Olympic Broadcasters Curb Sexualized Images of Athletes | 22 Words

This year at the Tokyo Olympics, the head of broadcasting at the Games is trying to banish overly sexualized images of female athletes.

Olympic officials are striving for "Sport appeal, not s*x appeal," according to the Independent. This is in an effort to create gender equality both on and off-screen.

"You will not see in our coverage some things that we have been seeing in the past, with details and close-ups on parts of the body," Olympic Broadcasting Services CEO, Yiannis Exarchos, said Monday.

This comes after multiple protests against women's uniforms in certain sports...

Gymnasts from Germany recently spoke out against uniforms they believe exploit their sexuality by competing while wearing unitards that covered their legs and most of their upper body rather than leotards.

Similarly, Norway's female handball team refused to play in bikini bottoms and, instead, wanted to wear shorts. They were subsequently fined by The European Handball Federation for breaking the dress code.

The International Olympic Committee doesn't control what is worn in individual sports, but does manage what is broadcast from the Games to the rest of the world.

Yiannis Exarchos said: "What we can do is to make sure that our coverage does not highlight or feature in any particular way what people are wearing."

In order to bring this into play, the IOC updated "Portrayal Guidelines" to create "gender-equal and fair" broadcasts of their events. Advice includes "do not focus unnecessarily on looks, clothing or intimate body parts" and reframing or deleting a "wardrobe malfunction ... to respect the integrity of the athlete."

Exarchos added that the goal of the Games this year goes beyond ending sexualized images; more women's and mixed-gender events are on the Olympic program will be scheduled prominently than ever before.

"We in media have not yet done all that we can do," said Exarchos, although claims that progress has been made. "This is something that we need to be frank and open (about) among ourselves."

It's a theme for the Tokyo Olympics, whose adviser on gender equality was critical of Japanese media...

"It's really biased when it comes to gender," said Naoko Imoto, who swam for Japan at the Atlanta Olympics back in 1996.

"Many of the channels look at female athletes (as) girls or wives or mothers and not really as pure athletes," she said. "Most of it also really gives attention to the looks saying... they are beautiful or sexy."

This year's Olympics in Tokyo, have been used as a chance to make a difference and embrace diversity, especially in Japanese society. Imoto said she hoped Japanese media and sports officials would go on to discuss "the standards of portrayal": "They are powerful and they are also beautiful, but they are not just women," Imoto said. "They are athletes."