FIFA Warns Broadcasters to Stop Zooming In on 'Hot Women' at the World Cup

FIFA Warns Broadcasters to Stop Zooming In on 'Hot Women' at the World Cup

As the World Cup nears a close, FIFA has ordered broadcasters to stop zooming in on "hot women" in crowds at matches.

The word came from Federico Addiechi, FIFA's head of diversity, who said the organization was working to cut down on sexism at the World Cup, noting that they've warned broadcast services and will "take action against things that are wrong." Often called the "honey shot," it was likely invented by a US sports television director named Andy Sidaris, who said: "Once you've seen one huddle you've seen them all. So, you either look at the popcorn, the guys, or the ladies. The choice is clear to me."

The organization has been working on several areas regarding sexism during the 2018 World Cup, including revoking fan passes of those identified as "accosting" female fans and forcing them to leave the country. Other incidents include female reporters being touched or even kissed while broadcasting. Getty recently came under fire and issued a public apology for publishing a photo gallery of "the hottest fans at the World Cup," which consisted solely of women. Meanwhile, organizations like This Fan Girl are working to desexualize images of female fans and refocus attention on their passion for football.

Lead image by Pixabay user lcarissimi used under Creative Commons.

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84 Comments

Michael Little's picture

Hahahah. Stop looking at people, it's offensive!!!!! You can't make this stuff up.

Alex Cooke's picture

Even if you disagree with it, I think that’s oversimplifying the issue a bit. Consistently singling out a specific group of people to sexualize them to millions of people when they haven’t asked for it, they’re not aware it’s happening, and aren’t even there for that reason is a bit more complicated and specific than “looking at people.”

Michael Little's picture

Perhaps. I had based my comment on the title alone.

Patrick Hall's picture

Is it really sexualizing them though? You aren't direct them at all to do anything "sexy" and they are simply dressed up as a normal soccer fan. I don't think putting a cute girl up on tv for 4 seconds is any different than flashing the Washington Redskins male Pig fans up for 5 seconds. There is probably more sexualizing going on in the beer ads than showing fans reacting to the game.

Alex Cooke's picture

I think if you’re showing fans because they’re dressed in elaborate team gear or something – for a reason based on their fandom, that’s distinct from showing someone because they’re considered attractive. You don’t have to direct someone to do something sexual for a viewer to sexualize them. By featuring people solely based on physical looks rather than what they’re there for, it habituates the viewer to associate sexualization with that group rather than the sport and its associated fandom, at least in my opinion. In a beer advertisement, yes, there’s probably more sexualization, but the actors and actresses in it are aware of what’s going on and have consented to it.

Patrick Hall's picture

I don't know...this is all starting to get a little out of hand to me. If you show an attractive girl on the screen, then yes, most straight males will find them attractive and perhaps sexualize them. But for the straight female viewers, they won't find them sexualized. Then when the camera cuts back to the fit soccer players, the women will find them attractive but the men won't. At what point should we just acknowledge that human beings like looking at other attractive and athletic human beings?

Jim Wilson's picture

You hit the nail on the head Patrick, it's all gotten way out of whack. Does anyone find it odd that the "Me Too" movement was launched by bunch of Hollywood women in black dresses slit to their navels? I don't think everyone should walk around in a Burkah but come on, it would have add a considerable amount of credibility to a very worthy movement, had the leaders dressed a bit more conservatively to make their point. We enjoy looking at attractive people, it makes the world go around. People who use their positions and influence to take that too far are terrible and that should stop, but the pendulum is swinging way too far when a man cannot complement another human being.

Crystal Johnson's picture

A woman's clothing choice has little to do with it. You're essentially suggesting that a woman has it coming because she chooses to wear clothing like that. It's victim blaming.

You wouldn't say the same thing if it was a guy with his junk hanging out of his shorts. He'd be called every name under the sun.

Crystal Johnson's picture

You're equating wearing short skirts and revealing tops to a guy showing his genitals? Not really the same thing, but I'll play along. Gay men sometimes wear revealing clothes just as much as women do. Club 'kids' especially.They too don't deserve to be called names, or victimized for it. Guess what? Gay men do get raped, and a lot do not tell anyone.

Further going into your side, men do often wear speedos to the beach. It really just depends on the location you live in, and the style men choose to wear. It's a pretty common occurrence and AGAIN, they too do not deserve to be victimized.

Matt Williams's picture

That's called public nudity.

A woman dressing "less conservatively" does not equate in any way to a dude with his genitals exposed.

Jim Wilson's picture

No, I'm not suggesting that at all. What I am saying is that it somehow detracts from the gravity of the message when it's being delivered by women flaunting their sexuality to that degree. Theoretically a women should be able to wave whatever she would like at anyone and it still doesn't give anyone the right to take advantage of her in any way, shape or form, but there is a subconscious "look at how hot I am, but don't you even think about objectifying me.........." kind of mixed message. I'm probably all wrong though, just a 69 year old man, who respects all women, and who has been married to his high school sweetheart for 50 years and has a daughter and three granddaughters that I want to be treated with the respect they deserve and should demand. I'll be the first to admit that I no longer recognize the world in which we exist today.

Crystal Johnson's picture

I understand, but you have to understand that clothing really has little to do with it. A woman could be in a burka and still get raped/assaulted. In fact, it happens quite a bit in the middle east where women are raped, and then stoned to death because they 'deserved' it.

Elderly women, disabled women, etc... and men get raped/assaulted no matter their clothing choice. It's a power thing, not a 'damn she looks hot' thing.

That was the entire point of the #metoo movement. To bring light of the rape culture, and how women are objectified no matter their clothing choice.

We each have the right to our own sexuality. We have the right to our bodies, and what we choose to put on them, and do to them.

You see it differently because there is a huge generation gap between what your generation pushed for, and what mine is. I am 35 years your junior, mind you, so I grew up very differently. That said, the women of your generation pushed for change regarding sexual freedom, and their bodies.

Matt Williams's picture

What is wrong with you

How a woman dresses is her own damn business and has nothing to do with victims of sexual assault and rape coming forward.

Jesus Christ.

Jim Wilson's picture

No kidding Matt, nice language though, that Name is pretty significant to some, obviously you're not in that group!

Felix Wu's picture

I completely agree with you Patrick. If following the same logic then portrait photography community should not feature models or physically attractive women. Too much sexualization going on in here. : P

From what I remember fans with interesting characters usually make it to the screen...what's wrong with looking pretty?

Crystal Johnson's picture

I would say there is a huge difference between showing attractive fans and what Getty had done. It causes ripples and FIFA doesn't want to bear the brunt of that stuff. This article does not tell all of what FIFA has said, but they have pretty plainly said to concentrate on the game more-so than fans.

Women are STILL being looked upon as nothing more than arm candy for their male counterparts when going to any sort of sporting event. Either that, or we're told we must be pitching for our own team if we like sports. Sexism is a huge part of football.

The fact is FIFA is doing women who love sports a great service by suggesting broadcasters essentially pan around. Sure, it might happen that they show a very attractive fan, but if a broadcaster is willfully targeting women who *might* be wearing short shorts, or who *might* be showing some cleavage, it detracts from their fandom. It, again, forces them into the stereotype of female sports fans. Which is exactly what Getty did with female fans; strip them down to nothing but a pair of tits and a pretty face.

When I watch sports I don't sit there and think about the player's body or what not. I am watching the game. That's all I care about.

Michael Little's picture

Thank You Patrick

Matt Williams's picture

The problem isn't showing an attractive female fan, per se. The problem is the proportional over-abundance of showing attractive female fans. When a large portion of the focus shifts to attractive female fans, you are no longer just "showing fans". You are depicting them for their sexual appeal. I don't think anyone is saying "never show a shot of a female fan" - they're saying equalize it.

Daniel Medley's picture

This is absolutely spot on. It is getting out of hand. Talk about first world problems.

My wife is European. She loves watching "futbol." She also loves it when they show beautiful women in the audience. To her it's part of the appeal. As she says, "Who doesn't like looking at beautiful people? You have beautiful men on the field and beautiful women in the stands."

Because of the politicized, pseudo outrage--and other things--she's no longer really interested in the World Cup which is a shame because I loved how excited she got.

Matt Williams's picture

We can acknowledge that when women - in or outside the context of sports - are no longer purely viewed as sex objects

user-189304's picture

If men are not being singled out equally, then you have your answer.

Disclaimer: I detest watching sports and don't care.

Patrick Hall's picture

This morning I’m watching Wimbledon and it got me thinking....should they not be zooming in on the players’ wives and girlfriends? What about the Dutchesses? Theresa May...okay, you get my point. Sure some of the people I named have relationships with the players but shouldn’t every fan deserve the right to be televised and acknowledged despite their lack of privileged relationships?

Alex Cooke's picture

Yes, every fan does deserve that, when they’re chosen for being a fan. The problem arises when you disproportionately feature one group over another (see the camera work contortions below), as that indicates they’re being chosen for a reason other than being fans. If anything, the argument that every fan deserves to be televised is arguing for proportionate representation.

“Yes, every fan does deserve that, when they’re chosen for being a fan.”

"If anything, the argument that every fan deserves to be televised is arguing for proportionate representation."

Except that in your attempt to include everyone you excluded those that just want to go to a game without having their faces plastered all over the universe. Your conclusion that everybody should be televised doesn't represent those that just want to watch the game live but somewhat anonymously. This is what happens when you try to impose fairness based on a morally subjective viewpoint, especially when you take it upon yourself to decide for everyone. Worry about you, let other people worry about them, and if any of the women on the screen have a problem with it, let them say so.

Just to be clear, I don't necessarily agree OR disagree with you or Patrick, I'm just pointing out that the more you try to speak for everyone, the more you'll find out that A) you're not, and B) you can't.

Alex Cooke's picture

I didn't take it upon myself to speak for everyone; I offered my personal viewpoint. Most of the women can't really speak for themselves because they're not aware they're being televised in the first place. When you go into a stadium, you're entering an implicit (and often explicit: check the fine print on tickets) contract that says you may be featured on television (reasonable expectation of privacy and all that). Your argument is a red herring. The point is not that some people may not want to be featured; the point is that when you single out a specific group disproportionately, you highlight motivations for doing so that are irrelevant to the event at hand and you change the audience perception of that group (or in this case, perpetuate it).

I think in the context of this discussion, "every fan" and "everyone" can be considered close enough to the same thing, so while you can certainly retract what you said, you can't come back later and say "I didn't say that". (Well, you can, but, you know... people will point it out). And I'm not sure how saying it was your "personal viewpoint" changes anything, because.... duh, of course it was your personal viewpoint. It wasn't a scientific fact, and I don't think you conducted a survey first, so yeah, no kidding it's you're personal viewpoint. THAT'S the point. Your personal viewpoint was a blanket statement that, if carried out, would impose a practice on everyone (or, "every fan" as you put it) under the guise of "inclusivity". But it would fail to live up to its goal because you can't represent everyone all the time.

The reason this is relevant (and not a red herring, as you put it), is that I think your definition of "a specific group of people" is flawed. "White women" is a group of people. If FIFA said, "we're disproportionately showcasing white women over other races", that would be one thing. But "hot women"? That's totally subjective. Case in point: you used a picture for the article that was meant to showcase FIFA's point, yet Patrick said in a comment below that he didn't find her that attractive. So if Patrick doesn't think she's hot, does that mean they're representing "not hot" women? If that's the case, the entire thing is a nothingburger. But who gets to decide? You? FIFA's head of diversity? It doesn't matter, because the entire premise is just manufactured drama. What if FIFA's diversity guru is secretly gay and his real goal is just to see more hot men on TV? The motivation would certainly be more questionable, even if changing the practice seemed outwardly more fair. But would it be? This whole thing got started over a perceived motivation. In your own words:

"the point is that when you single out a specific group disproportionately, you highlight motivations for doing so that are irrelevant to the event at hand"

But do you really? Or are you just guessing at the motivations and drawing a conclusion from a faulty premise? The problem is that no matter which way you dice it, it eventually breaks down into mush.

"When you go into a stadium, you're entering an implicit (and often explicit: check the fine print on tickets) contract that says you may be featured on television (reasonable expectation of privacy and all that)."

Completely agree. So here's where that leaves us:

1) Anybody can be singled out, and that includes "hot women", even if they don't want to be (by your own statement ). Doesn't matter if they're women or just some random guy who wants to remain anonymous.

2) If the issue is not that we need to be more inclusive of everyone, just less exclusive to "hot women", who gets to be the arbiter of that? Regardless, it will eventually boil down to someone's "personal viewpoint", which is subjective, which means you can't objectively solve this problem.

3) If the issue is not that we need to be less exclusive to "hot women" and simply more inclusive to everyone, fine, but that's not what's being said here, and again, there will always be somebody you're not representing fairly even if you think you are (case in point, assuming that everybody wants to be on TV just because you think they deserve it).

In the end, my problem isn't with who we're putting on TV (I barely watch TV so what do I care), it's with the fact that random people keep having problems with stuff that isn't really even a problem and deciding that "something" needs to be done about it, but all of their "somethings" fall down under scrutiny. To be clear, I don't have a problem with changing the way things are done, but for goodness sake actually have an intelligent solution before deciding that something needs to change. Otherwise you might find out that the whole thing was ridiculous from the start, and it might not have been as big of a deal as you thought it was.

Denys Polishchuk's picture

Oversimplifying the issue that doesn't exist in the first place.

Matt Williams's picture

It's a massive oversimplification. If "hot women" were shown as much as "hot men" and of course other attendees and fans in general, there wouldn't be a problem. The problem is the over-abundance, proportionally speaking, of shots of attractive female fans. If you can't see this as a problem, the problem is you, not the people calling this out.

Denys Polishchuk's picture

Oh my, here we go again.. who told you, that everything in this world must be shown in equal quantities? Following your logic, the Louvre Museum must put on display not only the best art pieces, but all the worthless bunch from the same era to "equalize", not to offend other painters and sculptors. This is not the way our world works. This modern comunism-inspired logic of yours makes no sence to me and goes against any law of nature, that we make part of. And, if you were wondering, I was born in a comunist country, so I kinda know what I'm talking about.

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