Uncensored Feminista

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Pro Golfers endorsed by Wilhelmina

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I really don’t know how I feel about this article.  It’s got me stumped.  Let me explain what’s going on.  7 female pro golfers have been approached by Wilhelmina Artist Management and they are sprucing them up, sexing them up, and taking shot of them to promote them and get them endorsements.  

When Dieter Esch began looking at the players on the LPGA Tour, he quickly figured out that something was missing. He sensed they always appeared out of place . . . swinging nine-irons, hitting out of bunkers, putting cross-handed on the green.

So Esch decided it would be a great idea to put the golfers in something different, something the casual public does not see them in, at least up to now

Like bikinis. Like lingerie. Like evening gowns. 

“This was perfect, to show the world there are sexy, athletic women who can play,” said Esch, who is using his company and his clout to turn seven female pro players into model citizens. 

I have such a problem with this because why do women need to prove that they’re sexy and can play?  I don’t see the same thing happening for men.  It’s as if they need to show their sexiness and their femininity in order to be recognized for the players that they are.  This sounds a lot to me like what’s happening with the WNBA and how the women are being sent to charm school.  I also wanted to mention that we don’t see male athletes in their tighty whities to promote themselves.  Granted Michael Jordon has the Hanes endorsements but have you ever seen an ad of him in underware or half naked?  Have you ever seen him wearing less clothing than what he would wear on the court?  Why do women have to expose themselves in bikinis and lingerie, which is NOT something they should be seen in public in period, not like the article suggests.  

The part that I am happy about is that they will be promoting them and trying to get them better endorsements.

The agency will seek sponsorship and endorsement deals for the women as a group and as individuals.

Wilhelmina has launched a campaign to get them work, and, well, exposure.

Clients interested in one of the group or all of them may make up their mind as they thumb through a bound booklet of color photographs of the players, posing in bikinis, summer dresses, and more slinky dresses.

If it’s not just a good read, Esch says he thinks it’s certainly worth at least a look, or several.

There is a basic need being met here, he said.

“There was simply not enough pizazz on the LPGA Tour,” he said. “The players had no representation to speak of, no advertisements to speak of. It’s a crime, so Wilhelmina is taking it upon itself to change that.”

Endorsement income for female golfers is far from great, especially when compared to their male counterparts, although there are exceptions. Michelle Wie’s estimated $12 million is the highest among LPGA Tour players, according to Forbes’ Celebrity 100 list, while No. 1-ranked Lorena Ochoa earns an estimated $6 million from her endorsements.

Those totals pale in comparison to the estimated $90 million to $105 million that Tiger Woods annually brings in from his endorsement deals.

It seems like a double edged sword.  On the one hand they’re trying to promote these women and get them the same amount of money in endorsements that their male counterparts get, but on the other hand they’re basically forced to become models and parade around in bikinis and slinky dresses in order to get these endorsements.  I don’t think that’s right.  I think they should be endorsed on their merits as professional athletes, not on how they look in bikinis and lingerie.


Written by Lissette

June 27, 2008 at 11:19 am

2 Responses

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  1. Nice post.

    I agree with you about the double edged sword. It’s great that the women are getting more attention and endorsements, but they’ve earned this with their amazing talents. And what about the athletes that aren’t beautiful in a traditional sense? No one is worried about getting them more endorsements. Increasingly, women have to be talented and beautiful, or just beautiful (Anna Kournikova, Maria Sharapova, etc).

    If you look over to the men’s side of golf, there are numerous unattractive (in the traditional sense) players who are equally respected as the young, “hot” ones because of their skills. Women’s skills don’t earn them the same respect.


    June 27, 2008 at 4:35 pm

  2. […] Uncensored Feminista: I have such a problem with this because why do women need to prove that they’re sexy and can […]

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