Anyone Else Find It Sardonically Amusing That the Tops Worn By the Brazilian Women Volleyball Players Say “BRA”?

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Via. Below are pictures depicting the uniform of the male Brazilian volleyball players:


I have to think that if exposing your midriff and upper thighs helped you play better, the men would be doing it too. NB: Brazil is not unique in requiring female volleyball players to compete in bikinis, and this is in fact generally required by the rules.

–Ann Bartow

ETA: The Brazilian uniforms actually offer more coverage than those worn by Team USA:

UPDATED TO ADD: See also this and this.

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0 Responses to Anyone Else Find It Sardonically Amusing That the Tops Worn By the Brazilian Women Volleyball Players Say “BRA”?

  1. Audrey Parma says:

    The suggestion is that women are being exploited (and men are not) by being forced to wear skimpy uniforms. This information and the article are mistaken and misleading . I feel rather strongly about this popular misconception because I don’t think we, as women, need to find female exploitation where it does not exist.

    My daughter is a national juniors volleyball player for 6 years now and I have been very involved at the national level for that time as well. The pics posted are of beach volleyball for the wormen and indoor volleyball for the men. The comparison in venues is apples and oranges.

    Women indoor players wear spandex shorts (more like panties) and relatively tight tank tops (sometimes with a cap sleeve). The uniform is not to exploit women’s butts or boobs, but to provide safety and as much comfort as possible on the court. Sliding on the floor is not uncommon and the tight uniforms prevent rub burns. Also, the players sweat profusely and it is not only uncomfortable but dangerous if the court gets wet. The tighter uniforms absord better. Men indoor players wear a looser outer short but wear a very tight spandex inner.

    Women outdoor players are permitted to wear full length suits but don’t because the sand gets in and quickly goes from uncomfortable to creating sores, which is why they wear as little as possible as tight as possible. They also are in a hotter and more humid uncontrollable environment, and sweating is handled differently. They cover their bodies with a teflon like substance that allows the skin to breath but encourages the sand not to stick. The tops are usually sports like bras rather than skimpy bikini tops because the support is needed. Men usually do not wear tops, but must do so for the Olympics (which is really more for identification, not to hide their abs.) Again, tighties on the inside of loose shorts so nothing gets stuck in there.

    The men do not like to play in tight spandex shorts only because, well it is not generally considered very flattering and can be offensive. Unlike gymnasts or the swimmers, who are wearing a different material that while stretchy and tight and may hint at a man’s personal attributes does not cling to every little bump, lump, and outline everything he has (or hasn’t).

    While it may be commercially convenient and encouraged by team marketers to encourage viewership and public attendance/attention, the uniforms for beach volleyball are not without good reason and are not purposed to exploit women or men for that matter.

  2. Audrey Parma says:

    I can explain.

    For the Olympics the uniforms for men’s indoor and outdoor look the same (but I promise, they are not….the materials and what’s inside those shorts are different). Usually, during regualr national play men don’t wear tops outdoors but must indoors. Outdoor tops is a unique requirement to the Olympic (and perhaps World) competitions and is so that individuals can be identified.

    As far as the female Indian competitors, the reporter has it somewhat incorrect. One piece tank suits are acceptable but players do not use them for the reasons stated in my original response. This style though would also be unacceptable to Indian athletes. We have several girls in our region who play national junior olympics indoors and whose religious beliefs will not allow shorts, midrif exposure or the hair to be uncovered. They are permitted to wear long sweat pants, long shirts with uniform tanks over the long shirts, and scarves to cover their heads (as long as their vision is not obstructed). It is more dangerous for these girls, as the clothing is more likely to contribute to injury. It certainly interferes with their performance and I have watched them nearly collapse from the heat. However, it is their choice as in this country, in this sport, we do not make a person choose between playing the sport and observing their religion (as long as they are competitive. Which is at it shoud be, because everyone must earn the right to be on the team and play.)

    Beach volleyball started on the beach! Even before it was a recognized (and commercialized) sport, players wore bathingsuits. It seems silly to change that. Now sponsors and marketers for the teams responsible for viewership and venue attendance are a different matter. They would have everyone (men & women) play naked if they thought it would entice more people to watch!

    They certainly exert some pressure, but this is not the origin of or the reason for the uniforms being the way they are now.

    Journalists are also always looking for that little something which can be blown up into something it is not, which makes it difficult to know when the whole story is being told. In this case, a sensational story is trying to made where it just doesn’t exist.

    Have you seen the male divers and the skimpy little things they wear! No one seems to be saying that the source of that style is to exploit them by titilating the viewers. The uniform just matches the sport.


  3. Ann Bartow says:

    Without any links to the rules and regs or other supporting evidence, I don’t know what to make of your comments. It seems clear to me on a variety of evidence reflected in the links above and elsewhere that male volley ball players are allowed to a wear shirts and shorts but women are generally required to wear bikinis.

    Divers are allowed to wear whatever they want, as far as I can tell from a little bit of research.

  4. clueless says:

    The issue here is not whether female athletes prefer bikinis — and, having had sand in a one-piece, I can sympathize — but whether they are required to wear them.

    I think that this is quite telling:

    The men do not like to play in tight spandex shorts only because, well it is not generally considered very flattering and can be offensive… cling to every little bump, lump, and outline everything he has (or hasn’t).

    In other words, the men’s uniform is based on best performance (tight material to prevent abrasion or sand), but also male modesty (shorts to hide the naughty bits)!

    The comparison to diving is not apt since both men and women wear identically skin-tight suits, and they could dive in a parka and ski pants if they wanted to.

    @Ann — the FIVB rules in English are online at
    They don’t actually state anything regarding bikinis (just “equipment consists of shorts or a bathing suit. A jersey or”tank-top”is
    optional except when specified in Tournament Regulations.”), but it seems that individual tournaments (such as the Olympics or other international competitions) can create additional restrictions as desired.

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