Jul 22nd, 2017
Paige Spiranac critical of new LPGA dress code
as discriminatory against fuller figured women
Paige Spiranac has criticised the new strict LPGA dress code, which bans revealing clothes on the course.
Her comments come after Lexi Thompson mocked the new regulations on Instagram.
The new regulations include a ban on plunging necklines, wearing leggings as pants and joggers, with the penalty for violating the dress code a fine of $1,000.
Paige does not actually play on the LPGA Tour, but that has not stopped her entering the debate, and she has contributed a piece to Fortune.com on the subject in which she states:
‘I respect and understand that golf is enveloped in tradition and that certain rules and regulations must be upheld. But as both an ambassador for golf and an advocate for the continued progress of women’s rights and equality in society, I fear that these new rules are stifling the growth of the women’s game.’
Paige goes on to write: ’Up to this point, there have been no incidences or photos of LPGA players dressed in a way that has cast the tour in a negative light. Because of this, it’s easy to assume that the new dress code is simply a formality and won’t have much impact on the game. But if the LPGA players themselves aren’t the problem, these new rules may have been put in place as an exclusionary measure to make sure that only players who echo golf’s more traditional, conservative norms are attracted to and excel at the sport.’
And she had more to get off her chest: ‘Furthermore, aside from singling out a certain style of dress, it also, perhaps unintentionally, singles out a certain body type, over which women have no control.
Take the vague banning of “plunging necklines.” What constitutes a plunging neckline? Most likely, this edict was put into place to eliminate the presence of cleavage. In that case, a curvier, fuller–figured woman would be chided and fined far more often than a woman with a smaller bust. In a world where women are continually and unwantedly sexualized, this new rule serves as yet another reason for women to feel ashamed of their bodies, and a reminder that to be respected, they must alter their behavior because of outside perception.’
By labeling women as looking “unprofessional” when showing cleavage or shorts worn under a skirt, the LPGA is perpetrating the outdated stereotypes about the connection between what a woman wears and her morals, as well as insinuating that women do not have control over the perception of their bodies, but rather that they must bend to the every whim of the male gaze.'
Paige concludes her think-piece in a very self–depreciating way: ‘I may not go down in history as the best female golfer to ever play, however my intent is to do whatever I can to grow the game. In the age of millennials, women’s rights, and female empowerment, I hope my voice helps to encourage the next generation of great female athletes and golfers to possibly stop social injustices and prejudices from creeping into the game that I fell in love with at such a young age.’
Well said, Paige. These new rules seem so arbitrary that they will be almost impossible to enforce, and if they do then the LPGA know that there will be rightly ridiculed right across the media.
You can read Paige’s complete piece on Fortune.com here.