Daily Archives: September 11, 2019

swimsuit controversy

I find the swimsuit controversy in Alaska interesting.  Basically, a very fast swimmer was disqualified after winning the 100 m freestyle at a meet for not being adequately covered.  The swimmer is female and mixed race.  The judge’s decision has been more or less attributed to sexism and racism.

If I hadn’t spent the summer at swim meets with my daughter, I think my take on this would be a little different.  I would probably be horrified and disgusted by the judgment of women’s bodies.  However, I did spend my summer at swim meets, and things have changed in the last 20 years.  The swimsuits my daughters’ team has are pretty standard, similar to what I used to wear, but some of the teams we competed against would offer multiple swimsuit styles, one of which provided much less back coverage, which the older girls would often select.  Keep in mind this is summer swim, and we went to the B-level swim meets, in which the slower kids compete, so it’s not like girls are wearing these suits to qualify for the olympic trials.  In addition, many of the girls in the 14 and up range buy the suits in what appears to be 3 sizes too small.  As someone who is nearly 7 months pregnant and able to pack myself into my normal swimsuit without showing off any more of my body than usual, I do not buy that they can’t find a suit that would fit better and still allow them to swim fast.   I would go with my daughter to the starting blocks to make sure she knew where she was going (as was typical), and she’d often compete right after teenage girls, and yeah, I saw more of their anatomy than I would have liked to on occasion.  A lot more.

Should a male judge be evaluating whether a female high school girl’s rear end is adequately covered by her swim suit?  Sorry, no.  That just does not work.  It’s unacceptable.

But I do question why teams and teen girls are selecting such revealing swimsuits.