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Does Attractiveness Affect A Female Athletes Popularity?


Last night as I was watching TV and doing the usual flipping. I came across one of my favorite talk radio hosts, Jim Rome. Apparently, Rome has a TV show fittingly called “Rome” which covers mainly sports topics. Anyway, one of his guests was Ronda Rousey, a female MMA fighter who has recently exploded into the spotlight. Around the fourteen-minute mark of the link I posted, Rome poses an excellent question to his panel of guests. His question simply asked, “if not for their looks, would they be as popular?” (referring to successful female athletes). The question was particularly fitting because Ronda Rousey happens to be a rather attractive woman, in a sport dominated by men. Each guest had a slightly different spin on their answers, but they all shared in the basic notion that, NO, the women who are successful athletes would not be as popular if they weren’t as attractive. I couldn’t help but agree with them. Sadly, I feel that for whatever reason, society associates good looks and all around attractiveness with being popular and successful.
As I continued to watch the interview, Rome made a great point. He mentioned that a popular NFL football player, Peyton Manning, is incredibly popular and he’s not considered to be “classically handsome”. That was putting it nicely to say the least. The fact is, Peyton Manning is ultra successful off of the football field. The guy appears in several commercials and receives an awful lot of attention that in no way relates to his football skills. So why is it that he still receives all these outside opportunities when he isn’t considered “classically handsome”? I think it’s safe to say that if a women athlete isn’t considered to be “classically” good looking she will not be as popular outside of her sport. She most likely wont be seen on the cover of any popular sports magazines, or be showing up in a commercial selling cars etc. The female athletes who do receive these outside endorsements are generally the ones that have more sex appeal. Unfortunately, that is the world in which we live today. I suppose one explanation can be because of the people that are in charge of the marketing are men. But mostly I believe it to be the general public, as the audience, placing more emphasis on the attractiveness of a woman versus the attractiveness of a man.


3 Comments

  1. dsielski says:

    I agree 100% with this. Ugly male sports figures are recognized in magazines and television due to their successes on the field. Conversely, ugly females, regardless of their accomplishments on the sports field, are not recognized the same way. For example, Brittney Griner, the female center for the Baylor University women’s basketball team has broken just about every record there is to set for Women’s NCAA division 1 basketball. However, because she is pretty sore on the eyes to say the least, the only time she receives any recognition is during the 20 seconds on sports center when they show women’s basketball highlights. Skylar Diggins, also a very good college basketball player, but nowhere near that of Griner, receives mass amounts of media attention, due to the fact that she is good, but also because she is beautiful and men love to see her.

  2. awiedmaier says:

    It’s unfortunate that this is so true. First of all, I don’t think anyone should be referred to as “ugly”. That’s such a terrible word and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. However, this issue doesn’t pertain to only athletes. This is an issue in every aspect of life. It’s statistically proven that taller, handsome men, get the job if their competition is equally as skilled, but not as tall or attractive. Same goes for women. Beauty is one of those unearned privileges we have talked about in class. And it has it’s advantages across the board.

  3. rwhensle says:

    Actually, studies show that beauty isn’t in the eye of the beholder. In fact, we all tend to rank looks evenly. This is even true across cultures. In other words, the same facial characteristics that I might find attractive, will also be seen as attractive in Japan. Just some food for thought.

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