Monday, July 23, 2012

Swifter, Higher, Stronger...Sexier?


An illustration in this past weekend's Boston Globe Magazine about the uniforms for female Olympians. Some sport leaders want to create "a more female aesthetic", i.e. sex appeal, to draw in more crowds and attention for female sports--but this can come at the cost of athlete practicality and performance. This year boxing and badminton started requiring all female competitors to wear skirts, but later dropped the rule after bad press and complaints from athletes. Female beach volleyball players have always been required to wear bikinis (and some feel most comfortable in them), but the association recently changed their dress code to allow for shorts and t-shirts too.

Yes, aesthetics can have a powerful effect--drawing a bikini'd butt will almost certainly direct attention to the article-- but I think the article's writer, Shira Springer, sums up the issue nicely "The Games should showcase the world’s best athletes at the peak of their abilities, and that means team uniforms should be about practicality and performance, not eye candy."
Hear hear!

Sketches:




Thanks again to AD Ryan Huddle! You can read the rest of Shira's article here.

8 comments:

Fashion Design Course said...

Most of the women judge a men's swimwear on how appealing it appears to any of the onlookers. Speedos always have a very special place in the heart of many women. Most of the women simply love them. Most of these swimwear are usually loved when worn at the time of playing sports.

fashion design drawing

Sarah Fogg said...

Who decides which sketch to use, out of curiosity? I would have picked the other one, because it shows the athlete's face and has her in an active pose, so it highlights that they're people with skills rather than decorative objects. The one you used also gets the point across, but it's using the same 'eye-candy' trick that the sports officials were trying to impose.

Li-An said...

I don't agree. The second drawing is much more efficient: it says: "OK, I catched your attention, now read the article and think about that".
More on that, Olympic symbols is very well shown and the message is clear: "Do you think Olympics games are/should be sexy ?"

Kali Ciesemier said...

Hi guys! You've both got some good discussion going on, I'm flattered that you'd spend the time thinking about my piece in that way! Thank you! I just wanted to clarify--the art director and/or editor is always the one that picks the sketch, not the illustrator. I like both the sketches. The badminton sketch is more straightforward about female olympians being uncomfortable, but the volleyball sketch is more subversive. In the end I'm happy with how it turned out. Yes, it is clearly using the eye-candy trick to catch your attention, but that means that once you read the accompanying article, it gets you thinking about whether that's right approach or not! (i.e. bikinis do draw your attention, but should that really matter in the olympic games?) Just my 2 cents! :)

Sarah Fogg said...

I guess it's not fair to judge it without reading the article, since you designed it to appear in that context. I hadn't thought about the subversive effect of the two working together.

Kali Ciesemier said...

No worries--this is why I often wish that I could post the illustration in context with the article, so people can see the 2 together how they're meant to be. But even so, you have every right to feel that an illustration isn't doing its job, that's your prerogative as a viewer. :) I just wanted to clarify the situation a little bit!

Christopher S. Jennings said...

A good friend of mine was on a university sand volleyball team and competed on a national level. She told me the most comfortable thing they played in was their bikini. (Yes, she was also in CRAZY GOOD shape.)

Kenny G. Villacorta S. said...

Any chance you will have prints of this work for sale?