‘Sport Appeal, Not Sex Appeal;’ Olympic Broadcast Team Filters Images of Female Athletes To Avoid Being Sexualized
The head of broadcasting at the Tokyo Games pushed the mantra of "Sport appeal, not sex appeal," trying to filter overly sexualized images of female athletes to avoid them from being sexualized.
In an effort to reach gender equity on the field of play and on-screen, the Olympic broadcasting team aimed not only to set the highest level of television standards but also to maintain the images of athletes especially those who are prone to a wardrobe malfunction.
According to Yahoo Sports, Olympic Broadcasting Services chief executive Yiannis Exarchos shared Monday that their coverage would be a different experience. Exarchos said that the audience in their coverage would not see things that they have been seeing in the past, pointing out the details and close-up shots on parts of the body of athletes.
The goal of this year's Olympic broadcast team could be difficult especially with state-of-the-art technology filming sports that they currently have. Female athletes participating in sports such as beach volleyball, gymnastics, swimming, and track and field wore their scant and skimpy uniforms, which would be hard for the broadcasting team.
However, Exarchos stated that what they could do is to make sure that their coverage would not highlight or feature in any particular way what people were wearing.
Athlete's Protests Gaining Public Support
To achieve their goal, the International Olympic Committee or the IOC updated their "Portrayal Guidelines" to steer all Olympic sports and their rights holders toward "gender-equal and fair" broadcasts of their events. The updated guidelines includes verring away from focusing "unnecessarily on looks, clothing or intimate body parts" and reframing or deleting a "wardrobe malfunction ... to respect the integrity of the athlete."
Also, Exarchos stated that the Olympic goals went beyond ending sexualized images, especially with the recent protests from athletes who stated that they didn't want their sexuality to be exploited.
Members of Germany's Gymnastic team sent a message against uniforms they believe exploit their sexuality by competing in Tokyo wearing unitards that covered their legs to the ankle.
A month before the Tokyo Games, a stronger protest was made during a European beach handball event when Norway's women's team refused to play in bikini bottoms and instead wanted to wear skin-tight shorts. The players were fined for breaking clothing rules imposed by the competition.
The news reached to the three-time Grammy Award winner, Pink, and wrote on her social media account on Saturday that she was supportive of the Norwegian team for protesting against the rules. Pink even offered to pay for the team's penalty during the said tournament's clothing violation.
The International Olympic Committee stated that it did not govern those kinds of rules for individual sports, but said that they are running the OBS and controlling the broadcast output from Tokyo which is shown to the world, and that could be a possible solution.
This article is owned by Latin Post
Written by Jess Smith
WATCH: Germany's women's gymnastics team wears full body unitards to fight sexualization at Tokyo Olympics - WKYC Channel 3
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