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Today is Love Your Body Day

10/21/2009
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It is well documented that female athletes are rarely seen in the sport media and when they are featured it is often in ways that sexualize and marginalize athletic competence. To see this argument framed by Tucker Center Director Dr. Mary Jo Kane click here, and watch the first 10mns of the video (Dr. Kane is in the red blazer).

Similarly, images of women in non-sport media portray sexualized, unrealistic, air-brushed pictures of women. Today is National Love Your Body Day sponsored by the National Organization for Women (NOW). Unfortunately, female athletes and females in general are socialized to not love their bodies due to the barrage of sexualized images they see on a daily basis.
According to NOW, “This campaign is a giant shout out to the fashion, beauty, diet and advertising industries: No more fake images! Show us real women, diverse women, strong women, bold women. And to the women and girls who are targeted by messages telling them that the key to success and happiness is manufactured beauty, we say: It’s okay to “Be You” — the true you is beautiful.” Scholar, speaker and writer Dr. Jean Kilbourne, has been pioneering work on alcohol and tobacco advertising and the images of women in advertising for decades. She is known for her three films on this topic including award-winning documentaries Killing Us Softly, Slim Hopes, and Calling the Shots.

Regardless of the context, advocates for women want to  see real women in realistic portrayals, doing the variety of things women do in their daily lives….including images of female athletes, coaches, and referees in action and “on the court”.

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