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Should Leotards be Banned From Gymnastics?

By Marissa Landrum

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Should leotards be banned from gymnastics? Aly Raisman says that’s not a solution. She took to Twitter to say “I was recently asked if gymnasts should continue wearing leotards. Leotards are not the problem. The problem is the many pedophiles out there and the adults that enable it. By saying clothing is part of the issue, you are victim shaming/implying survivors should feel it’s their fault.”

Other gymnasts like Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, and McKayla Maroney said they were molested by Larry Nassar, who was a physician treating Olympic gymnasts but will now face life behind bars.

Getting rid of leotards is not the answer. Leotards are worn so they don’t get caught on equipment and for coaches and judges to better see the body. “Tight fitting clothes allow instructors to gauge the alignment of athletes’ hips and spine with neck and knees. Misalignment= catastrophic injury (ex. ACL tear),” says a Twitter user.

Others say that it couldn’t hurt to consider uniforms that aren’t so revealing. One woman put on Twitter “Obviously, skimpy leotards do NOT excuse sexual abuse. That said, I’ve noticed that they’ve gotten very revealing. That may tend to draw potential sexual abusers to gymnastics programs. It’s not victim shaming to say that discussions of less revealing leotards could be useful.”

Aly followed up on Twitter about victim shaming. “For those of you who do not understand what victim shaming is and why it is dangerous, I urge you to educate yourself. Adults can work together to prevent child sexual abuse.”

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Should Leotards be Banned From Gymnastics?