American broadcaster Fox News has drawn criticism for an interview with two male commentators urging female Olympians to work at looking prettier when they compete.
During the segment Sports Court, host Tamara Holder decided to discuss the trend of female athletes “sexing it up” by wearing makeup during competition in Rio.
“Some say this is about empowerment, well, really?” Holder said.
“Do women who are elite athletes need to wear makeup to feel stronger, or is it simply a fashion statement?”
Holder then introduced her guests, former policeman Bo Dietl and New York radio host Mark Simone, to weigh in on whether they condoned this practice.
“The whole point of the Olympics, the whole reason for this work to get there, is product endorsements,” Simone declared, arguing it was a chance for the athletes to score a deal with a cosmetic company.
Dietl expressed his distaste at having to look at Olympians and their zits while they were up on the medal podium.
“I think when you see an athlete why should you have to look at some chick’s zits?” Dietl said, adding that men should also be required to wear makeup.
“I like to see a person who wins that gold medal go up there and look beautiful.”
“So women are less beautiful in their natural state?” Holder asked.
“No, not just women, why don’t men wear makeup too?” Dietl responded.
“Look how beautiful you are with that makeup, what do you look like when you crawl out of the bed in the morning?” he asked Holder.
“I look like a dragon, okay?” Holder said.
The discussion was prompted by comments several female athletes made to USA Today about their decision to wear mascara, lipstick and blush while competing.
“You can be a strong, athletic, courageous woman and you can wear lipstick,” American middle-distance runner Shannon Rowbury said.
She added: “I like that lipstick is a way that won’t detract from my performance and it puts me in my happy place before I start the race.”
American gymnastics captain Aly Raisman told the paper she thought it was “kind of cool to have that sort of badass feeling that you’re doing your sport and you’re really strong and powerful, but at the same time, you can feel really feminine and beautiful,” said.
Both Dietl and Simone agreed athletes were likely to get more support and endorsements the better they looked.
“The better you look, the better your career … it’s true for men [too],” Simone said.
“I really believe that when someone looks better people support that more. If you look like a washed-out rag … no one’s going to support [you],” Dietl said.
“Would you put money behind a gal that won a gold medal that looked like a washed-out rag? No. If she looked beautiful and a little happy-looking then you would support her.”
See the full discussion below: