Nowadays, female athletes have turned into the objects of admiration rather for their beauty than for their talent and ability. Very often, female athletes are known not for their high motivation and sports achievements but thanks to the number of photos printed in different magazines, especially in the men’s magazines. One can say that female athletes are being exploited by the media and not only by it.
Many sports magazines exposure female athletes not as good sportsmen but as a sex object, thereby, minimizing their skill and athletic achievements. However, nobody force athletes to pose with minimal clothing, in bikini, or nude. Female athletes are perfectly aware that those photos will be used after as the magazine layouts, in the calendars, or the Internet Web sites. The problem is that they agree readily to pose with minimal clothing in spite of whether they are unsuccessful or successful in the sport. It is the way to earn money.
However, there is other side of the issue. Weather someone can name a female athlete who has not take off her clothes? Surely, this strategy targets the man audience as the men compose the greater part of sports audience. Thus, for example, Olympic swimmer Amanda Beard has made a lot of semi-nude and nude layouts. Many of the female athletes posed nude for Playboy magazine such as second rate tennis player Ashley Harkleroad and Olympic figure skater Katarina Witt.
So who’s exploiting whom? The women are really exploited. However, we can not say that they are exploited without their full cooperation. It is obvious that male media underestimates female athletes and prefer a woman’s beauty instead of their achievements.
Nevertheless, female athletes are continuing the struggle to earn men attention. The matter is the women are not respected accordingly in the sports. They are not seen as professional athletes in the sports world. As the sport is very often considered to be the man’s game, female athletes agree to play the man’s game in the man’s world. So, if the female athletes are attractive and good enough, then it is more likely she will be famous because of her beauty than thanks to her status in the common rank.
The fact that Anna Kournikova is more famous than Lindsey Davenport or Martina Hingis can be easily explained. Even if Kournikova stated that she was a serious tennis player, it is obvious that she earned more money „being a model” than playing tennis. Actually, many men audience watched sport not because they liked women tennis but because they wanted to see her, Anna Kournikova. Nevertheless, no one can diminish Kournikova’s talent as well as no one can say that her attractiveness is her fault.
Still, very often, women athletes as well as any other women in any sphere of the life are sex objects. Sport has already stopped to be the manifestation of achievements, athleticism, and competition in the good sense. So, no matter whether women athletes are exploited by their will or not, they are still exploited and the actions of such sportsmen as Katarina Witt, Ashley Harkleroad, and Anna Kournikova are the real proof of it.
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