Female athletes struggle with body image
News, Sports

Female athletes struggle with body image

Kiki Bennett–All athletes are expected to look a certain way based on the sport they play. Athletes want to look strong and are worried about their bodies not making the cut. Especially female athletes. 

Eating Disorders Hope reports that a study on female college athletes has shown that females see their bodies as overweight and have a desire to be thinner. Female athletes are also at a higher risk than non-athletes to have eating disorders. 

Even without the pressures of athletics, women’s bodies are criticized every day in the media. Morningside College student athletes face the same pressures to look a certain way in their sports. 

Morningside sophomore Jolene Horn said that fellow players pride themselves on looking strong but not bulky. She added that they don’t want to look skinny, but they don’t want to look fat. “Obviously we are concerned with the way we look; our uniform bottoms are super tight,” said Horn.

Morningside dancer Sydney Palmer said she feels that negative body image is present although it’s “not directly said but it’s there, especially because the costumes we wear show off our curves.” Palmer eluded to the fact that the feeling of not looking good enough is a common sentiment. 

The way female athletes perceive themselves in their uniforms is a huge issue for body image across the board. Especially for sports that show off a lot of skin. 

Freshman cross country runner Rachel Kenney said, “it’s intimidating running in our bunnies especially when they cover so little, I feel exposed.” 

The cross-country runners feel a pressure to wear “bunnies” because world class athletes and Olympians wear bunnies. “There’s a reason why Olympians like Emma Coburn and Shelby Houlihan wear bunnies,” said Kenny

Although many athletes face issues with their body image, sophomore swimmer Hayley Folsom has a different take on the issue. “What’s the point in feeling bad about how I look, I can’t do anything about it,” said Folsom.

October 30, 2019