You can’t have missed this photo that has been all over the media in the past couple of days, of the Colombian Women’s Cycling team in their new outfits for the Tour of Tuscany…
I’ve chosen this particular photo above because the wrinkles in the ‘skin’ part of it are clearly evident. No, they’re not semi nude, of course, it’s just the way the outfits were designed. Many other shots of the same outfits are just a little bit less wrinkled, a little bit more uncertain in the clarity and at first glance maybe needing a second look to decide….’are they? aren’t they?’
The ladies aren’t in all probability naturist. Maybe not even a topless sunbather between them. No matter. They’ve achieved enormous publicity over the past two or three days, from ‘bravo!’ to ‘outrageous’ to ‘fashion disaster’. And what makes the ladies heroes of naturism is their bravery in wearing them, knowing what the reaction would be.
The debate surrounding the outfit is interesting that, even in a global society that accepts the use of women in the flimsiest thongs in advertising, this can still ‘shock’. Anything that opens up further debate on the presence of the naked body in society (and remember, you aren’t seeing any of these ladies naked) is fine by me. In the 21st century we should be reaching a point where we can say ‘they’re naked in what are generally non-naked social situations, so what?’
Nudity is everywhere around us in advertising, and accepted. For even a little pretend nudity, the cycling world and beyond expresses horror.
I note the President of some cycling organisation has said ‘we need to look at this’. Because of the depiction of nudity, of course. Would the sporting world have the same concerns had the ladies been sponsored by, for example, a company that peddles in death. An armaments company, for example? I suspect not.
Anyway, we’re going to award them ‘heroes of naturism’ status for what are fabulous cycling costumes (and where can I buy one?)