Half-empty stands for table tennis at the Games in China, the country most obsessed with ping pong, have reportedly motivated the International Table Tennis Federation to sex up its image in hopes of gaining more attention. The ITTF is encouraging female players to wear skirts and shirts "with more curves" to encourage more viewers to watch. With more curves? Like padded shirts? Why aren't the men being encouraged to play topless and in tiny, fitted shorts? And why is a sport more interested in selling the bodies of its (female) players, rather than selling the sport itself? In an age of televised sports, with everyone scrambling for airtime, have we become more interested in what the athletes wear or how much skin they show, rather than how much skill goes into the sport? [Yahoo! Sports]

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DISCUSSION

morninggloria
Erin Gloria Ryan

Judging by the hootin and hollerin response to the men's swim team, massive numbers of women watching the Olympics for the soft core man-porn available and on display, and buying power of the young female demographic, why SHOULDN'T male sports be sexed up? I'd totally watch more table tennis if the guys dressed like Michael Phelps.

Are you listening, tennis?