Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings Don’t Owe Anyone Bikini Shots

Unsurprisingly, given their constant classlessness, the Daily Caller reacted to the news that American women’s beach volleyball champions Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings planned to stick to the bikini swimsuits the wear to compete by declaring “They’re going to be the cheekiest gals in London this summer. Olympian Misty May-Treanor and her fellow competitors on the US women’s beach volleyball team vowed yesterday to keep wearing their sexy bikinis at the upcoming Games — despite a new rule that lets female players compete in dowdy shorts and T-shirts.”

Then, they decided to wear long-sleeved t-shirts with bikini bottoms in weekend matches because, shockingly, it is not precisely balmy in the British Isles and sometimes when you are an athlete, you might want to stay warm so you can stay loose, and play your best and avoid injury. Quasi-famous dudebros like David Spade are apparently irked that they didn’t get to see enough skin, and the Daily Mail has gleefully validated their deep and pained concern. It’s a hilarious and depressing illustration of sexual entitlement and the second-class treatment of female athletes. By what possible standard would you think that an athlete you’ve never contracted with, much less met, was required to fulfill your personal quota for ogling? Or that when someone is competing on an international stage, they’re obliged to avoid so-called dowdiness.

Because even if they had initially planned to wear only their swimsuits, even if they enjoy wearing them as a display of attractiveness and strength (which, given that May-TreanorJennings has kids, is super-awesome) May-Treanor and Jennings are under no obligation to wear bikinis for any given match. The only rules they’re bound by are Olympic regulations on uniforms, the only guidance they should feel compelled to accept is that of their coaches and their own senses of what their bodies need, and the only reasonable emotional demands on them are their own internal standards for excellence and the pride that excellence can give their nation. And though it can be easy to forget amidst all the coverage of tears, and uniforms, and so-called divas, being the World’s Greatest is just as sexy a look on a woman as a regulation bikini.