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Gymnasts in Germany are taking a stand against sexualization by donning full-body suits instead of the revealing outfits they previously wore.

Sports should be about celebrating people’s athletic prowess, marveling at their strength and dexterity, and breaking the boundaries of what we thought the human body could achieve. Putting athletes in suggestive outfits so that the audience can ogle them shamelessly is not something that sports should be about. It appears that the Germans have finally had enough.

Germany’s gymnasts protested the sexualization of their sport by wearing full-body suits (also known as unitards) in the women’s qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics on Sunday. Gymnasts usually wear leotards that don’t cover their legs. For comfort and to help younger athletes feel safer in the sport, the German team wants to take a stand against the sexualization of women. They believe that everyone should be able to wear whatever makes them feel most at ease.

The debates over sports uniforms and clothing can make you feel like you’re on a strange version of Planet Earth. The Norwegian women’s beach handball team was recently fined for wearing shorts instead of bikini bottoms, according to Bored Panda. Meanwhile, there is a raging debate about whether or not afro swimming caps should be permitted in professional competitions.

Germany’s female gymnasts wore full-body suits instead of leotards at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics qualifying round on Sunday

Image credits: Pauline Schaefer

The gymnasts took a stand against the sexualization of their sport and young women

Image credits: Pauline Schaefer

Their goal is to help female gymnasts feel comfortable and safe no matter what they choose to wear

Image credits: Elisabeth Seitz

Image credits: Sarah Voss

Image credits: Pauline Schaefer

Image credits: Elisabeth Seitz

Image credits: Pauline Schaefer

Image credits: Kim Bui

Image credits: Deutscher Turner-Bund

Image credits: Elisabeth Seitz

Here is what the German team’s uniforms were like in 2016, in Rio

Image credits: Pauline Schaefer

In the world of gymnastics, sexual abuse and objectification of young women and girls is a reality. Larry Nassar, a former USA Gymnastics national team doctor, was sentenced to 176 years in prison for sexually abusing hundreds of gymnasts, according to the Associated Press.

In gymnastics competitions, the difference between men’s and women’s uniforms is striking. Traditionally, women wear leotards, whereas men wear clothing that covers more of their bodies.

This isn’t the first time that German gymnasts have defied conventions and taken a stand against the sport’s sexualization of women. In April, they competed in the European Gymnastics Championships in unitards.

The German team was the only one opting for unitards on Sunday. All the other teams wore leotards. Here’s the Brazil 2020 team

Image credits: Sarah Voss

USA 2020

Image credits: NBCOlympics/

Image credits: NBCOlympics/

Image credits: NBCOlympics/

Image credits: Sunisa Lee

Japan 2020

Image credits: Aiko Sugihara

Italy 2020

Image credits: Lara Mori

Controversy over clothing in sports is nothing new. Very recently, the Norwegian beach handball team got fined for choosing to wear shorts instead of bikini bottoms

Image credits: Norges Håndballforbund

Image credits: Norway beach handball women

However, no other team has chosen to follow in the footsteps of the Germans at the Olympics so far. Some athletes appear to have differing opinions on which uniforms are the most comfortable.

Legendary American gymnast Simone Biles, for example, stated in June that she prefers to wear leotards because they make her appear taller. She did, however, state that she fully supports the idea that gymnasts should be able to wear whatever makes them feel the most comfortable.

 

Here’s how some people reacted to the news about the German gymnasts wearing unitards

However, some internet users had a different opinion about wearing full-body suits

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