BACON, HOT PANTS & THE OLYMPICS

Posted: 08/06/2012 in Uncategorized

Two young women I know are likely paying a lot of attention to Olympic volleyball this week and next. It’s not for nothing; these two are heavily involved in the sport as juveniles. Like really involved. Like “we drive out of town for tournaments” volleyball.

They are upstanding women of high moral character. One day, while I was picking up my sons at their school, I noticed a bus pull up and offload a bevy of young ladies clad in battle attire for throwing down on the volleyball court. Battle attire, largely, comprised of hot pants so tight you wonder if the girls have any circulation at waist-level.

Hot pants like these.

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Now, these pants on an adult are a wonderful thing. Like most men I know, I believe God had a hand in shaping women a certain way and these garments do augment their features. However, while the young women I mentioned earlier are certainly beautiful, I have a hard time seeing these 16 year-olds as anything sexual, yet this attire seems to imply something different.

So, these two aforementioned young ladies attend my church and I lead the older one in a discipleship group. (Yeah, me. I know, right? Stop laughing.)  Seeing the opportunity, I asked her what the point of wear such shorts – especially at her age – was.

“The reason they tell us is that they give us freedom of movement.” I couldn’t stop from snickering.

She looked at me askew.

“So, in volleyball, you have to wear crotch-hugging pants in order to move around freely in a 20×20 box on the court, but women basketball players who have to run the entire length of a basketball court are able to do it in shorts that go down to their knees and are loose-fitting?”

She gave me that nod that said “I know, it’s stupid, but its what we do.”

So I figured it must be a volleyball thing. Surely the men wore the same gear. Here’s the hot pants that men wear:

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While I am sure that there are athletic supporters that keep their “volleyballs” in place, I’m relatively sure that they don’t suffer loss of freedom during a game.

So, the question is, why the difference? Ironically, it’s choice. The National and International organizations that govern volleyball have no restrictions on tightness. Marj Snyder, a spokeswoman for the Women’s Sports Foundation, said that these type of uniforms often change with the whims of current fashion.

That said, Livestrong.com posted this article as if they were actually answering my direct question. Apparently, a number of teams feel that the tighter pants cover that which need be covered, hold pads in place to protect players who fall or dive and, because they are form-fitting, prevent exposure of any of the women’s mysterious ladyparts. Apparently, there’s a whole untold litany of times when women are de-pantsed during sports events.

While I am inclined to agree with that take, I call “marketing nonsense.” While the pad part – the theory that because the pants are tight, they hold pads in place that might otherwise slip – does ring with some truth, I’ll note that football pants include a host of pads that need to be held in place but still manage to reach the calves.

I venture that this is simply another case of the oversexification of our children. And oversexification is totally a word. Don’t let spellcheck fool you.

Those of you slightly older than the Jell-O hardening in your fridge will remember a Calvin Klein ad campaign from the 1980s involving actress/model Brooke Shields that caught a lot of flack for being mild child porn. I guffawed at that because at the time, I was a teenager myself and there are few things teenage boys like more than seeing teenage girls partially dressed. But as I grew older, I realized the nature of what I was viewing. Sex sells, but we have somehow turned that into “sexy children sell” and then have the ‘nads to get angry when some guy rapes or molests a child.

While I am not at all calling for the downfall of volleyball or modern civilization, I think it’s important that we all keep in mind what kind of things we tell our daughters are OK. They need clear lines of definition that don’t involve hot pants as much as should involve hot bouts of raising self esteem, pushing education and letting them know that they are equals if not better than any man.

And they need not show off any part of their body to show off that they can compete on the same level.

And now, Gluten-free Bacon. Why Gluten-free? Because all bacon, technically, is gluten-free because its a meat product. HOWEVER, some bacon goblins choose to “sweeten” the bacon with stuff that includes a wheat-base; therefore, gluten.

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All Your Pre-Packaged Awesomeness Are Belong To Us. For great justice!
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