While we're no strangers to restrictive dress codes, this one just might be among the most senseless.
The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) just set a new dress code for female golfers that's "backward" at best and downright shaming women's bodies at worst.
According to an email sent by LPGA Player President Vicki Goetze-Ackerman and obtained by Golf Digest, this is the new dress code all professional female golfers must now abide by:
- "Racerback with a mock or regular collar are allowed (no collar = no
- Plunging necklines are NOT allowed.
- Leggings, unless under a skort or shorts, are NOT allowed
- Length of skirt, skort, and shorts MUST be long enough to not see your bottom area (even if covered by under shorts) at any time, standing or bent over.
- Appropriate attire should be worn to pro-am parties. You should be dressing yourself to present a professional image. Unless otherwise told “no,” golf clothes are acceptable. Dressy jeans are allowed, but cut-offs or jeans with holes are NOT allowed.
- Workout gear and jeans (all colors) NOT allowed inside the ropes
- Joggers are NOT allowed."
The new regulations have the potential to be problematic for female golfers, as most get their clothes through sponsorships. As a result, forcing sponsors to adhere to the new rules can hinder their desire to sponsor female golfers at all.
Additionally, all of the items listed in Goetze-Ackerman's e-mail are still athletic items that can be styled professionally. Leggings, racerback tops, and joggers aren't items that are inappropriate by nature, so why prohibit female golfers from wearing them?
The punishment for not adhering to the new (albeit archaic) rules is jarring, too: Any time a female athlete violates the new dress code, she'll have to pay up to $1,000. For any violation following the initial one, the fine doubles.
Look, we're in 2017 and we shouldn't be up in arms over exposed skin. A bare shoulder or arm isn't offensive. Additionally, leggings are workout gear and should be allowed to be worn alone — not just as a layering piece. It's ridiculous that we're still policing women's bodies in this way and it's even more jarring that these are professional athletes' bodies that are placed under such scrutiny.
Shaming women's bodies – especially women whose entire work revolves around being comfortable enough to move around – is inappropriate and just so utterly backward. We can't wait to live in a world where a woman's worth (or in the golfers' case, athletic ability) isn't defined by the clothing she wears — it'll be defined by her skill.