Genuine spirit of sport eclipsed by sex commercialization
Genuine spirit of sport eclipsed by sex commercialization
  • Kim Sojung Women’s news reporter / Trans by Lee Ky
  • 승인 2014.02.26 13:43
  • 수정 2014-02-28 10:08
  • 댓글 0
이 기사를 공유합니다

A growing demand for open discussion

Throughout the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, the sporting spirit of female athletes has been overshadowed by rampant commercialization of sex in the media.

Immediately after the opening ceremony, TalkSPORT, the world’s biggest sports radio station, featured an article and a video clip titled ‘Top 10 sexiest female olympic athletes in Sochi.’ While some Korean media outlets delivered the article, others uploaded the movie clip, drawing attention from netizens. It was noted that athletes were posing in lingerie or bikini.

 

News articles comparing the beauty of the captains of the Korean and Russian curling teams, Lee Seulbi and Anna Sidorova (Screen shot from Naver)
News articles comparing the beauty of the captains of the Korean and Russian curling teams, Lee Seulbi and Anna Sidorova (Screen shot from Naver)

Even after the Korean curling team defeated the Russian team, the competition deemed unfinished. The Internet was abuzz about a beauty contest between Lee Seulbi and Anna Sidorova, the Korean and Russian curling team captains. The media was covered with articles portrayed in provocative remarks such as “Who looks better in lingerie and bikini?”

 

Park Seunghee
Park Seunghee

Another sports daily newspaper published an article with a photo shoot featuring the short track speed skater Park Seunghee and her thighs. Some comments read “Park is good enough to be featured on Maxim(men’s magazine),” or “We want other photo shoots of Park!” The photo shoot was taken by “Allure Korea” magazine under the theme of ‘Beautiful body.’ The article gave emphasis on female athletes’ body itself.

The Korean Womenlink activist Lee Yoonso said “The media is commercializing both looks and the body. The fundamental issue is a lack of gender perspectives. Journalists have to reflect on themselves. It is an established fact that female athletes go through strenuous training just like males. Their effort and expertise should be highlighted, not just their looks and body.”

 

“Sochi’s Beauty” (Screen shot from Naver)
“Sochi’s Beauty” (Screen shot from Naver)

Portal sites have joined the race too. Korea’s largest portal site has set up a section called 'Sochi’s Beauty.' All the articles offered include catchy phrases like “Gracie Gold is a sexy figure skater,” “A++ to assistants by the podium for their looks and body,” and “A Russian Curler, a mankind or a fairy?”

Professor Lee Jaekyoung at the Department of Advertising & PR at Ewha Woman’s University commented “Online journalism has become too provocative, here in Korea. With the demise of traditional newspaper, the Internet has become more influential. The number of hits is directly related to the advertising revenue. Feeling pressured to draw people’s attention, many media outlets have focused on producing sensational and exciting news, losing control over the quality of articles. These articles often lack in gender and human rights perspectives.” She added “The situation is quite different in countries like the U.S. where media outlets monitor one another. We have to open our discussion to solve these problems.”

The media hype over the appearance of female athletes has been there for a long time. Whereas Russia’s Yelena Isinbayeva has always been nicknamed “Beauty bird,” Korea’s Cha Yuram has been described as “Uljjang” which means a good-looking person in Korea. All the sports women have fallen prey to the media. Now is the right time for us to skim off the media hype and see the true beauty of female players who have devoted their lives in their field. 

기사가 마음에 드셨나요?

여성신문은 1988년 창간 이후 여성 인권 신장과 성평등 실현을 위해 노력해 온 국내 최초, 세계 유일의 여성 이슈 주간 정론지 입니다.
여성신문은 여성들의 더 나은 삶을 위해 여성인 '안전, 사회적 지위, 현명한 소비, 건강한 가족'의 영역에서 희망 콘텐츠를 발굴, 전파하고 있습니다.
저희 기사가 마음에 드셨다면 좋은 기사 후원하기를 해주세요.
여러분의 후원은 여성신문이 앞으로도 이 땅의 여성을 위해 활동 할 수 있도록 합니다.

여성신문 좋은 기사 후원하기


※ 소중한 후원금은 더 좋은 기사를 만드는데 쓰겠습니다.


댓글삭제
삭제한 댓글은 다시 복구할 수 없습니다.
그래도 삭제하시겠습니까?
댓글 0
댓글쓰기
계정을 선택하시면 로그인·계정인증을 통해
댓글을 남기실 수 있습니다.

  • Telephone No : 02-318-9300
  • Fax : 02-752-0549
  • Help : 02-2036-9235
  • Address : Golden Bridge Bldg. 1th and 9th floor, 222, Chungjeongno 3(sam)-ga Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, South Korea
  • Company name : Women's news Inc.
  • CEO : Hyo-Sun Kim
  • Business Registration No : 214-81-03304
  • Copyright © 1988 - 2019 womennews.co.kr. All rights reserved.
ND소프트