply by tailoring the tracksuits it made the players look smarter and it does make a difference because you want to look professional and at the top of your game.”
I’m not sure that tailoring a tracksuit to better fit the female shape is ‘sexing it up’, but underneath the provocative title there is a good point to be made, it’s less ‘sex sells‘ and more ‘let women look and dress like women whilst enjoying their sports’.
NB: Rainford-Brent’s full name is Ebony-Jewel Cora-Lee Camellia Rosamond Rainford-Brent, amazing!