clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Women Boxers Will Look "Elegant" at the Olympics

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Challenging sartorial gender roles has never really been an issue when it comes to athletic wear for athletes participating in the Olympics. So when it comes to the debut of women's boxing at this year's games in London, which is a huge victory for women athletes, we're intrigued.

Normally we think tight spandex future garb, unisex leotards, or very small bathing suits or Flo-Jo's fingernails. But now we think about the stipulation that is coming with letting female boxers compete - they might be required to wear miniskirts in the ring.

The Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA) is reportedly considering the new dress code because it thinks skirts will make the female athletes look "elegant" and help "distinguish" them from their male counterparts.

Elizabeth Plank, an amateur boxer based in London (who has a petition about this), says, "The idea that female boxers should be made to wear skirts reduces these skilled athletes to sex objects. It undermines the respect they have long fought for." Also, competing in unfamiliar clothing could even negatively impact the boxers' performances.

And Elizabeth isn't the only boxer speaking out against the proposed dress code. When asked about the policy, three-time world champion Katie Taylor says, "I don't even wear miniskirts on a night out, so I definitely won't be wearing miniskirts in the ring."

The AIBA will be considering public opinion and feedback from the boxing world before making its final decision next week.
­ AIBA [Official Site]
· London 2012 [Official Site]