It’s All About the Boobies

So, you know how yesterday we were discussing how female Olympic athletes’ uniforms seem expressly designed for maximum ogling? And how the women’s swimsuits are just about the only uniforms that actually appear functional and comfortable?

Well, Simon Barnes has a problem with that. No, not with the ogling — with the swimsuits.

Those who have been watching the swimming at the Olympic Games could be forgiven for asking the obvious question. I mean: what’s happened to women’s breasts? Once, female swimming champions had them, now they don’t. They have broad shoulders and wide chests, but no lumps on them. It’s not quite as it should be. Is it masculinising drugs? Some kind of anti-cosmetic surgery? An early example of massed gene-doping?

No. It’s the Speedo LZR Racer.

Emphasis mine.

Barnes goes on to explain that the compression suits improve performance and make things easier on the athletes’ bodies — so, you know, he guesses it’s okay. “You can always regain your femininity when you have wriggled out of the damn things after the race.” Oh, hey, great point! I mean the one about how wearing functional, appropriate clothing to compete against other world-class athletes = a loss of femininity, of course. Thank god there’s a cure! Just wriggle out of a wet swimsuit in front of a bunch of TV cameras, preferably flashing the boobs that were so confusingly compressed for a couple of minutes there!

And hey, didja know there actually have been boob flashes, y’all? Two Australian swimmers already had the suits come apart on them! AWESOME! (Which leads me to wonder: At some point, shouldn’t the possibility of seeing naked boobs outweigh the lamentable lack of outlines in the LZR Racer? Get your priorities straight, Barnes!)

It gets better. Given all the new world records being set in swimming these days, Barnes generously concedes, “So it’s worth looking a bit flat-chested if you want the speed.”

IF you want the speed. As an Olympic athlete.

“Hmm, shall I go with the suit that’s better for my body and will increase my chances of winning, or the one that will increase the pleasure of men staring at my tits while I compete in an event I’ve been training my fucking ass off for years? Crap, let me get back to you. That’s a toughie.”

Something here is not quite as it should be. I’ll give the wankstain that much.

114 thoughts on “It’s All About the Boobies

  1. The weird “Men who participate in partners’ diving look gay!” bit at the end was weird, too. Wankstain, indeed.

  2. In fact, it was so weird that I had to say “weird” twice up there. Weird weird weird weird. Weird.

  3. Of course, you could be *really* unlucky and only have small boobies to begin with. Then you can NEVER be feminine. Oh well, perhaps you could reconcile yourself to just being an Olympic athelete or something. Ah well, at least we know IT’S ALL ABOUT THE BOOBS. As though we could ever forget.

    (and as occhiblu said, the ‘synchro diving looks like a gay suicide pact’ comment was another highlight)

  4. I didn’t even get as far as the synchro comment. Oof.

    Then you can NEVER be feminine. Oh well, perhaps you could reconcile yourself to just being an Olympic athelete or something.

    Sx, that made me lol.

  5. “Those who have been watching the swimming at the Olympic Games could be forgiven for asking the obvious question. I mean: what’s happened to women’s breasts?”

    And here I was sure that the obvious question was “where can I get one of those suits?”

  6. Just wow. Lots of snarky little comments trying to form in my mind right now but none of them seem to do this justice.

    This part though: “it always seems to have a homoerotic whiff about it” made me snarf. Sexual preferences have a scent? “New from Calvin Klein: Eau de Hetero” It made me laugh; even though I know it was written as a “How dare human beings touch each other in a purely platonic way since I am going to make sexual assumptions about them!” thing but oh well. Guess I have to take what humor I can out of that drivel

  7. @April D: “New from Calvin Klein: Eau de Hetero” You know, you should really think of those of us drinking seltzer while reading the next time you type something that funny. Carbonation through the nose hurts!!!

  8. “Those who have been watching the swimming at the Olympic Games could be forgiven for asking the obvious question. I mean: what’s happened to women’s breasts?”

    I love that these women are representing ALL women, as well. I mean, I just recently had to upgrade (after FINALLY getting sized at LB) to a DDD cup, but NO, women’s breasts IN GENERAL have disappeared. I guess I’m just more feminine than these gals.

    Sadly, too, this reminded me of a quote from Erin Brockovitch, where one character is postulating about her circumstances (and I’m paraphrasing): “You think if you’ve got no breasts, and no ovaries, and no uterus, you’re still technically a woman?” It’s always an interesting reflection on what it is that actually makes us the females that we are.

  9. *tries to clean head explody off the computer screen*

    And I didn’t even go and read the whole thing!

    (I don’t think I want to, either. It’d probably make me want to go take about five showers afterwards.)

  10. Y’know, the synchro diving is the only thing I’ve seen so far where male bodies are displayed, and in fact displayed more than the women’s. It’s very sexy. And he says it’s “homoerotic”? Barnes, your misogyny does little to mask your projection. Try again.

  11. *jawdrop*

    This guy is a journalist, important enough in his field for the Times to send him to Beijing to cover the Olympics, and his point is “HAY TEHSE CHICKS R NOT PURTY ENUFF” followed by “HAY GIRLY TAKE IT OFF!”

    *facepalm* Really.

  12. Wow. Because having breasts is what makes us women. /sarcasm I wonder what he thinks about women who have had mastectomies or have naturally smaller breasts. ><

    Also: “Just managed to catch another round of the synchrinised diving. Theirs is a sport not without beauty, but it always seems to have a homoerotic whiff about it as well. It all looks like a wonderfully elegant gay suicide pact.”

    “Gay suicide pact”? What the hell is funny about that? Homophobic much? He also can’t spell “synchronized” the sexist asshole.

  13. There is now a hole in my desk. I really wish it was Simon Barnes’ head that had gone through it instead of mine.

    On a related note, I mean, what’s happend to men’s dicks? Seriously, where is the good old bannana hammock? Once we were treated to scintillating views of swimmer’s softies. And now we have to look at them in half of a wetsuit?

    I want to see some scrotum boys, and I want to see it now!

    (Omg I can’t even believe I typed that. *shudder* Just in case anyone is tempted to send me photos of their man meat, I was being SARCASTIC. Penis photos DO NOT WANT.)

  14. The obvious question I was asking was “Is Michael Phelps going to flash everyone in the stadium? Because if he peels that suit down one more inch, I’m pretty sure that’s what’s going to happen.” Seriously. He had that Racer off of his top half and halfway down the bottom half the minute he got out of the water, every single time, and I kept thinking that if it slumps down any, he’s in for a huge FCC fine.

  15. If you’re watching the Olympics right now, you’re watching because you like swimsuit competitions, not because you like sports.

    Look at the events hogging the air time – beach volleyball, diving, swimming, and gymnastics. If you can squeeze your athletes into skimpy clothing, NBC will air it. These games are meant for TV viewers, from start to finish. From faking the fireworks to carefully avoiding discussion of underage gymnasts, NBC will do whatever it takes to make sure it doesn’t antagonize its sponsors, who in turn don’t want to antagonize a government tightly controlling 1.2 billion consumers.

    Just turn the TV off. Permanently. In the long term that will accomplish more than a thousand angry letters.

  16. Yeah, thanks for reminding us that even when women compete at the most elite levels in the world, our looks are still what’s most important.

  17. Hey guys! Maybe he’d understand an analogy:

    Look, Barnes, female swimmers minimize their breasts to swim fast, just like you minimize your intelligence and wit to write fast.

    Just like you aren’t a crappy writer to piss me off personally, neither are the female swimmers trying to annoy you personally with the non-bouncing boooooobies.

    And just like the *point* is not to write tripe – though it is a known but unintended consequence of being up against a looming deadline – so with the racers

    And just like the female Olympic swimmers have to be the best of the best in the world even to get a chance to compete…

    Well, shit, now I’m stuck.

  18. you know, i didn’t think i could hate the olympics any worse than i already do, but this just makes me want to cry.

    seriously.

  19. Also, thanks for the great advice, MikeyT! You completely solved all the sexism and misogyny that’s been woven through the Olympics! If we don’t pay attention to it, it’s like it’s not there!

    Have you thought about becoming a life coach? If so, please, can I be the first to get a private consultation, because your wisdom would be invaluable towards solving some of the other things that the Patriarchy has been bugging me with.

  20. If that wankstain (I love that word!) wants to oogle at boobs, I should invite him to come sit in my office all day. Mine are so ginormous no amount of compression will make them go away. I mean really, that’s all I’m good for right? My boobs? I don’t have a brain or any real skills or talent….so perhaps being appreciated for my only redeemable quality, my ginormous breasts, is what I need to be more confident….right? Wankstain!

  21. Oi. Let’s get it straight, people.

    Women’s bodies are ornamental.

    Men’s bodies are functional.

    Duh.

    *sarcastic snark*

  22. Amazing MikeyT!

    So… if I close my eyes and stick my fingers in my ears and go LAALAALAA then all of the things that are pissing me off right now; like the sexist attitude being displayed in the media towards women who have worked so hard all of their lives to get the chance to compete in this prestigious event, the stupidity of a uniform policy in women’s beach volleyball that has a MAXIMUM size for the amount a woman’s arse can be covered, the fact that sportswomen of even Olympic calibre are being reduced to their T+A at every fucking opportunity, it will all magically go away?

    Oh no wait… it won’t. I’ll just become willfully ignorant, and all that shit will just keep on going and going like a little Duracell bunny made of hate.

  23. Deborah L.
    “Barnes, your misogyny does little to mask your projection.”

    You reckon?

    Maybe he needs an LZR speedo “projection” compression suit…. :)

  24. What a douche. Seriously. That’s all I can say.

    The last thing on these women’s minds is whether they look feminine or not. They are working to achieve their goals, not trying to attract men.

    Can’t they just swim without this inane commentary about their bodies???

  25. You have to quit buying the product if you want people to stop selling it. Like I said earlier, the Olympics is no longer about sports. If you like beach volleyball, then play beach volleyball. Why do you need 8000 tons of freaking sand shipped across an ocean and 5000 TV cameras on you?

    Amazingly, there are plenty of women playing beach volleyball right now who are wearing comfortable and functional clothing. Support them instead of buying into the party line that the Olympics are “prestigious” and must be supported no matter what. They quit being prestigious about the same time they created beauty standards for 7 year old kids to appear on TV.

  26. MikeyT,
    I don’t even watch the Olympics. Like at all. Ever.

    But this still pisses me off.

    It is not wrong to say something pisses you off. And yeah, people could turn off their TVs and stop “buying” the product that is promoting such sexism. Truthfully though, boycotts have limited effectiveness.

    Even with a boycott, we still have to talk about WHY we are for instance, never going to read another column by Simon Barnes, EVER.

    I get what you are saying, but your dismissive tone is not helping you here.

  27. I don’t buy the product. I don’t own a TV. I do find other ways to watch the Olympics and keep up to speed with what is going on int he outside world. But I don’t see why that should be my only reaction; discussing the matter here, learning more about the issues, then campaigning, raising awareness, letting the Olympic officials know WHY I won’t buy their product… these things get results.

    After all, if the ever-increasing emphasis on T+A is a reaction to perceived market forces, then won’t any dip in viewer numbers likely be responded to with “oh no, we’re not showing enough boobies! Quick! Put them all in string thongs and pasties!” But if I refuse to buy AND make some noise, they know why.

  28. I’ll stick with my position, and no, Tricia, not everyone on the Internet who disagrees with you is automatically a “troll”. Sometimes people just have different opinions. I’m not here to win anything.

    Shinobi, sorry about the tone. I’m not trying to antagonize anyone, but I don’t sugar coat my words either. I blame media for a large portion of cultural problems today, both race and gender based. I’m just saying the Olympics now falls into that spectrum, rather than being a serious sporting event.

    I’ll butt out now to avoid pissing off anyone further…

  29. Heh…
    *sports commentator voice*
    And look! There’s Bunny Mazonas going for another 10 in the multiple response event!!!!

  30. Plus, MikeyT, some of us enjoy watching sports like swimming and diving once every four years and also think it’s cool to watch and support people who are at the very top of their game. That’s different than, say, swimming myself which I do, in fact, sometimes do. (Those two things aren’t mutually exclusive? Go figure.) The fact that crappy things happen at the Olympics doesn’t mean it’s a totally pointless event that should be thrown out altogether.

  31. Mikey T, you’re out of line. Sexism does not go away if we stop “buying the product.” If you can’t understand why that is, take a trip over to Feminism 101 and spend some time there.

    You’re derailing the thread, and this is the last warning you’ll get.

  32. For me the obvious question is, how the hell can Phelps set new world records in butterfly with his goggles falling off? That has been the most mindblowing so far.

  33. I don’t watch the Olympics because I’m just not a sporty type of person.

    Speaking as a pervy type of person, though, I do however, really like wet, naked boobies.

    Still — even I know this guy is missing the point in a huge way. Olympics are for sports, not boobies, silly man.

  34. In his obsession with elite athletes’ racks, Mr. Barnes is overlooking a problem of sci-fi-epic proportions: wankstains have developed the ability to write newspaper columns.

    Too much radiation? Genetic engineering gone horribly awry? As long as the BOOBIES distract us, we’ll never know….

  35. I cannot even begin to describe how tired I am of reading shit essentially saying women exist for the viewing pleasure of men. I tried to leave this as a comment

    “Women do not exist for your viewing pleasure! You make me sick. Some women are also A and B cups and happy with themselves, I wonder if that totally boggles your pea brain?”

    But I don’t think it will show up. Not that it would make a difference anyway, probably. :(

  36. Oh, and I forgot to say — “lumps”? REALLY? Oy.

    @SweetMachine – Woooooooow. That photo is way cool. It’s like something out of the Matrix lol

    @Dani – That seems to be happening with unsettling frequency these days, doesn’t it?

  37. The obvious question I was asking was “Is Michael Phelps going to flash everyone in the stadium? Because if he peels that suit down one more inch, I’m pretty sure that’s what’s going to happen.” Seriously. He had that Racer off of his top half and halfway down the bottom half the minute he got out of the water, every single time, and I kept thinking that if it slumps down any, he’s in for a huge FCC fine.

    I wondered that too! Wow, is he in shape or what? Did you see the Junkfood Science post about what all he eats?

    Re: Goggles – Having swum competitively in my own youth, I don’t know how he did it either, except that he knows how many strokes it takes to get down the length of the pool. He says he just counted and that rocks my ever loving socks off too.

    Re: Compression suits for the ladies. That explains the lack of boobs I was wondering about as well. I never swam at a level requiring the MondoSuit. It also explains the little pudges of flesh hanging out under their arms. I knew they were caused by the suits but have been waiting for the fatophobic press to say something about weight. So far, I haven’t noticed anything, they’ve been too busy being impressed by how fast the girls are going.

  38. If you like beach volleyball, then play beach volleyball.

    MikeyT, when you develop a sure-fire cure for rheumatoid arthritis and methods for repairing the damage of twenty-odd years of accumulated joint damage, you get back to me, you hear?

  39. SM, thanks for that link! They’ve got a *gorgeous* photo of Van Grunsven and Salinero in the Dressage Grand Prix, both of ‘em with their tongues hanging out!

  40. I don’t have enough sanity watchers points saved up to go read that article, but it can probably be summarized thus-

    SPORTS JOURNALISM – YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG.

  41. I’m furious at the implication that women aren’t women unless they have boobs that the audience can ogle. The fuck? Oh, it’s such a TRAVESTY that men can’t ogle every woman they see. This goes back to a culture that teaches men to expect women to be visually appealing, and anything less than what THEY find attractive is clearly wrong!

  42. We have enough pornography in this world. We don’t need it at the Olympics. If you wanna get a hard-on watching women’s boobies, go rent Big Jugs Part 47. These women are here to swim, not to screw. Well, at least not in front of the camera anyway. What happens at the Olympic Villiage stays at the Olympic Villiage.

  43. Sweetmachine, wow. Neither of those women in the judo pic are touching the ground. 0_0

    …I want to be a badass now.

  44. He had to find some way to trivialize the accomplishments of these atheletes. I mean, they do have VAGINAS after all.

  45. He had to find some way to trivialize the accomplishments of these atheletes. I mean, they do have VAGINAS after all.

    But yellowhammer, then he’d be complaining that he couldn’t see the female figure skaters vaginas and asscracks during the Winter Olympics, while scared that any male figure skater who wore gloves and feathers on his costume would be *gasp* gay!

  46. “You can always regain your femininity when you have wriggled out of the damn things after the race.”

    Being female is a FULL TIME JOB! It leaves no time for secondary crap like holding down a job, having a hobby, taking part is civic events or competing in world class sporting events!

    Come on, ladies! Why are you even reading this blog when you should be researching cosmetic surgery or bathing in ass’s milk?!?!?!

  47. I love the fact that he assumes that chests with “no lumps on them” (he totally aced “human anatomy for the kindergartener 101″) must be due to “masculinising drugs” or “anti-cosmetic surgery” (nobody would ever want to reduce their breast size–that’s crazy talk!)

    Because, y’know, naturally all women are born with D cups and they never change in size.

    I think this dude’s self-centeredness is almost more intense than his misogyny. He seems to take the fact that women have the nerve to be flat-chested as a personal attack against him. (“How dare you be broad-shouldered at me when I’m trying to ogle you!”)

  48. alohamoira- the answer to the goggles falling off is you keep your eyes open you can pretty much always see out of one! I’ve had that happen to me a meets doing a fly race and the IM. During the IM I waited until I was at the flags on the backstroke leg, yanked them off in a stroke and kept em in my hands until the turn at which point I tossed em backwards and onto the deck where my coach got them (and can I say, I kicked ass in that race even though I swam the fly with my goggles in my mouth they slid down that much?).

    Of course I like that people are complaining about the no boobies with the new suit but forget that the men need them too as their pecs breakup their streamline as does everyone’s quads. Yay fluid dynamics and the Navier-Stokes equation.

  49. (”How dare you be broad-shouldered at me when I’m trying to ogle you!”)

    @Meg: This cracks me up. Also completely reminds me of the sentiment “How dare you be fat when you COULD be skinny and I could find you attractive? How dare you be one less woman to fit my standards?”

    Men. Seriously.

  50. I’m sad that the equestrian events don’t get more coverage. They are the only events that I vaguely care about. That photo is awesome!

    Well, here in England, I’ve seen coverage of dressage events (where the women dress exactly like the men!) and no sign of beach volleyball at all…

  51. he’d be complaining that he couldn’t see the female figure skaters vaginas and asscracks during the Winter Olympics, while scared that any male figure skater who wore gloves and feathers on his costume would be *gasp* gay!

    Manly he-men don’t watch figure skating because it’s “not a real sport”. Any man that does watch figure skating is therefore either gay or on his way to catching it, obviously. (Tho, Evgeni Plushenko is made of so much awesome that I don’t doubt he’s turned many a straight man’s head.)

  52. K, when I saw the word “wankstain” here, I read it as Wankistan, which is clearly where wankstains would live. And a nation that we all can agree needs bombed.

  53. Oh yeah, I swam “competitively” for a few years too, so of course I’ve had the bad goggles situation – but it always threw me off at least a tiny bit, so the idea of STILL being able to completely blow away Olympic level competition with something like that… incredible.

  54. cowsharky:

    K, when I saw the word “wankstain” here, I read it as Wankistan, which is clearly where wankstains would live. And a nation that we all can agree needs bombed.

    He. I read it as Wankenstein. You know, mad scientist obsessed with creating a female body to fulfil his adolescent fantasies.

    Anyway, Simon Barnes = total douche

  55. ok you are all cracking me up w/the smartness and the sarcastic wittiness. my hubby is looking at me like i’ve gone loony b/c i keep busting out in spontaneous laughter!

    i was actually just discussing this very thing w/him last night. we were all… ‘hey how come the women play volleyball in the smallest bikini possible and the men play in board shorts and a tshirt?’ and that was quickly followed by… ‘well at least the women’s swimsuits are sensible and functional.’ clearly we were being totally insensitive of teh menz. (and clearly my hubby has a whif of teh gay since he agreed w/me) heh. personally, i think they should make the men’s gymnastics team wear those tiny speedo things if the girls have to wear so little.

  56. So…if I’m practically boobless WITHOUT the magic Olympic swimsuit & therefore have nothing to “wriggle out of,” how am I supposed to “regain” my “femininity”?!?! Help!!!!

  57. I bet those world class athletes are all crying onto their medal ribbons, like “Oh noez, woe is me, Simon Barnes doesn’t want to wank at my swimsuit pixx!!!eleven :,(((“

  58. Emmy “Well, here in England, I’ve seen coverage of dressage events (where the women dress exactly like the men!) and no sign of beach volleyball at all…”

    If you have digital TV over here, you can choose which events you watch – the BBC broadcasts live events plus, if those aren’t going on, highlights of the others.

    As the Olympics is coming to London in 2012, I’ve been considering writing to people like Lord Coe (former Olympic medallist himself, now high up in the British Olympic side of things and Boris Johnson (currently mayor of London, although whether he still will be in 2012 is anyone’s guess) and asking whether they couldn’t get the ruling on the beach volleyball clothing changed, at least. After all, if the rules can be put in for Athens, can’t they be taken out for London? And London likes to sell itself as a multicultural city, so why not alter a dress code that limits, if not prevents, the participation of women from countries where modest clothing is valued?

  59. …*blink*

    is all I have about that.

    (Olympic athletes. Olympic athletes, and it’s still about how they look for the menz?)

  60. I’m surprised he didn’t mention the lack of string bikinis and long flowing wet hair to be tossed back.
    Please.

  61. Also, Knithappy, isn’t it a bit colder in London in the summer? I don’t know where the beach volleyball would take place, but it seems like you’d want more clothes on in general.

  62. Manly he-men don’t watch figure skating because it’s “not a real sport”. Any man that does watch figure skating is therefore either gay or on his way to catching it, obviously. (Tho, Evgeni Plushenko is made of so much awesome that I don’t doubt he’s turned many a straight man’s head.)

    Heeee! My Dad will be simply gobsmacked to find out after all this time that he is gay. Mom will probably be surprised, too. After all it’s her fault that he watches baseball and figure skating.

    (I do realize that this is much funnier if you’ve actually met my Dad.)

  63. Thanks for the smackdown on MickeyT, since my head just about exploded after reading his? comment. So I won’t go over all of that again.

    I did want to note, however, that it’s pretty darn obvious that he’s not watching the coverage. For one thing, primetime NBC has mentioned the controversy about possibly underaged Chinese gymnists at least three times that I’ve seen, including having Beli Karoli spend at least two minutes talking about it during one of his interviews. And other than beach volleyball (which is completely indefensible T&A other than that the Americans are 99% sure to win the gold), the events in primetime are the popular ones. Or does he really think that water polo or weighlifting has more nationwide appeal than gymnastics?

    Also, he can watch the non-primetime NBC coverage (which includes daytime NBC, USA, Universal HD, Telemundo, and MSNBC, all of which are owned by NBC) if he wants to see the less popular stuff. It’s not like they’re not showing at least 75% of the events to some degree, and often up the coverage if the USA is doing unexpectedly well. They showed the ladies saber finals, for instance.

    Frankly, I blame the IOA for the T&A much more than NBC, which has made massive strides in improving their coverage this time around. (They’re also showing far fewer fluff pieces, which I appreciate.)

  64. By the way, I didn’t go into Simon Wankistein at all because his comments were just. too. stupid. MickeyT was just the one unlucky enough to next attract my attention. :)

  65. I love it. You know what men’s solution is for everything?

    FREE MARKET

    Are you silly little girls upset over sexism? Just don’t buy it, bitchez. Then it’ll just go away!

    Anything that exists must be THE BEST THING EVER because if people didn’t like it, they wouldn’t buy it!

    There are no problems with modern society at all! Laissez faire means that if something isn’t perfect, it won’t exist because people won’t buy it and the perfect option will magically appear and they’ll all give their money to it instead! Don’t you see? FREE MARKET SOLVES EVERYTHING

  66. So you can’t complain about ANYTHING because OOOOOBVIOUSLY if something exists it is because that is how the Lord Savior Adam Smith’s Holy Invisible Hand deemed it should be!

  67. Sorry, I’m in a piss-poor mood right now. Fuck this stuff, seriously. Fuck the Olympic rules, fuck the professional oglers, and fuck the people who drop by to tell the wimminz that if they have a problem with something they shouldn’t pay any attention to it because, like, OH LOOK SOMETHING SHINY

  68. NBC has mentioned the controversy about possibly underaged Chinese gymnists at least three times that I’ve seen, including having Beli Karoli spend at least two minutes talking about it during one of his interviews

    Yeah, my favorite thing about that scandal is how Bela Karolyi has become the go-to champion of feminism and children’s rights. *eyeroll*

  69. Oh yes, that was hilarious! For certain painful values of hilarious. I eyerolled so hard at the time that I almost sprained something. I just mentioned it to show that it wasn’t being ignored in the coverage. :)

  70. SM, it’s like October over here right now.

    The British climate knows when there’s a sporting event on and adjusts itself accordingly to RAIN, so the Olympics is sure to trigger a downpour. The beach volleyball will probably have to be played in pac-a-macs!

    I should imagine they’d stage the beach volleyball somewhere like Brighton, a nice town and easily accessible from London.

  71. Man, it seems a little insane that a professional journalist wouldn’t grasp that Olympians are usually not only women/men who can out perform. But that they are also somewhat required to be built to succeed according to the sport they’re participating in. Which is why you’re unlikely to see a 5’10″ woman in gymnastics, and also as unlikely to see an “ideally” shaped female form in OLYMPIC swimming.

    The best swimmers are broad shouldered with narrow hips. On a man this is acceptable. On a woman, this shape apparently scares the shit out of Simon, but probably ensures they’re swimming fast enough to actually compete at an Olympic level. I mean if you want to ogle women with what you feel are ideal shapes you should stay the hell away from the Olympics. The women competing at this level work hours, days, weeks, months, years to achieve their goals….not one of which is look lovely for Simon Barnes.

  72. Okay, so, the article made me so angry and sad that I thought maybe I’d throw up. But the comments MADE MY WHOLE DAY, so it was worth it in the end.

    This is one of many reasons that I took zero time out of my life to watch the human Olympics… although my world was put on hold and I rushed home from work to watch the Puppy Olympics on Animal Planet.

    Well, that and I happen to like puppies better than I like sports.

  73. I’ve been following ONTD (a celebrity blog on LiveJournal) for fun, exciting Olympic commentary. Which is a big mistake, as most any feminist who sets foot in that community probably knows. They ridicule fat people on a pretty much daily basis, and there are sexist comments aplenty. Some of the people on their are so exhuberant, though, about the olympic games that it’s fun to see everyone interact. For the most part, on the Olympics thread everyone is kind to the athletes (as most people REALIZE they aren’t competing in a beauty pageant, but instead to be the most amazing athlete in the world at what they do). But anyway, they did a post about the nip slip from one of the Aussie girls, and someone said “All those female swimmers are absolutely hideous.” Then she went on to add that they’re hideous because they don’t looke “feminine and elegant” and I was upset for the rest of the night because… well… why does a woman who has muscles and power instantly look masculine, for one? I’ve spent my whole week being AMAZED by these women–wanting to be them not for their bodies, but for their strength and confidence. So to see someone say these women once again “weren’t good enough” because they didn’t buy into some ridiculous beauty standard WHILE THEY WERE SWIMMING IN THE OLYMPICS was just heartbreaking to me.

    A horrible reminder that a female who doesn’t constantly try to please everyone but herself isn’t what anyone wants. :(

  74. Oh, now he’s boo-hoo-hooing about his “blog trolls.” What a waste of oxygen. That’s right, Mr. Entitlement: if other people express strong disagreement and scorn for the crap you wrote, it must be because THEY’RE trolls, not because you’re a leering idiot.

  75. I read an article on the Speedo suit at lunch today, and along with this post, it made me remember something about the days when I spent a lot of time in swimsuits. Man, did I ever LOVE the feeling of compression that a good bathing suit gave me. It was like a small piece of freedom to not have to deal with the breast issue at all, and that’s from someone with average-to-small boobs. It was like shedding my skin and stepping into one that was better adapted for the water. So… now I’m wondering what sizes TYR and Speedo sell their suits up to nowadays. ;)

  76. Anyone see the Belgium/USA women’s beach volleyball last night? My family watching (from America) were nonetheless rooting for Belgium, because 1. they were so close!, 2. they were the underdogs, and 3. they had a modicrum of body fat. It was just so exciting to see someone who looked more like me doing such amazing athletics.

  77. Oh, now he’s boo-hoo-hooing about his “blog trolls.”

    Trolls. I do not think it means what he thinks it means. But what I think takes the cake is this:

    I suppose the problem is that some people can’t come to terms with the idea that intelligent people like sport, and might want to read someone who tries to write about sport in an intelligent way.

    Because his commentary has been so intellectuoolz, we iz blinded by the light.

    Oh, Maude. Do I ever miss Jim McKay.

  78. martini, I have been trying to write a poem for years about how wonderful it is that breasts float, because being in the water is the only time I don’t feel their weight. Uh, I’ll let you know if it ever gets finished. ;-)

  79. ‘Man, it seems a little insane that a professional journalist wouldn’t grasp that Olympians are usually not only women/men who can out perform. But that they are also somewhat required to be built to succeed according to the sport they’re participating in. Which is why you’re unlikely to see a 5′10″ woman in gymnastics, and also as unlikely to see an “ideally” shaped female form in OLYMPIC swimming.’

    Me too, Buffy. Actually, It was my initial thought about his ‘obvious question’, and also, did he fail to see how most of them have big lumps at their arms, pretty much in the same way as when a woman wears a bra a size too small?

    He writes (correctly) about the importance of a swimsuit that makes one as streamlined as possible, but fail to recognize that freakin’ body type matters too?

    And what is ‘anti-cosmetic surgery’ anyway?

  80. martini, I have been trying to write a poem for years about how wonderful it is that breasts float, because being in the water is the only time I don’t feel their weight. Uh, I’ll let you know if it ever gets finished. ;-)

    You know, I just recently started wondering if that’s part of why I like being in the water so much (not the only reason, to be sure, but factor). It’s quite freeing.

  81. And what is ‘anti-cosmetic surgery’ anyway?

    I’m thinking it involves lots of blunt instruments. It’s something i’d love to show him. Preferably a clue-by-four, applied directly to the base of his skull.

  82. if something exists it is because that is how the Lord Savior Adam Smith’s Holy Invisible Hand deemed it should be!

    amandaw, I nearly fell over laughing. Thankyou for that.

  83. Sweet Machine, I would love to read that poem. ;)

    You know, I just recently started wondering if that’s part of why I like being in the water so much (not the only reason, to be sure, but factor). It’s quite freeing.

    It’s definitely the other side of the swimsuit-angst coin, that fat is floaty and can make being in the water effortless and comfortable.

  84. I am a massive Olympics hypocrite. I think the amount of public money spent on sport is a disgrace. I think the fact that sports people are “heroes” is ridiculous. I think many of the high profile Olympic sports are an exercise in pharmaceuticals. I am utterly disgusted at the inherent sexism in so much of it. And don’t even get me started on the fact that they are in China. And yet, I want to know who won. I want Australia to win gold medals. I like watching the diving, gymnastics, equestrian and even the rowing and cycling at a pinch. I say “we won the womens 4×100 relay”. Yep, there I was, swimming my heart out.

    So I watch and whinge. I hope my scathing remarks will outweigh my hypocrisy. Yeah, I know, not likely. I think I can see MikeyT’s point…

  85. You know, you don’t see me complaining that the men’s compression suits pretty much eliminate the ability to ogle discernible package bulge. Can’t imagine why.

    Right, maybe because I realize that having uniforms and gear that enhance performance is more important than uniforms that enhance Michael Phelps’ junk.

    Cuz, ya know, that’s why they’re there and everything.

  86. Right, maybe because I realize that having uniforms and gear that enhance performance is more important than uniforms that enhance Michael Phelps’ junk.

    But Liza, that’s acting as if the male athletes are people with their own aspirations. You can’t expect a male author to extend the same courtesy to women.

    sprains eyes from too much rolling

  87. Silly me, thinking athletes are there to do something other than display their physiques. What was I thinking.

    end drippingly sarcastic tone.

  88. I’m glad the types of comments featured in the article (and the uniforms in general) seem to be getting quite a bit of backlash. The IOC should be ashamed of the whole situation. It’s most noticeable to me in track events–if the “best” uniform for track is the one that shows all but the most socially unacceptable parts of your body, then why aren’t the men running in Speedos and no shirt? Hmm.

    And I agree with an earlier commenter–Michael Phelps doesn’t need to wear a suit that enhances his junk because I could pretty much see his junk for myself anytime he finished a race and was standing around on the pool deck. (Kidding! Obviously I don’t think men’s suits should “enhance” anything except performance.) Anyway, my husband performed a simulation and let me tell you, it’s a lot more obvious how precarious that situation was when you’re looking at a guy with body hair. :)

    cowsharky, I LOVE “Wankistan” as the homeland of wankstains. It is pleasingly anagrammatical… um, anagram-ish… well, like an anagram. :)

  89. it’s a lot more obvious how precarious that situation was when you’re looking at a guy with body hair

    swimming does require a pretty huge amount of manscaping

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