All gymnasts put on leotards. Proper? That is only a reality, like how Simone Biles is the GOAT and Stick It is probably the most iconic gymnastics film of our time. (Go forward, argue me on this, I will win.) Gymnasts put on leotards for security causes, as a result of free clothes would possibly snag on the tools, and to make sure judges can see each motion they execute throughout a routine. Sparkly and colourful, leotards make vogue statements that may even transcend the fitness center, like UCLA’s gorgeous Black Lives Matter leotards.
So when three German gymnasts confirmed up on the 2021 European Gymnastics Championships wearing full-body unitards — protecting their legs, all the way in which to the ankles, and their arms all the way down to the forearms — it caught followers’ consideration. The black-and-red unitards worn by Sarah Voss, Elisabeth Seitz, and Kim Bui had all of the sparkles-and-spandex glory we have come to anticipate from gymnastics leotards, simply longer.
Seitz later took to Instagram to elucidate the highly effective purpose why they opted for unitards over the normal leotards. “We . . . set an example and wore a brand new kind of swimsuit,” Seitz wrote on Instagram (translated from German), saying the unitards have been a symbolic gesture of assist for gymnasts “who could really feel uncomfortable and even sexualized in regular fits. As a result of, in our opinion, each gymnast ought to have the ability to determine through which kind of swimsuit she feels most snug.”
This dialog has come up in gymnastics earlier than, particularly round leotards probably sexualizing gymnasts. In 2018, after former USA Gymnastics physician Larry Nassar was convicted of sexual abuse, Aly Raisman was requested whether or not gymnasts ought to proceed sporting leotards, given how a lot they expose athletes’ our bodies. Her tackle Twitter: leotards should not the issue, and saying so borders on victim-shaming. That stated, Raisman stated she believed leotards “are incredibly revealing and in unhealthy style. Actually, I feel that uniforms in lots of sports activities and even youngsters’s clothes is extremely sexualized.” However that’s not the athlete’s fault, she famous.
I used to be not too long ago requested if gymnasts ought to proceed sporting leotards. Leotards r not the issue. The issue is the numerous pedophiles on the market & the adults who allow them. By saying clothes is a part of the problem, u are sufferer shaming/implying survivors ought to really feel it is their fault.
— Alexandra Raisman (@Aly_Raisman) March 25, 2018
It is necessary to notice that the German gymnasts weren’t victim-shaming; they wore the longer unitards as a result of they most well-liked them, and hoped to encourage different athletes to put on what made them really feel snug too. Backside line: gymnasts ought to compete in no matter uniforms they need, whether or not it is for consolation, making an announcement, or just preferring a sure look. For what it is value, unitards are allowed underneath USA Gymnastics’ guidelines, so can we anticipate extra of those long-sleeved, ankle-length unis in future? We’ll have to attend and see, however we do know one factor: once you really feel good, you carry out even higher, so we’re all for gymnasts sporting regardless of the heck they need.