German Gymnasts Take a Stand Against Sexualization With Full-Body Suits

pauline_schaefer via Deposit Photos

Gymnasts are know for their strength and dexterity—but something else they’re known for? Skimpy outfits!

Think about it—whenever you see a gymnast on TV, they’re likely wearing a revealing leotard or just a piece of clothing that shows off a lot of skin. Of course gymnasts need their bodies to be able to breathe, but can’t they wear just a bit more clothes? Isn’t that a little dehumanizing?

A group of German gymnasts say yes—and they’re finally making an effort to take a stand against sexualization by donning full-body suits (also known as unitards) to the women’s qualification of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Not only does a more covered garment make women feel safer, it also helps rectify the notion that everyone should be able to wear what they want and what makes them feel comfortable.

“How do you like our new outfit?” one of the women asked in a recent Instagram post, with a photo of the women all wearing the more covered ensemble.

The bodysuits were mostly met with optimism from fans.

“If the athletes feel more comfortable, and it doesn’t hinder the activities, then go for it,” someone wrote. “Never watched it for the uniforms. Let them decide. It is quite simple, really.”

“So glad they are setting an example and taking a stand on this issue,” another person wrote. “I love what they are wearing and I’m sure they can perform better knowing they are covered up.”

“Women should feel comfortable in what they wear,” another said. “Cover more or less, do it! I’m glad they’re fighting the sexualizing.”

However, there are always some people who need to spread hate.

“Apparently the Olympics is no longer about friendly competition between countries, but rather about protesting and making political statements,”someone sneered.”This just enforces the idea that women need to cover up in order to avoid sexual harassment,” another said. “Surely they are not the problem; a leotard isn’t exactly obscene.”

Whether or not people like it isn’t as important than what the the change in wardrobe represents. It makes a big statement and is one step closer to justice for sexual abuse in the world of gymnastics. For example, a notable case was former USA Gymnastics national team doctor Larry Nassa, who was sent to prison for 176 years for sexually abusing hundreds of gymnasts.

Additionally, men gymnasts are able to wear clothes that cover up most of their body, so there’s no reason women can’t do the same.

What do you think of the new look and more covered unitard?