Over Sexualization in Martial Arts
My dojo hosts many seminars...
Yet I distinctly remember one of my first...
I showed up and as I joined the mat one of my fellow peers made the comment,
“Wow you look pretty today.”
I was slightly taken aback. It wasn’t a compliment I was use to receiving on the mat. When I asked him what brought that about, he said,
“You actually have makeup on.”
This threw me for an even bigger loop. Attractive was never an adjective I thought to describe myself as on the mat. During training I would use adjective such as confident, strong, athletic, and maybe even badass…
It was a few months later, I was told by a potential sponsor who wanted me to test their gear out, said that they were withdrawing their offer because my photos on my social media were...
not “hot” enough.
Photo credit: BJJEE at bjjee.com
I was blindsided, confused and I’ll admit it hurt a little.
I had originally thought I was suppose to test the Gi’s and promote them in a business like manner. The truth of the matter was this company didn’t want me promoting their merchandize with my talent and reputation. They wanted me to promote them with one of the oldest marketing tactics, based on the philosophy that sex sells.
Regardless of this marketing scheme that has been around for hundreds, if not thousands of years; our society has become more progressive, reforming their ideology on feminine beauty to include qualities such as confidence, strength and athleticism. With this psyche, it’s natural that female martial artists could become sensuous and even provocative. But at what point of time do we cross the line and focus not on a martial artists capabilities but rather their appearance?
At what point of time do we as a society begin to sexualize martial artists?
Jesalyn Mae Harper
Hello my name is Jesalyn. I'm a divorced single mom and a karate addict...