Naked cycling? That’s just Colombia team’s uniforms

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The flesh-colored, translucent uniforms feature red, yellow and white. But in the very place where opaque would have been best, it’s nude.

The final look is so appalling, Twitter has flagged the photo as sensitive material.

Who designed the uniforms has not been revealed. But what may be more disturbing is that the women seem to be OK with what they’re wearing. They’re even smiling in the photos.

It all leads some to wonder: Was this an attention-getting ploy?

That’s the first thought that came to Ann Savage’s mind when she saw the photo.

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“Did the team want to create a stir?” asked Savage, a professor at Butler University in Indianapolis who studies gender, women and sexuality.

Some Colombian reports say one of the female cyclists was the woman behind the design that her teammates approved.

“If the women, even if they didn’t know how it might look or appear, chose to wear these uniforms without any pressure from higher-ups, then this is their choice,” Savage said. “I disagree with the sexualization of women’s bodies (or men’s bodies for that matter) for any reason, let alone commercial reasons. But I am a strong defender of free speech.”

If the women purposely chose uniforms that sexualized their bodies to gain attention, “this is unfortunate and problematic,” she said.”

The result may have backfired.

Disaster. Ludicrous. Tasteless. All words used to describe the uniforms.

“No. Just no,” Julie Gibbons of Richmond, Ind., wrote on Facebook.

The International Cycling Union president agrees. Brian Cookson came forward Monday calling the uniforms unacceptable.

Cookson wrote on his Twitter account that “it is unacceptable by any standard of decency.” Cycling’s governing body said Monday it investigated the issue.

“The UCI will be sending a letter to the Colombian federation reminding them of their responsibility … in the control of regional and club team kits that compete in international events,” it said in a statement.

Pictures of the team shared on social media prompted Cookson’s response.

“To the many who have raised the issue of a certain women’s team kit, we are on the case,” the British official wrote.

The team is set to compete next week at the road world championships in Ponferrada, Spain.

And for those who think the designer was a sexist sort of guy, some are saying that the men’s cycling uniforms aren’t much better. They are claimed to be made of almost entirely flesh-colored material (including in the groin area) with a few black accents. The photo has not been confirmed as legit.

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source: USA Today by Dana Hunsinger Benbow

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