American Beach Volleyball Players Explain Why They’ll Continue To Wear Bikinis

A Blog About the Olympic Games
July 27 2012 1:15 PM

American Beach Volleyball Players Explain Why They’ll Continue To Wear Bikinis

Misty May-Treanor
Misty May-Treanor will continue to wear a bikini in competition.

Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

As my colleague Amanda Marcotte explained earlier today, the International Volleyball Federation announced back in March that it would no longer require women’s beach volleyball players to compete in bikinis. For the first time ever in Olympic competition—beach volleyball joined the program in 1996—female players will be allowed to wear shorts and sleeved, midriff-concealing tops.

The new regulations are meant to placate countries with conservative religious and cultural standards for women’s dress. They also threaten to deprive millions of male viewers of one of the sport’s main draws: buff, scantily clad female bodies glistening in the sun (or the London drizzle, as the case may be). But God bless the USA—the women on the American beach volleyball team have no intention of abandoning their skimpy swimsuits. In their own words, here are the top four reasons why the Americans will continue to wear bikinis.

Advertisement

1. Tradition/inertia. If the current uniforms work, why switch them up? “We’re staying in our [bikinis]. I don’t see too many people changing. To each his own. If you get down to it, it’s about the sport and not what we’re wearing,” says U.S. gold medalist Misty May-Treanor. 

2. Physical pride/screw the body police. I’m not a sex symbol; I’m an athlete,” May-Treanor’s teammate Kerri Walsh told Sports Illustrated. And May-Treanor adds that she prefers the revealing outfits because, “What you see is what you get—there’s no airbrushing.”

3. West Coast pride. U.S. team member Jen Kessy brought out her Golden State credentials, explaining, “We're not uncomfortable in our bikinis. Growing up in Southern California, that's what you wear from when you're a little kid to now in the summertime.”

4. Sand. Apparently, it sneaks into the folds of extra fabric and makes players itchy. If you wear baggier clothing, Kessy explains, “you get sand everywhere.”

Katy Waldman is a Slate staff writer. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Foreigners

More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows

Why Do Some People See the Virgin Mary in Grilled Cheese?

The science that explains the human need to find meaning in coincidences.

Jurisprudence

Happy Constitution Day!

Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.

Is It Worth Paying Full Price for the iPhone 6 to Keep Your Unlimited Data Plan? We Crunch the Numbers.

What to Do if You Literally Get a Bug in Your Ear

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 16 2014 7:03 PM Kansas Secretary of State Loses Battle to Protect Senator From Tough Race
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 16 2014 4:16 PM The iPhone 6 Marks a Fresh Chance for Wireless Carriers to Kill Your Unlimited Data
  Life
The Eye
Sept. 16 2014 12:20 PM These Outdoor Cat Shelters Have More Style Than the Average Home
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus Video
Sept. 16 2014 2:06 PM A Farewell From Emily Bazelon The former senior editor talks about her very first Slate pitch and says goodbye to the magazine.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 16 2014 8:43 PM This 17-Minute Tribute to David Fincher Is the Perfect Preparation for Gone Girl
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 6:40 PM This iPhone 6 Feature Will Change Weather Forecasting
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 16 2014 11:46 PM The Scariest Campfire Story More horrifying than bears, snakes, or hook-handed killers.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.