Olympians Criticize ‘Sexist’ Team GB Rugby Campaign Featuring Lingerie Ad

Olympians Criticize 'Sexist' Team GB Rugby Campaign Featuring Lingerie Ad

Former Olympians Martina Navratilova, Sharron Davies, and Mara Yamauchi criticize Bluebella’s #StrongIsBeautiful campaign featuring Team GB rugby stars in lingerie, calling it “sexist” and “regressive”.

Bollywood Fever: Three former Olympians have strongly criticized a controversial advertising campaign that features Team GB rugby stars in lingerie. Martina Navratilova, Sharron Davies, and Mara Yamauchi have expressed their disapproval of Bluebella’s #StrongIsBeautiful campaign, which showcases rugby sevens stars Ellie Boatman, Jasmine Joyce, and Celia Quansah in lingerie on the playing field.

The campaign aims to challenge stereotypes that the strong female form is not “feminine”. The campaign’s website states, “The idea that strength and femininity are mutually exclusive is problematic even beyond sports; we seek to demonstrate that they can go hand in hand.”

A study by Women In Sport found that 64% of school girls drop out of sports during their teenage years, with fear of being judged cited as a main reason. Despite its positive intentions, the campaign has faced backlash, led by Navratilova. The 18-time Grand Slam champion commented, “The campaign feels really regressive and sexist to me.”

Olympians Criticize 'Sexist' Team GB Rugby Campaign Featuring Lingerie Ad

Davies, who won a silver medal at the 1980 Olympics in the 400-meter medley, expressed her outrage on social media: “This is an utterly shameful campaign. Whose braindead idea was this? Getting professional female sportswomen in porn underwear is extremely regressive.”

Long-distance runner Mara Yamauchi also criticized the campaign, saying, “This is exploitative, demeaning, sexist, regressive rubbish. Portraying women as sex objects will not encourage teenage girls into sport.”

While the campaign has faced significant criticism, it has also garnered support. One supporter tweeted, “Love the celebration of a greater variety of body types; these women look strong and powerful!”

Bluebella’s #StrongIsBeautiful campaign has run for eight years and included athletes from both the Rio and Tokyo Olympics, with this year’s Paris games being the latest edition. The players involved shared their experiences of growing up playing rugby.

Boatman, 27, shared, “Not many girls were playing rugby ten years ago when I started, and it was tough being the only girl on a team. Often, opposing teams thought having a girl made us weak. Sometimes, parents would tell their boys to target me, thinking I was the weak link.”

Joyce, 28, who is set to become the first British rugby player to appear at three Olympic Games, added, “I started playing rugby at seven, but it was tricky playing as a girl due to the lack of girls’ teams. It’s getting better now, with clusters and hubs everywhere for girls and women to play rugby. To girls struggling with body confidence, I’d say enjoy who you are and embrace your body.”

Despite being featured in the campaign, Quansah did not make the cut for Team GB’s women’s sevens squad. The team finished fourth in both the 2016 and 2020 Olympic games.


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Nicholas Edwards

Nicholas Edwards is a passionate writer with a keen interest in sports and business news. With a knack for delivering insightful and engaging content, Nicholas keeps his finger on the pulse of the latest developments in these dynamic fields. His enthusiasm for both sports and business shines through in his writing, making complex topics accessible to a wide audience. Whether it's dissecting the latest game-changing play or analyzing market trends, Nicholas brings a fresh perspective and a wealth of knowledge to his articles. Email @ admin@bollywoodfever.co.in

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