Nike shares depressingly skimpy designs for the U.S. Women’s Olympic team uniforms

With the Paris 2024 Olympic Games fast approaching, Nike just released a “first look” at new outfit designs for Team USA on social media, which promptly went viral for all the wrong reasons. While the men’s kits look totally comfortable and appropriate for a wide range of sports, the uniforms for the U.S. women’s team feature an extremely high-cut bikini that would barely cover any woman’s genitals if all she did was lie still while sunbathing, let alone participate in some of the most intense sporting competitions in the world.

Former U.S. track and field athlete Lauren Fleshman was one of the people to weigh in on the uniforms online, and she did not hold back her thoughts.

““I’m sorry, but show me one WNBA or NWSL team who would enthusiastically support this kit,” she wrote on Instagram. “If this outfit was truly beneficial to physical performance, men would wear it. This is not an elite athletic kit for track and field. This is a costume born of patriarchal forces that are no longer welcome or needed to get eyes on women’s sports.”

She continued, “I’m queer and I’m attracted to female bodies, but I don’t expect or enjoy seeing female athletes or male athletes put in a position to battle self-consciousness at their place of work. That is not part of the job description. I lived that life and know that excellence is born of unselfconsciousness, of freedom, and embodiment of action and instinct. Stop making it harder for half the population.”

Fleshman wasn’t the only athlete to share her concerns. U.S. long jumper Tara Davis-Woodhall took a more humorous approach, but still hit the nail on the head, writing, “Wait my hoo haa is gonna be out.”

Non-athletes have been vocal on social media as well.

“Even the mannequin’s non-vagina is eating that front thong,” one person wrote on X. “Did a porn addict design this?”

Another chimed in, “Men can worry about their athletic performance while women have to worry about chaffing [sic], their genitals not falling out and getting a bikini wax. “Definitely equal opportunities huh.”

In a press release, Nike defended the uniforms and doubled down, saying female athletes were involved in creating the design.

“Working directly with athletes throughout every stage of the design process, Nike designed garments to ensure fit across a range of body types and style preferences, and infused real-time feedback throughout the entire product development cycle,” John Hoke, Nike’s chief innovation officer, wrote.

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