Is it a coincidence that Satan and Spandex both begin with the letter S?
Surely some evil force, or at least a 16-year-old boy, is behind the current popularity of spandex shorts trickling down from volleyball into every sporting event known to young girls.
These shorts have become so short and snug that my husband has to avert his gaze every 2 seconds when he picks up my daughters from cross country practice.
The prevailing “philosophy” behind young female athletes wearing spandex, or compression, shorts goes something like this: They reduce friction. They cut down on “air drag,” allowing athletes to move faster. They improve performance by absorbing sweat. They make it easier to dive and roll.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Miami Herald
Imagine how great these girls could play if they were naked!
Do we need to point out that the young male athletes of UC Irvine, which has won the NCAA men’s volleyball title two years in a row, have achieved this sporting feat in baggy shorts that reach down to their knees?
The point is that there’s a double standard when it comes to team uniforms for girls’ sports, and it’s silently endorsed by the same schools where these skimpy bottoms violate even the most liberal dress codes.
Research, by the way, has identified no significant advantage to wearing compression gear. The only people who seem to benefit are the pervs who host the millions of websites that feature photos of high school and college female volleyball players in compromising and sexy spandex-clad positions. (Note to my rare Dad readers: Sorry, no link here, you’ll have to Google that one yourself.)
One Los Angeles mom got so fed up with it that she started a campaign to discourage cameras at volleyball games and urged other parents not to share photos of their daughters and their teams on Facebook. In Broward County, one high school has instituted a rule that requires female volleyball players to don sweat pants after matches.
I like that girls today feel confident in their own skins and work hard to hone their athletic builds. If it helps change girls’ attitudes about their bodies and the beauty of staying fit, then I’ll be the first to praise spandex for helping us define the future of female athleticism.
I just wish it wasn't so well-defined.