Just when I thought the worlds of sports and reality television could not get any more disgusting, they do. Cary Eskridge, a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma has decided to create a bikini hockey league, where scantily clad women will play inline hockey for men to ogle over, and he’s making a reality television show about the process.
This is problematic in so many ways; where do I even begin? First and foremost, hockey is a really dangerous sport. I mean, when was the last time you saw a hockey player with all of his teeth? This isn’t to say that women cannot take part in a dangerous sport — on the contrary. My concern is that playing it inside, on inline skates, wearing little clothing and probably no padding is asking for unnecessary injury. At least Eskridge had the sense not to play the sport on the ice, where bikinis would be even more impractical.
The fact that he wants to turn this into a reality television show does not surprise me in the least. Just what we need is another reality show that is demeaning to women where we judge them solely on their bodies. I wonder if this show will be complete with “private” interviews and poorly edited voiceovers that aren’t even pretending to be what was originally said where the women badmouth each other and then take their anger out on the court.
I can only imagine the violence that will ensue for viewing pleasure. At this rate, I envision a glorified “chick fight” created so networks can get their ratings, and so sponsors can pay tons of money to get their product some air time. I’m sure these are only a few of the many tactics that are planned for the future of the bikini hockey league on reality television.
Looking at the “prospects,” I can only imagine the body image issues that will be created by watching this show. It should be no surprise that the women selected have Baywatch bodies, long flowing hair, and perfectly made-up faces. Each model, or player as it may be, comes complete with photo shoot-style pictures that can be enlarged so you can get a closer look. It’s like Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition for free.
What really upsets me about this whole thing, though, is the fact that making any sports league into a bikini league just further demeans women’s sports. Women’s professional and college sports have enough trouble getting airtime, and typically draw less of an audience than the male sports do, and this stems from a long-held belief that women aren’t as good at playing sports as men are. We tend to believe that women’s sports games are slower and therefore boring. The fact that Eskridge has added bikinis to the mix just tells the public that they’re right: women’s sports are, in fact, boring, and the only way to make them better is to have the women take off their clothes, and then play.
Women’s sports aren’t boring. Women play with incredible skill and physical ability, and they don’t need to be bikini-clad to do it.
Photo Credit: kenhodge13