Because shuttlecocks aren't hot enough, the sport of badminton wants to sex up its image. As of Wednesday, The Badminton World Federation will implement a new dress code that requires all female players to play in skirts, in order to create a more "attractive presentation." Many women currently wear shorts or track pants, but after the Federation consulted with a marketing firm it was decided that players should look more feminine to attract greater numbers of fans and sponsors. But hey, at least they can keep their shorts on under the skimpy skirts.
Officials are claiming these new wardrobe guidelines aren't sexist. According to an interview in The New York Times:
"We're not trying to use sex to promote the sport," said Paisan Rangsikitpho, an American who is deputy president of the Badminton World Federation, which is based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. "We just want them to look feminine and have a nice presentation so women will be more popular."
Um, sounds like poor Mr. Rangsikitpho is a little confused. Using women's looks, especially when you're forcing them to conform to a rigid notion of femininity, is using sex to sell your sport, especially when their athletic ability is being completely overlooked in the process. Let us know when they're ordering men to play in Speedos.