Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Is it fair some Sports Women earn money based on their looks? Case study of Lolo Jones

(sorry about the quality the original link was removed)

The roller coaster story of Olympian Lolo Jones

Nothing i can write will give her story justice. However, Lolo Jones' interview makes an interesting point on the way women are judged on their looks in sport.

On the track, court or pitch, it doesn't matter what you look like. It is down to your speed and technical ability, whether you will win or lose.

However, off the track, that is not the case.

David Beckham was one of the best footballers in the world, but he wasn't the best. Yet, he was the best for marketability.

For women they are judged not just on how they perform but what they look like when they are performing.

Take the winner of 2013 Wimbledon Marion Bartoli

At the time she was judged on how her physique didn't fit the mold of most female tennis players. But that said not many female athletes can say that have the physique of Serena Williams either. However, neither the winner of Wimbledon nor the world's number 1 Female tennis player was able to beat the marketability of Maria Sharapova. Maria Sharapova earned the most money out of all Sportswomen. It can be said that her slighter frame is more of the stereotype of female athletes.

For women, in order to secure sponsorship and media coverage, winning really isn't enough! Marketability takes the gold!

However, with sponsorship comes notoriety and money. Unfortunately, along with both of those you will receive judgement and envy. Sadly, i think this is more so for female athletes.

Men judge women, women judge other women. Making it either a win win or lose lose situation for female athletes.

If you win and you are what the world deems beautiful; you will make a lot of money on and off the track, court and pitch. However, if you lose, the amount of dedication you show in training will be question hard? And your looks will be used against you as proof you are more style than substance.

The Media and people are quick to forget, that being a national level athlete is no easy accomplishment. Only hard work gets you to being ranked one of the top athletes in the world like Lolo Jones. Off the track other factors influence the amount of money you make. But on the track only ability gets you to olympic finals, championships and world rankings.

How do sports stays make so much money when they aren't in a competition?

We live in a world where sport generates a viewing public. That public is then eager to participate in the sports themselves. In order to participate they are then sold the items worn or associated with the athletes they admire. To some extent, the money from those sales  is then sent back into the sport to pay the athletes to keep competing... continuing the cycle. However, the cycle doesn't need the athletes to win, it just needs them to be the either the most aesthetic or the most likeable in commercials and print advertisements.

The question; is this fair? 

As Lolo said, you can't stop being what the media perceive as beautiful. Just as most people won't turn down a lucrative sponsorship; even if it is partly based on their ability, but also on their beauty/personality. It is unfair to expect people who also have bills to pay to turn down a paycheck. But that doesn't mean they don't train hard!

You can't blame the athlete. You can only blame society...
We are the ones who sometimes value style over substance.
We are the ones who help to construct and solidify the perception of "what is beauty"

So, how do we make it fair?

Give more of your likes, followers, reposts and shoutouts to athletes who are winning competitions and taking home the gold. Then you can balance out the style and the substance. This will help to stop the envy and the judgement!

Lastly, it will help young girls see and understand that women come in all shapes and sizes. Athletes come in all shapes and sizes. And they do not have to fit into a Maria Sharapova frame if are built more like a Marion Bartoli.

What is your opinion? Did you like Lolo Jones' interview? Do you think it is fair how much money some sports people make compared to others?

Comment below

I always say the Three Cs of life are choice, chance and change; YOU have to make the choice to take the chance, if you want anything to change.

Antoine Allen

What if the gender roles of society were reversed? This film depicts the sexism women face

In a world, where the perceived roles and socially acceptable behaviour of women and men are reversed; this french film explores the sexual inequality and harassment that women face.

The film tackles the stereotypical interactions between men and women. The language we use when conversing with each other. Whereby a compliment can soon turn to vulgarity. The offering of a helping hand can be seen as a perceived assumption of a woman's 'weakness' or inability to help herself.

However, the most eye opening and poignant theme of the film, is the role clothing plays in gender politics. How the perception of what is and isn't provocative differs from men to women. For instance, the perception in clothing or lack of clothing is first portrayed in joviel manner; with  a 'woman' enjoying a toplesss run in the sunshine. Many Men and myself take this simple summer activity for granted.

However, in the sweltering heat the 'man' is harassed for wearing shorts and slightly unbuttoning his shirt. Even after being sexually assaulted, the blame is attributed  to the 'man's' clothing. With his own wife stating his clothing is too provocative rather than rightly blaming the criminal intentions of his attackers.

Clothing is symbolic of the different judgements Men and Women face. Whereby a man is free to express his confidence or inhibition with his own body through a lack of clothing. Whereas, a woman is unjustly judged on what she wears and the reaction it could provoke. A women becomes a prisoner to what the masculine society deems is acceptable for her to wear.

What are you thoughts? Is this a fair reflection of the difficulties women face? Is there still a masculine world or is there now more equality?

Comment below you opinions.

Here is the film

For more stories and discussion topics like this, check out the other posts.
So good luck on your journey. Enjoy every step of this amazing life!

I always say the Three Cs of life are choice, chance and change; YOU have to make the choice to take the chance, if you want anything to change.

Antoine Allen

Black and White guys try to Break into a car, See which one ends up getting arrested

In this youtube video, two guys set out to see how people respond to them attempting to break into a car. The 'twist' is one of them is white and the other is black. 

Remember either could be assumed to be a car thief or just an unfortunate person who has locked themselves out of their car.

Do you think they will get the same reaction?
Do you think one will be judged more negatively due to the colour of his skin?

Watch and see...


For more stories and discussion topics like this, check out the other posts. 
So good luck on your journey. Enjoy every step of this amazing life!
I always say the Three Cs of life are choice, chance and change; YOU have to make the choice to take the chance, if you want anything to change.

Antoine Allen

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Don't be ashamed of being happily Single. Might be the best status for you; here's why!

can't be bothered to read? click here for audio version
Valentines day, Birthdays, wedding invites, double dates and romantic movies; all just a reminded that you don't have a boo, bae, bf, gf, lover, snuggle bunny... 

You feel upset. Somewhat of an outcast on facebook, as everyone post pictures of their partners, their holidays and what they received from their partners. Namely girls boasting about the amount of flowers their guys were willing to kill, to express their love for them! 

You begin to look at your own empty flower pots; pinning for some roses, that will only wilt with time...

But what do you have? You have just that; time. Time to find someone? Time for someone to find you? But most importantly time to find yourself! 
They say opposites attract... 

To an extent, yes but really we are attracted to people who share our interests. People we can share a laugh, movie and meal with. How long will the sharing last if you don't have one similar interest ie complete opposites. 

However that isn't the question here. Question is how do you find someone who shares your interest or even an opposite; if you do not know yourself!

So, being single is an opportunity. An opportunity to find yourself. An opportunity to use that heart ache as fuel for your new journey; much like the story of Sam the 70 year old bodybuilder.( all kind of gains come when you are single!)

An opportunity to work on the person you always wanted to be. An opportunity to achieve those goals you set yourself. An opportunity to find love for yourself.

They say you can't fully love someone else, until you learn to love yourself. Often it is our lack of content and love for ourselves that makes us feel we need someone else to validate our existence. Someone else to let us know we are beautiful, intelligent and worth loving. YOU need to know you are beautiful. Feel it inside of you and appreciate it when you look in the mirror. Or your lack of love for yourself will only be a burden on your new relationship.
We have all been in those relationships, where we find someone has become emotionally draining. At first they say "you are so strong" and we say "i can be strong for the both of us"  but week, month or years go by and our strength has been drained by their constant negativity. Khalil Gibran says
"Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. 

Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow."

So use your time being single to make sure your own cup is full. Make sure the roots to your tree are strong enough to take care of themselves. Then you will enrich your new partners life rather than be a burden upon them.

I am no Khalil Gibran but i say a relationship is like a rainbow; Do not search for the rainbow, as you most likely will not find one. Even when you think your world is nothing but rain storms and cloudy days; keep looking up. One day that sunshine is going to shine in your life and you will forget those miserably days. However, until that time you need to find the sunshine within yourself. Be your own source of light and inspiration. This will allow you to be ready to marvel at the splendor when you finally find yourself that rainbow. Yet, understand it takes both rain and sunshine to make a rainbow; there will be good and bad days. Just say dedicated and patient.

So don't go out searching for love. Find yourself. Find the things you love to do. The places you love to go. And you know what? the funny thing is; along the way you will find people who share your interests. The stranger thing is; you will most likely find that person you weren't looking for. As you were busy finding yourself, they were busy finding themselves. You found each other!

You found each other at a time whereby you both were enjoying something you love to do. It will be the first of many things you share together!

One day that new sunshine in your life is going to look at you like they have been waiting to find you the whole of their life.

If you take one thing from this post, let this be it. To love, is to be open, to be open is to be willing to receive, to receive is to be willing to lose, to lose is to be ready for pain. But when ready for pain you can embrace happiness, when happy you fear no loss, for what you have lost is only fraction of what you have received. When you're open to life, you will love it.

Want to share this post... but know your friends are to lazy to read it all? i have a video version of this post now.... check it out

For more stories and inspiration like this, Click on my other posts below:
  1. Feeling lost? Remember these words
  2. No one is perfect, but why do we follow people whom we say are perfect?
  3. Why Do You Keep Making Bad Choices? And How to stop! 

So good luck on your journey through life. Remember to enjoy every step of this amazing life!

I always say the Three Cs of life are choice, chance and change; YOU have to make the choice to take the chance, if you want anything to change.

Antoine Allen

Follow on Twitter/Instagram @AntoineSpeakson