Media, Sexualisation And Female Tennis. Essay

1413 words - 6 pages

Within todays sporting community, certain aspects of sport and its practices promote and construct ideas that sport in general is a male dominated. Sports media often provides an unequal representation of genders. Women athletes are regularly perceived as mediocre in comparison to their male equivalents (Lenskyj, 1998). Achievement in sport is generally established through displays of strength, speed and endurance, men usually set the standards in these areas, consequently woman rarely reach the level set by top male athletes. Due to this, the media significantly shows bias towards male sports while we are ill-informed about the achievements in the female sporting community. On the occasion that a female athlete does make some form of an appearance in the media, images and videos used will usually portray the female in sexually objectified ways (Daniels & Wartena, 2011). This depiction of female athletes can cause males to take focus solely on the sexual assets of the athlete in preference to to their sporting abilities (Daniels & Wartena, 2011). Sexualisation of sportswoman in the media is a prevalent issue in today’s society, it can cause physical, social and mental problems among women of all ages (Lenskyj, 1998).
Female athletes, unlike males, are not always portrayed exclusively as performance athletes, instead attention is placed on sex appeal usually overshadowing their on-field accomplishments. Unfortunately female sports, like male sports, are directed primarily to a male audience, the media commonly use marketing techniques which involve sexualisation of the female bodies under a male gaze (Bremner, 2002). The idea that “sex sells” is used to generate viewers and followers of female sport.
Ashley Harkleroad is an American born professional tennis player who turned pro in early 2000. Harkleroad was not a well-known athlete yet she made a name for herself by appearing on the cover of perhaps the most recognized pornographic magazine in the world, “Playboy”.

The impact Harkleroad’s photo shoot had on her popularity is evident in the above Image collected form google trends (, 2014). The image shows the influx in attention received by Harkleroad in the months following her participation the Playboy magazine. Harkleroad’s situation complicates the idea that sexualisation of female athletes is caused by the media as she consented to use the publication as a form of marketing and a way to increase publicity and endorsements. However, pressure to expose her body sexually was imposed by the media through the medias emphasis on how women’s bodies appear to be more important than what they can achieve (Harrison & Fredrickson 2003).
Harkleroad’s highest ranking in her career was a forgettable 39th (Women's Tennis Association, 2014) and she never won a single grand slam title. If it wasn’t for her involvement with Playboy Harkleroad would simply be another overlooked good tennis player. Harkleroad’s biggest payday did not comprise...

Find Another Essay On Media, Sexualisation and Female Tennis.

My Body Is My Own Business: an essay on North America's idea of female beauty, how it affects women, and how the media contributes.

684 words - 3 pages lives of countless women in North America. It has mutilated our youth and torn apart even the hardiest of females and yet it is still sought after like some sort of empowering drug. The most dominant attribute tied to a women's perfection is her beauty. And yet no matter how beautiful you are, it is still not perfect. This is the vicious cycle our society has created for itself through mass media and ridiculous expectations. It is horrifying to

The Sexualization of Youth and the Effects that It Has on Children, Teenagers and on Adults

1687 words - 7 pages exposed to a large quantity of media content, through a growing number of channels and through a large number of magazines. The proportion of the media which is promoting sexualisation is increasing at dramatic rate. Until recently, there was a way to at least try and ensure that these were targeted the right audience. However, there is No way of stopping people from seeing certain things on the internet, and sexualised images and adverts may

Tennis a sociological perspect

2128 words - 9 pages activities such as: jogging, swimming, golfing and bowling. 10-times grand slam champion and former world No.1, Ivan Lendl, at the age of 38, admitted to the Tennis Magazine "I have increased my interest in Golf over the past few years as I feel that my physical strength is diminishing in a rapid fashion." The average age of a female player who is ranked in the top 100 is 21.91 while the average age of a male player who is ranked in the top 100 is

Youth Exposure to Stereotypical Gender-Bias in Video Games

1761 words - 7 pages real-life. Therefore, it is vital to understand that the misleading and demoralizing depiction of gender differentiations and biases in video-games, as they have an astounding impact, both positive, and negative, on youth. There is a vast amount of sexualisation of the female-body within video games. The youth audience is not only targeted by the video-game industry, but exposed to the misrepresentation and underrepresentation of female-bodies

Origins of Ball Games

1129 words - 5 pages national associations more than most other sporting federations. The Cliff Richard Tennis Foundation is helping to offer tennis for all and breaking down barriers of class, gender and race. The aim of this foundation and other similar ones is to introduce a positive life changing sport to all. In modern tennis male players can receive up to four million a year and female player up to two and a half million. The DavisCup


1221 words - 5 pages diverse sports in the world. In the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) World Tour, every tennis pro comes from a different country. Just like soccer, everyone in the world plays tennis. There are no age limits to playing tennis. You can be a 5 year old or 50 year old, and it would not matter. Not only that, but no other top-tier sport has such a remarkable mix of high-level male and female athletes. In fact, you can play mixed doubles in

Women's Representation in Newspapers

2481 words - 10 pages Representation is the way people or events are portrayed in the various media outlets through the use of linguistic devices, the choice of vocabulary, often with the accompanying images. Frequently, the representation relies on the use of stereotypes and cultural bias. The language used in news stories can be used to represent particular groups or cultures which conform to the existing stereotypes – it is a powerful tool by which the attitudes

Gender Inequalities, Past and Present

1720 words - 7 pages , 1996) This links to female stereotypes and sexualisation which are abused in this present day in media especially with the rapid growth of the internet in recent years often through sexual images of women linked to the sex industry such as pornography being easily accessible on the internet which often depicts women as mere entertainment for men. The nature of pornography is a prime example of the sexualised representation of women in society

Men Vs. Women in Professional Sports

1447 words - 6 pages which lately has had better television ratings and draws more fans than its male counterpart. In 2001 for the first time, ever the woman’s Final at the US Open Tennis Championship (the tours most prestigious played in the United States) was broadcast on a major television network (NBC) in primetime (8pm). Media coverage of women's sports is considered important because it increases the level of participation among girls. More than 658,000 fans at the

Billie Jean King: Life Lessons and Gender Equality

1315 words - 6 pages impact on the fight for gender equality, the match against Bobby Riggs may have been the most influential. The “Battle of the Sexes” match occurred on September 20, 1973 in Houston, Texas. That night Billy Jean King faced off against Bobby Riggs, a male chauvinist who challenged King to play him. Riggs had already beaten one of the top female tennis players in the game, Margaret Court, earlier in the year, and by beating Billie Jean he thought he

Arthur Ashe

583 words - 2 pages that change was soon coming. In 1975, Arthur Ashe's career climaxed with his championship win at Wimbledon. After retiring in 1980 he went to on accumulate a host of awards, as well as he branched off into other professional areas. He did some journalism, media, and other philanthropic endeavors; his most famous publishing being the 3-volume body of work entitled A Hard Road To Glory. He was elected to the Tennis Hall of Fame in 1985 and

Similar Essays

Female Body Image And The Mass Media

2161 words - 9 pages I was ashamed. I was aware of the disgust my body inspired, its complete unacceptability and invisibility in the sexual domain, apart from as a figure of ridicule. I felt hot tears sting my eyes, and I knew I had to get out. I squeezed my wide hips between the rows of chairs, and fled the room. (238) In modern day society, many adolescent girls are self-conscious of their bodies, like Samantha Murray. In “Female Body Image and the Mass Media

Female Body Image And The Mass Media

1714 words - 7 pages From the time they are born, girls are influenced by society as to who they should be, how they should look, and how they should act. Americans believe that women should be to a certain standard; pretty, feminine, and especially, thin. The pressures derive from family, media, and friends. Marge Piercy’s poem, “Barbie Doll” depicts a girl who was never recognized for her character and spent her life trying to be accepted for who she was, rather

Female Body Image And The Mass Media

2529 words - 10 pages many factors family, friends, peers, the media, and puberty and development. Often the definition of beauty is a narrow thing that includes only a select group of people. Days are filled with images and other depictions of beauty that are aesthetically pleasing and highly retouch. The media includes television, movies, books, advertisements, magazines, billboards, video games and the Internet. Since it encompasses so many things that media has

A Media Analysis Of The Film 'psycho' By Alfred Hitchcock. Looking Specifically At Voyeurism, Third Person Narrative And The Roles Of Both Male And Female Characters.

974 words - 4 pages haveMarian who is portrayed as being quite vulnerable and quite pretty andtherefore tempting to the opposite sex. Being tempting, although we do notknow this at this early stage in the film, is what leads to her demise. Motheris another female character in the film, she is portrayed to be possessive andjealous yet still as a sexual being, which is what led to her death also. Finallywe have Lila who is seen as quite asexual (this is shown by the fact she