According to Seattle Times reporter Jayda Evans, Florida State’s new women’s basketball website is projecting somewhat sexualized imagery of the Glamazon variety. Not a big deal, right? At any rate, there are some women (and men) who feel otherwise. Here’s a little background on the matter:
“[The] program re-designed its traditional site with the help of Ron Sachs Communications to send an important message: Women athletes are powerful and beautiful, according to the press release. Players are depicted in silky, metallic-colored, sleeveless dresses either stepping out of a limo or leaning beside one in artistic glam shots. There’s a photo gallery and video for everyone.
“We feel it is important to set ourselves apart as much as we can,” Semrau said in the press release. “We look around at how things are presented in our business, and so much of it looks the same. We had a vision for something that others were not doing. We wanted to have a product that would stand out to the people we are trying to reach.”
What FSU has blatantly done is sexualized basketball. Sure, it may draw recruits — what young woman wouldn’t want to be part of a glamorous photo shoot?
But what are they selling? [Isn’t] the “target audience” [comprised of] recruits who sign to play hoops (and get an education)? You do get a sense of the players as people on the site, yet there’s not much basketball going on. And if anything is placed before “athlete,” isn’t it supposed to be “student” not “sex?”
And therein lies the problem – the added and unnecessary pressure for women to be sexually objectified. This marketing ploy could very well be of disservice to the players, aspiring Seminole recruits as well as the fans. One form of equal treatment could be manifested in the form of the male Seminole counterparts showing of more flesh in their promo site (Might we suggest something involving snug fitting pants and greased up pecs?). But even an equal approach to sexualizing college athletes doesn’t address the overall harm of this trend – nor what its existence indicates. In the end, Evans presents a compelling point. It’s one thing if this was the modeling or porn industry, but we’re talking about an institute of higher learning here.
Clutchettes & Gents, echoing the aforementioned question: If anything is placed before “athlete,” isn’t it supposed to be “student” not “sex?”