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German Gymnasts Are Taking A Stand Against Sexualization By Wearing Full-Body Suits Instead Of Their Former Revealing Outfits

Sports should be about people’s athletic prowess, marveling at their strength and dexterity, and celebrating breaking the limits of what we thought the human body is capable of. What sports should not be about is putting athletes in suggestive outfits so that the audience can ogle them shamelessly. Well, the Germans have finally had enough, it seems.

This Sunday, Germany’s gymnasts wore full-body suits (also known as unitards) in the women’s qualification at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics to protest the sexualization of their sport. Usually, gymnasts wear leotards that don’t cover the legs. The German team aims to take a stand against the sexualization of women, for comfort, and to help younger athletes feel safer in the sport. They believe that everybody should be able to choose to wear what they’re most comfortable with.

The debates about clothing and uniforms in sports can make you feel like you’re living in a bizarre version of Planet Earth. Bored Panda recently wrote about how the Norwegian women’s beach handball team got fined for wearing shorts instead of bikini bottoms. Meanwhile, there’s an ongoing heated discussion about whether or not to allow afro swimming caps in professional competitions.

Germany’s female gymnasts wore full-body suits instead of leotards at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics qualifying round on Sunday

Image credits: Pauline Schaefer

The gymnasts took a stand against the sexualization of their sport and young women

Image credits: Pauline Schaefer

Their goal is to help female gymnasts feel comfortable and safe no matter what they choose to wear

Image credits: Elisabeth Seitz

Image credits: Sarah Voss

Image credits: Pauline Schaefer

Image credits: Elisabeth Seitz

Image credits: Pauline Schaefer

Image credits: Kim Bui

Image credits: Deutscher Turner-Bund

Image credits: Elisabeth Seitz

Here is what the German team’s uniforms were like in 2016, in Rio

Image credits: Pauline Schaefer

Sexual abuse and the objectification of young women and girls in the world of gymnastics is a fact. AP notes that a former USA Gymnastics national team doctor, Larry Nassar, was sent to prison for 176 years for sexually abusing hundreds of gymnasts.

The difference between men’s and women’s uniforms in gymnastics competitions is striking. While women conventionally opt for leotards, men wear clothes that cover more of their bodies.

This isn’t the first time that the German gymnasts have chosen to defy conventions and take a stand against sexualizing women in the sport. They also wore unitards in April, at the European Gymnastics Championships.

The German team was the only one opting for unitards on Sunday. All the other teams wore leotards. Here’s the Brazil 2020 team

Image credits: Sarah Voss

USA 2020

Image credits: NBCOlympics/

Image credits: NBCOlympics/

Image credits: NBCOlympics/

Image credits: Sunisa Lee

Japan 2020

Image credits: Aiko Sugihara

Italy 2020

Image credits: Lara Mori

Controversy over clothing in sports is nothing new. Very recently, the Norwegian beach handball team got fined for choosing to wear shorts instead of bikini bottoms

Image credits: Norges Håndballforbund

Image credits: Norway beach handball women

However, so far, none of the other teams have chosen to follow in the Germans’ footsteps at the Olympics. And opinions about which uniforms are the most comfortable seem to be split among some athletes.

For instance, legendary American gymnast Simone Biles said in June that she prefers wearing leotards because they make her seem taller. However, she pointed out that she fully supports the idea that gymnasts should be able to choose to wear what they’re most comfortable with.

Here’s how some people reacted to the news about the German gymnasts wearing unitards

However, some internet users had a different opinion about wearing full-body suits

The post German Gymnasts Are Taking A Stand Against Sexualization By Wearing Full-Body Suits Instead Of Their Former Revealing Outfits first appeared on Bored Panda.



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