For my final project I made a poster campaign focusing on females in sports. I created these in photoshop where I cut out one of the following women from a picture and made the background white and added a simple text below. Below each poster is my reflection on why I choose the girl and what it means to me. Daniel Arzola inspired the look of the posters (1). I am not nearly as talented as he is and my campaign is not based on the LGBTQ community, but recurring statement and factual matter of the posters are similar. His campaign is “I’m not a joke” which focuses on the homophobic jokes that are constantly being said and thought of. Women are also joked about so much in sports, especially muscular women. Women in sports are also “not a joke” just like Arzola’s campaign.
The next campaign I looked at was “We’re a culture, not a costume” which sheds light on the cultural appropriation that occurs around the world, especially during halloween. Students at Ohio University came up with this campaign to stop people from dressing up in outfits that are important to certain cultures and stop them from making fun of these cultures (2). I liked this campaign because it was really matter of fact. Looking at the poster, the viewers have no trouble figuring out what the message is. I took that into account with my posters. I considered doing something where the woman was beating the man in the sport I was portraying (running faster than the man), but I decided that would have made it less matter of fact and more complicated.
I was looking for the suggested “Levy: Beer, Babes, and Balls” when I came across a book Beer, Babes, and Balls: Masculinity and Sports Talk Radio. I found the summary of the book really intriguing and it brought a lot of things up that I hadn’t thought about yet (3). The way women are spoken about in sports really affects how women’s sports are watched. “Like a girl” is one of the many derogatory terms used in sports radio. We have all heard people say “You throw like a girl” or “Stop running like a girl” all meant to offend a person, whether it was said to a girl or not. That’s why I used “Like a girl” as the slogan and made into an inspiring phrase instead of derogatory.
I also want to mention that women are not the only victims of sports talk. Men in sports are expected to be big, tough, macho men who love working out and winning. Power at Play: Sports and the Problem with Masculinity is a book on masculinity is defined through sports (4). The book is written through interviews with ex-jocks explaining the pressures that men in sports endure. Even in movies and music videos ‘jocks’ are the big guys who are good at sports and have huge muscles and get all the pretty girls. “Jocks” are never portrayed as feminine or gay, which makes it hard for gay men in sports. Gay athletes are being accepted more, but still many feel trapped by their team mates, fans, family, and social media when it comes to ‘coming out of the closet’.
Women in sports are often looked down upon and easily dismissed. Women are seen as weak, dramatic, sensitive, and just not as good as men. Fortunately, this is not true.
This is Serena Williams, a professional female tennis player who has been ranked number 1 in women’s singles tennis since 2002. She holds 36 major records, the most singles, doubles, and mixed doubles titles combined amongst active players, male or female(5)
This is Kara Goucher, a professional female long distance runner. Kara has competed in 2007 World Championship, 2008 Olympics, and 2012 Olympics as well as many other smaller competitions. She is often one of the first 3 competitors to cross the finish line, almost always the first female (6)
I finish with WIN LIKE A GIRL. and Brandy Chastain because this is one of the most iconic pictures in soccer from the 1999 penalty shoot-out against China in the Woman’s World Cup. She is a female soccer player who played for the United States Women’s Soccer Team and has written books about women in sports. Her book “It’s not about the bra” focuses on women in competitive sports and the things she and many of her teammates endured (7).
(1) Nichols, James Michael. This Artist Is Using ‘Artivism’ To Break Down Queer Stigma And Stereotypes. The Huffington Post. 2015. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/im-not-a-joke-this-artist-is-using-artivism-to-break-down-queer-stigma-and-stereotyping_us_55d62857e4b0ab468da0574d 02 July 2016
(2) Grinberg, Emanuella. We’re a culture, not a costume. CNN. 2011. http://www.cnn.com/2011/10/26/living/halloween-ethnic-costumes/ 02 July 2016.
(3) Messner, Michael. Power at Play: Sports and Problem with Masculinity. Michael Messner Website. 1992. http://www.michaelmessner.org/research/gender-sports/ 02 July 2016
(4) Nylund, David. Beer, Babes, and Balls: Masculinity and Sports Radio. Suny Press. October 2007. http://www.sunypress.edu/p-4500-beer-babes-and-balls.aspx. 02 July 2016.
(5) Williams, Serena. Trophy Case. Serena Willams Website. 2016. http://serenawilliams.com/ 02 July 2016.
(6) Goucher, Kara. Goals and Accomplishments. Kara Goucher Website. 2016. http://www.karagoucher.com/ 02 July 2016
(7) Bradley, Jeff. The ten most significant goals in women’s soccer. Sports Illustrated. 2016. http://www.si.com/longform/soccer-goals/goal6.html 02 July 2016.