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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?”

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  • Black Bolt

    I don’t think the sisters were objectified at all. I think they are elegant, classy, and beautiful. Their bodies are respectfully covered, yet they are still all very feminine. I like to see black women presented in this manner. And if it is an issue, they can always do a photo album of the male b-ballers with tuxes and GQ suits if they want.

  • I like FSU’s effort but I don’t like the shoot at all. I’ve interviewed WNBA players for my site and they all feel that the biggest misconception about the female athlete is the fact that they are considered to be lesbians because they can play ball real well. This may be a way to show that females can play ball and be ladies at the same time. Just a thought.

  • This was a good idea but the wrong subject. The photo shoot was OK, I didnt see it as provocative, (if that was there intent than they missed badly). Women basketball players have a stereotype of being unattractive, which then feeds the stereotype of all them being lesbians so I can see why people in the sport would be self conscious and try to sex up the image with idea I guess to attract more male support. It’s no secret that the biggest women sport stars are the ones that are pleasing to the eye. Hell you dont even have to be the most dominate player in the sport, like Danica Patrick, Maria Sharapova and Jennie Finch. Very sad but true.

  • I call BS on the premise of this article. These young ladies aren’t being pimped, they are being primped. Let’s face it: women’s college bball isn’t a big revenue generator, and FSU spent a little money to separate their program from others. This isn’t ANY different than how the WNBA markets its athletes. I don’t see anything these ladies are wearing that looks exploitative. If nothing else, it softens their images and makes them more likeable/human. This can’t be seen as anything other than a plus from a recruiting standpoint. How many other programs even have a notable website/marketing campaign for their women’s programs? I see lots of copycats in the future.

    What did you expect? A bunch of photos of the ladies shooting layups? Please.

    If nothing else, it makes the FSU program newsworthy for a good/decent reason.

  • Brit

    i see what they tried to do here, but i think it fell flat. i think they should have just sourced someone in from MAC, got them in some cute sweats and had a way better photoshoot that depicts them as feminine AND athletic. these ‘glamour shots’ will help them stand out, but not in a good way.