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Volume 26 No. 63
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WNBA Players Change Approach By Showcasing Androgynous Fashion

WNBA teams are "changing the way they approach marketing to their fans and portraying their athletes" by "celebrating and showcasing androgynous swag," according to Britni de la Cretaz of the N.Y. TIMES. Instead of "emphasizing sex appeal and heteronormative styles, the league is leaning into the aesthetic that many of their fans and players already prefer, one that includes androgynous and masculine looks." As recently as '16, the WNBA had "fashion, hair and makeup classes for its rookie players." But a "changing culture and direct communication between athletes and fans on social media have allowed the WNBA and its players to create a new narrative about the aesthetics of women who ball." Atlanta Dream G Brittney Sykes can be seen on her Instagram account in "knee-length cutoff jeans and a tank top." Las Vegas Aces F Tamera Young "posts photos of herself in androgynous fashion." Photos of NBA players arriving for game day have "long been a staple of basketball coverage." Now their WNBA counterparts "get the same treatment." Their outfits are "documented by team photographers and posted on social media." Androgynous looks are "shown as just as stylish and coveted as outfits that are more feminine." In the past, the athletes whose images were "seen as most desirable" were women who "fit into conventional ideas of female beauty: feminine, white assumed heterosexual" (N.Y. TIMES, 6/19).