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Nike US women's Olympic uniforms slammed for being revealing, sexist

The women's track and field designs were unveiled as part of a kit launch for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris in July.
Nike US Women's Olympic uniforms slammed for being revealing, sexist
Posted at 1:37 PM, Apr 16, 2024

Nike has come under fire after unveiling its uniforms for a U.S. women's Olympic team, with many claiming the outfits are too revealing and sexist.

The designs were made public last week as part of a kit launch for the Paris Olympics in July. The outfit being criticized — for women's track and field — was shown on a mannequin next to the uniform for men.

The women's uniform resembles a one-piece bathing suit cut high in the front crotch area. The men's design featured far longer biker-style shorts.

Citius Mag, which reports on track and field news, posted an image of the outfits on Instagram — and comments poured in slamming the women's suit.

"If the labia are hanging out on a still mannequin, what do we expect to happen to a moving person?" wrote an Instagram user named Alison in the comments.

Another Instagram user, Jessa Hanson, wrote, "tell me it was male designers without telling me it was male designers." 

Commenters also questioned how the outfit would suit a woman with unshaved pubic hair or on her period.

Even a former track and field athlete, Lauren Fleshman, spoke out against the suits in an Instagram post of her own.

"Professional athletes should be able to compete without dedicating brain space to constant pube vigilance or the mental gymnastics of having every vulnerable piece of your body on display," Fleshman wrote.

"Women's kits should be in service to performance, mentally and physically. If this outfit was truly beneficial to physical performance, men would wear it. This is not an elite athletic kit for track and field. This is a costume born of patriarchal forces that are no longer welcome or needed to get eyes on women's sports," she continued.

Responding to the backlash, a spokesperson for Nike told Scripps News that "in addition to offering athletes a range of styles to choose from, we will also have tailoring options available for Olympic and Paralympic athletes at the games."

The Nike spokesperson also pointed out that the outlets were developed in collaboration with athletes, who were the driving forces behind the designs.

In a press release last week, Nike Chief Innovation Officer John Hoke said "working directly with athletes throughout every stage of the design process, Nike designed garments to ensure fit across a range of body types and style preferences and infused real-time feedback throughout the entire product-development cycle."

Hurdler Anna Cockrel was one of the athletes who provided input to Nike.

"I've had the opportunity to share feedback and insights that helped inform the new USATF Kit," Cockrell said in a press release. "During testing, this fit allowed me to move freely and without distraction, and I love how the look represents Team USA."

The 2024 Olympic Games in Paris take place from July 26 to Aug. 11.

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