Female Athletes and Body Image

Women involvement in sports has been criticized since way back when and unfortunately still is today. Another aspect of female sports that is quite unfortunate is its association with body image. There are many instances when female athletes are sexualized and simply seen as sexual figures rather than the dedicated athletes that they are. Women have been objectified for many, many years and just recently, there has been an uprise in controversy about feminism and objectifying women and things of that nature. Female sports are no different.

Often times, on sports magazines or even on sexual-related magazines, female athletes are posing practically nude, soaking wet, and looking as sexual as ever. I truly believe that many people choose to look at female athletes for their body and their looks rather than their performance on the field, court, ring or wherever they may perform. I think that this vision of female athletes needs to be gotten rid of but I do not see that happening any time soon. Images of women have always been used to sell different things and attract people’s attention to products and services. It’s even better if the woman posing for the photo happens to be a star soccer player, but people tend to ignore that fact and focus solely on her body image.

Women have been criticized and judged on their body image and only their body image for as long as we can remember. It is no different for female athletes, who are objectified and sexualized just as much as Victoria’s secret models. All too often, they are seen for only their body image and not their ability to perform extremely well in sports.

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Sportsmanship Beyond the Game

When we think of sportsmanship, we often think of being kind and courteous to the other team, shaking hands with the opposing teammates at the end of a game, and refraining from any sort of mean or negative behavior directed towards the other team. The term sportsmanship has been around for a very long time but good sportsmanship shouldn’t just occur on the field or court. It takes place in many aspects of life, and that is why good sportsmanship should be prioritized in all sports.

In the article Sportsmanship: A Deeper Understanding and Its Importance Beyond Sports, three different things are said to be taught to athletes who practice good sportsmanship. These three things are respect, losing with dignity, and winning with humility.

Respect is taught to athletes who practice good sportsmanship because they learn to respect the authority of superior figures (coach) and respect the other team despite their opposing goals to beat each other. They also gain a sense of respect for themselves because of the dedication and discipline it takes to be an athlete.

Athletes learn to lose with dignity. This does mean that they are able to lose a game without being angry or upset and without throwing a fit. However, this goes beyond the game field. Athletes who are good sports will take that skill with them later on in life to their future jobs. If they disagree with someone on a particular subject or idea and the other person ends up prevailing or being right in the end, the ability to lose with dignity will enable that person to move on cooperatively without becoming upset over the loss.

Athletes learn to win with humility when they practice good sportsmanship. This, too, will prove to be a valuable skill later on in life. When this person has a job, he or she will contribute good, quality ideas and strategies to the workplace that are better than the suggestions of other workers. Instead of bragging about it to the other workers, a good sport will help the other workers to see his or her point of view and will help them adjust to the new idea.

Sportsmanship is a style and an attitude.

Resources

http://kidshealth.org/en/teens/sportsmanship.html

http://www.decaturparks.com/sportsmanship-a-deeper-understanding.php