Update: the USA Soccer WNT changed their kit going from white shorts to blue. PopSugar reports on the subtle but meaningful change. iSport360 reported on why youth sport athletes are ditching white uniforms a few months back. Get our take on one of our most widely read posts and see how it aligns with the new worldwide trend set by the women of FIFA.
Women’s sports are in a moment of transformation — and that includes their uniforms. The FIFA Women’s World Cup is currently underway in Australia and New Zealand, and there’s a good chance you won’t see many athletes wearing white shorts: teams are ditching them from their kits in an effort to be more mindful of how periods affect athletes, marking a huge win for women’s issues in sports.
The head coach at the local high school wanted to get the girls team white uniforms. I was a bit taken back by it. As a female coach of female athletes, I have had girls come to me asking for pads or just telling me they got their period. Then it led to all sorts of things after.
In many sports, including soccer, field hockey, and tennis, it is common for teams to wear white uniforms. However, it is not uncommon for girls to express reluctance or even refusal to wear white uniforms. So, what are some of the reasons girls may not want to wear white uniforms?
Fear of Staining
One of the primary reasons girls may not want to wear white uniforms is the fear of staining. White uniforms are more likely to show sweat and dirt, and any stains can be difficult to remove. This is definitely not just a girl issue. This fear can lead to a lack of confidence on the field or court, as girls may be more focused on protecting their uniform than playing their best.
Girls may also feel self-conscious about wearing white uniforms, particularly if they are not comfortable with their body. Look good, play good – that is what I say. Players feel more confident when they look sharp. White uniforms can be unforgiving and may highlight perceived flaws or imperfections. This can lead to a lack of confidence on the field or court and may even discourage some girls from participating in sports altogether.
This is the biggie. Another reason girls may not want to wear white uniforms is due to menstruation. For some girls, their period can be unpredictable, and they may be worried about the possibility of leakage or stains. This can lead to anxiety and stress, which can impact performance and overall enjoyment of the sport. Check out this blog post about wearing white shorts. Seriously guys?
Cultural or Religious Beliefs
In some cultures or religions, white may be associated with mourning or may be seen as immodest. Girls from these backgrounds may be uncomfortable wearing white uniforms and may prefer to wear more modest or culturally appropriate clothing.
Girls may also have issues with the equipment required to wear a white uniform. For example, some sports require girls to wear a specific type of sports bra, and finding a bra that is both supportive and not visible under a white uniform can be a challenge. Similarly, some girls may have difficulty finding white athletic shorts or socks that fit properly and are comfortable to wear.
There are several reasons why girls may not want to wear white uniforms for sports. Fear of staining, body confidence, menstruation, cultural or religious beliefs, and equipment issues are just a few examples. As coaches and parents, it is important to listen to these concerns and work with girls to find solutions that make them feel comfortable and confident on the field or court. Whether it’s allowing girls to wear colored undershirts or finding alternative uniform options, it’s essential to prioritize the comfort and confidence of young female athletes.