Female Athletics at the High School Level

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America’s Next Top Athlete

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In my photo manipulation, I took a well-known image of a fashion runway and a group shot of the Olympic female volleyball team and combined them to create an image that represents the scrutiny female athletes experience from the media and critics. Global viewers watch the Olympic games to enjoy the sport games and cheer on their country’s teams. What they aren’t meant for is  for the media and viewers to critique player’s bodies and how “hot” they look in their uniforms. This year specifically, magazine articles and social media posts highlighted female Olympians for their in-shape bodies and toned behinds rather than their success and achievements throughout the course of the games. This is an issue I am portraying in my photo manipulation. These women work hard to be the amazing athletes they are, not to be put on a “runway” and judged on their appearance and looks. For example, Mexican gymnast Alexa Moreno was body shamed on Twitter after competing in the artistic gymnastics qualifications for being “too big” and having too much of a “masculine figure.” Another example of sexism towards female Olympians are dress code rule in gymnastics. Gymnasts get points deducted if a bra strap is showing or if they pick a wedgie. Rules and commentary like these do not exist for male Olympians or athletes in general, so why do they for females? In today’s society, women are under a microscope everyday, being picked apart at surface level rather than what is on the inside and the goals reach. As a woman, I believe this is a problem that must be fixed not only in athletics, but in society in general.