Haven’t You Heard? Female Athletes Can’t Be Talented AND Pretty

Since the Women’s World Cup there has been a lot of media attention around the whole US Women’s National Soccer Team, but especially certain players. I for one am thrilled with the reception they are getting. I must say, it gets a little confusing though when it comes down to female athletes. Players like Alex Morgan and Hope Solo really make things complicated.  They are both top shelf players in their respective positions and some of the best in the world. They also both happen to be pretty and have fun and likeable personalities. Some people are saying they are only getting attention because they are the pretty ones; they’re hot so they get media attention. That’s where I get lost. Apparently people would rather ugly talented people or gorgeous untalented people? In Hollywood people love the “triple threats”, but apparently in women’s sports we only should like the “single threat”. When was the last time you heard someone say Derek Jeter is only one of the biggest names in baseball because he’s hot? Good looking male athletes apparently are allowed to keep their talent but females instantly lose any skill or talent as soon as they are deemed “hot”. I guess we want our girls to be ugly so they only are recognized for their talent. (Because obviously a pretty girl can’t also be a top athlete, don’t be ridiculous) So if you are an up and coming female athlete you have an important decision to make. If you are both pretty and talented you need to choose otherwise you will be ridiculed for having the audacity to be pretty. It’s time to stop using any products which will eliminate blemishes, yell at your parents for getting you regular dentist cleanings and braces when you were younger which has now cursed you with gorgeous teeth, cut your hair while blindfolded with children’s safety scissors next time you get drunk, and this is an important one…never EVER wear pink or anything girly. Because once you hit it big if you are still pretty you will get more media attention, but you will also have a select few people all of a sudden saying you’re just a pretty face.

I could understand this logic if they weren’t actually some of the best players. I could understand this opinion from people if Alex Morgan spent the World Cup picking dandelions and trying to bring back “bumble bee swarm the ball” techniques from when we were all 5 years old while waving to fans during the middle of a play. Or if Hope Solo spent her time adjusting her gloves while balls flew past her into the net as she posed and winked at the cameras. But no, Alex Morgan spent her time scoring goals, setting up goals, and sprinting past every defender the world had to offer at this World Cup like the freakishly fast “baby horse” that she is. Seriously, she’s like a beautifully strange and awesome breed from a horse, a gazelle, and a cheetah that all have severe caffeine addictions. And Hope Solo spent her time defending her goal against 12 penalty kicks in 6 games, coming up with jaw dropping saves, and diving onto a shoulder that most people would have given up on after her almost career ending injury to it. I’m not sure if you heard me correctly either so I will reiterate and make the font slightly larger so you see it…12 penalty kicks in 6 games. Asking a keeper to deal with that is like asking Snooki to go out for one night with no bronzer and to not show her kooka. Is it physically possible? Yes. Is it probable? No. There is no keeper in the universe whether it be a man, a woman, or a mechanically engineered robot goalie who could have dealt with it any better. Morgan and Solo each had a phenomenal World Cup, a phenomenal year and have nothing to look back at and regret. And yes, they looked good while doing it. How dare they?!?

Those of us who know the sport know that these ladies truly are some of the best in the world. I get it; some people just want everyone to have a fair shake at it. I agree there are plenty of female athletes who probably don’t get the media attention they deserve because they might not be as pretty as others. But is that reason to penalize the ones that are? True, it may be sexist for people to view female athletes this way, when male athletes are very rarely based off of looks, but again let’s not target the wrong people here. Let’s not ridicule the ones breaking through and gaining support for women’s soccer. Let’s embrace the fact that people outside the sports world are gaining an interest through these women.  They may tune in just to see Morgan and Solo but once they are tuned in, they get to see a full squad of beautiful and extremely talented women playing a fast paced, technical and impressive game of soccer and hopefully become fans of the game. And luckily it is only a select few who put up the ridiculous argument I have been ranting about. The guys who say it are ignorant about the sport and just want to sleep with them and the girls who say it are ignorant about the sport and are jealous of them. Sorry guys, saying they’re not talented probably won’t help in your pathetic attempt in your delusional fairy tale land to sleep with them. And sorry girls, that you have a pig face. (I know, I know I am stooping to their level with that one, but I just couldn’t resist)

I say we praise these women for being the best at what they do, and just be happy when they get the media attention. Anyone who supports women’s soccer or just women’s sports in general should be thrilled head over heels that they are getting the attention that they are. Our Women’s National Soccer team is filled with beautiful talented athletes who will hopefully continue gaining attention and being beasts on the field making our nation proud knowing that we have some of the best athletes in the world.

So Alex, Hope, if you are reading…keep up the great work on the field and please don’t cut your hair while 6 shots of vodka deep with safety scissors, we love you the way you are.

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Amy Maestri

Writer / actress / producer.

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