Feminist Friday: Pink Jersey Hater
This is one of my favorite times of year. NFL draft season, NHL and NBA playoff season. Yes, I am a girl. Yes, I
like LOVE sports. No, that doesn’t mean I want to look like I’m 21 going “clubbin'” when I go to a game. No, that doesn’t mean that I want to wear pink or sea foam green or any other color other than my teams ACTUAL colors on game day. Just because I have a uterus does not mean that I am not capable of sports knowledge and fashion knowledge at the same time. And I can not be the only woman like this in the world.
I have been a sports fan since I was born. Really, I had no choice in the matter. My parents thought I was going to be a boy. This was before they did ultrasounds on a daily basis, but the doctor told them that he was sure my mom was carrying a boy. So needless to say when the big day came my parents were more than shocked. My grandmother had to go to my parents house and redo the nursery while my mom and I were still in the hospital, which still ended up in navy and maroon because there is only so much you can do on short notice. My uncles had all gotten me shirts from different teams and colleges. I spent the majority of my early life in team apparel if only because it was bought with the understanding that I was to be a boy. Man I really screwed things up for them, huh?
My Dad never really let the fact that I am a girl get in the way of taking me to every sporting event under the sun. I have been to everything, from the four majors (NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL) to every college sport to minor league baseball and hockey, to arena football, to horse races and boat races. I was a well rounded little sports girl. He taught me not just about the history of all his favorite sports but how to really know the game. If that QB’s bad pass was because of his weak throwing arm, awkward throwing motion, or because the guy ran the wrong route.
As I grew up I realized not many of my girlfriends had the same passion as me. Not until I got older at least. As if middle school wasn’t weird enough for everyone, I was the girl that wanted to talk about “that game last night” or that “horrible trade”. Yeah, not exactly top 10 topics for twelve year old girls. I even got into hockey all on my own. My Dad never really watched it or knew much about it until I got him into it. And I still think he went to those games and bought those minor league season tickets for me. Hockey was something I could teach him about, and for me that was fun. It was probably the closest thing my Dad had to a boy.
Through all of these years of die hard loyalty to teams. Heartbreak and triumph. Victory and loss. I always had to wear jerseys that made me look boxy, shirts that fit weird and nothing even remotely cute with a team name on it. In my late teens early twenties, I had enough. I wrote Reebok, Nike, my favorite college athletic department, really anywhere I thought might listen to me rant about needing more options for women’s team apparel. I spent years doctoring my own tee shirts to try to make them fit better. Or buying kids sizes to make them not so boxy looking, which only worked until I got boobs.
In my mid-twenties I finally started to see a change. The NFL led the pack with a “new” women’s line from Reebok. I was hopeful, for about 30 seconds. Honestly they should have just kept that shit to themselves. I was appalled by what I saw. Women’s “fit” jerseys, one for every team, with the quarterback being the only player option. Are you kidding me?? That’s like saying, “Oh sure ladies we know you want to look cute at the stadium and since you clearly can’t know anything about the sport lets give you the QB’s jersey since most of you think he’s the cutest on the field anyway, right?” Augh! These lovely jerseys also came in a couple of color options, the teams home jersey color, pink, sea foam green and yellow. Yep. No matter what your teams colors are you can get your quarterbacks name plastered on the back of a shirt that makes you look like you’re going to work at a candy store not going to watch a game. Pathetic. And I say women’s “fit” for a reason. If you are built like a super model and don’t mind showing of your stomach these are fine, but for anyone bigger than a B cup you’re screwed. Next came Alyssa Milano’s line of fan gear called Touch. Yikes! It was like a line of clothes for strippers pretending to be sports fans. Hot pants?? Deep V tees??? Shirts that lace up with shoe strings?? Eww. I am going to watch a game, not fall out of my top and get unwanted attention from drunk guys.
Things have gotten better. Just like shopping for any kind of clothing there are going to be choices you don’t understand. Things you look at and wonder “who the hell is going to put that on, let alone go out in PUBLIC in it??!!!” But I can now get my jersey for that amazing D lineman that I have been following since college or a throw back jersey. I must say that the NHL has been much better at offering women’s sizes and styles. Maybe Canadians aren’t sexist. Who knows. There is also a group of homegrown sites that offer super cute options because they are designed by women sports fans for women sports fans. Universitygirl.com is my favorite. Maybe just because she carries my college team which can be hard to find. Her styles are cute and comfortable and her sizing is great. She even offers plus sizing and little girls. The other site I have found is MeeshandMia.com. Now their stuff is pricier and can be a bit too fancy for my taste (I have no need for a sequin dress in my college colors) but the idea is great. They offer their clothes with 160 different college logos and even in solid colors so you could buy their clothes and wear it for any team! Even Touch has gotten better. Still has some choices I don’t get, but I don’t loath it ALL anymore.
Just to clear the air I am not against any pink that teams use to show support for breast cancer. That is great, but don’t tell me that because I’m a girl I have to wear pink and only like the quarterback. I am not some dumb girl. I can tell you why the QB is probably not even close the best player on the team and how he is so over rated which is why at 32 he has only won you one play off game. There is a reason he wasn’t drafted. Tony Romo, I’m looking at you.