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Saturday, July 29, 2006 

#10 the FHM paradox

There is a show on Sportsnet right now called "beyond the Glory: Sex & Sports". Basically they are talking about how women's sports wouldn't be successful without the sex appeal. They are arguing on one hand that women's sports wouldn't be financially viable without sex appeal, and on the other hand that by selling the women's sex appeal takes away from the validity and respect for their sports. This is a very tough subject to tackle. It's true that when Anna was the face of Tennis, despite making a grand slam semi-final once, and never making the top ten rankings, that did take away from what the better players than her were accomplishing. But it's also true that many many men who would never bother watching tennis were turning their TV's on, increasing ratings, increasing sponsorship, increasing demand and thus increasing the payouts for women's tennis back into the pockets of those ahead of Anna in the rankings.

Then there was that soccer world cup where that US girl took off her top after winning the championship. All of a sudden there was talk about women's leagues and marketing and so on. As the memory of her little sports bra faded, so did interest in women's soccer. I'm not sure I ever hear it mentioned anymore.

The problems are this: Men watch sports much more than women. 18-34 year old males are the target demographic. Speaking as someone in that age group, I do enjoy attractive women. I enjoy sports much more (enough that I have never, and will never watch the lingerie bowl), however. But I enjoy it at the highest level. Women just are not built to compete in most sports the way men's bodies are physically made to. Watching WNBA games is about equivalent to boys high school basketball, and not even that good depending on the high school. The skill level is an issue, and since men are watching the sports the only way to counteract that is with sex appeal.

The question is, then, is that fair?

I don't know. I do know that if it is a sport with a male equivalent, it will not succeed without sex appeal. There is just no way around that, and there never will be. Half my suggestions for things to post today have been about Michelle Wie, or a list of the hottest athletes, etc. That's just the reality of sports.

And if you ask the players - ask Lindsey davenport how her millions of dollars compare to being a footnote to Anna's "dominance" of the sport during her prime, and I don't think she'll complain too much. Ask the hundreds of athletes who have posed in FHM or put out a nude curling calendar, and so on, and they weren't forced to do those things, they chose to. Heck, Andre Agassi did it back in the day. Why exactly did he get so many more endorsements than Sampras?

There is a balance there, but sports are primarily entertainment. That's why they get paid so much. Part of the reality for women in sports is that there is a sexual element, and they understand that before they sign their contracts. If it's something that really bothers them, then they should stick to playing in their home town, unknown and dominating, and gaining respect for their abilities from a dozen people that way. This is the business of sports, and if you're going to make that your career you have to take everything that comes with it, as fair or unfair as it all might be.

how are you actually doing real lengthy posts and getting this many in? no way you keep this up, its way to impressive for you to manage!

whoa, hell of a topic to tackle.

girl's are eye candy, and they know it. they all dress the way they do to get attention, they shouldnt complain when they get it.

Haha, I was just watching that!! And that lingerie bowl thing looks like pure jokes!!

sometimes sex appeal isn't the most important factor in being with a guy or even dating him first before all the action. what i'm after in webdate*dot*com is the conversation that i can have and the typr of guy that he is. the appeal comes at the middle part of the list.

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