The question of whether women competing in beach volleyball at the London Games will take advantage of new rules allowing for a uniform other than the traditional bikini is surely an important one to someone out there.
Count Reuters among the interested with this nearly 1200 word treatise on bikinis, sexiness and the culture of California. Do yourself a favor, if you have an hour or two and read "Women wear bikinis with pride: top players not ashamed of outfits."
A few highlights:
The top women players do not seek to deny that the lure of their sweating bodies in bikinis draws in audiences, generates media interest and boosts advertising revenue.
[Misty] May-Treanor's website features a video of her in mid-workout in her gym kit as well as photos of her posing suggestively in a glamorous bathing suit. She see no incompatibility between the sport's sexy image and the tough physical work it involves.
A woman who in 2008 persuaded then U.S. President George W. Bush to slap her lower back in the way the players do after points, she is not one to shy away from macho banter.
Brazilian world champion Juliana Felisberta Silva, a favorite for gold in London, seems to embrace sexually charged humour with as much gusto as she approaches high-level competition.
During a pre-Games news conference, Felisberta spoke passionately about her dream of a showdown against May-Treanor in the Olympic final, while also cracking multiple jokes about which players, male and female, had the best bodies.
But many women outside the sport are incensed by how the sporting prowess is trivialised by constant sexual innuendo.
This is just, like, halfway through the article now mind you. It really is impressive. I've never read an article so dedicated to rebutting a premise it is furthering. Even more perplexing is the depiction of most every beach volleyball player as some flighty, sexual nymph that enjoys the attention her bikini brings her, ending with this bookend from May-Trainor.
"All the work we're putting in must be paying off because if they're so (interested in) what we're wearing it's like, yeah, we must have awesome bodies," she said, bursting out laughing.
One gets the feeling the author wanted us to imagine Misty coyly covering her mouth and giggling rather than laughing at the inanity of it all as she and her colleagues continue to be the only athletes answering dumb questions about their uniforms.