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LPGA Under Fire For Body-Shaming Players With New Dress Code

by Winnie McCroy
EDGE Editor
Monday Jul 17, 2017

The Ladies Professional Golf Association has come under fire for introducing a new, strict dress code that prohibits female players from wearing plunging necklines, leggings, or revealing skirts on course.

The UK Guardian reports that reactions have been very negative since LPGA player president Vicki Goetze-Ackerman sent around a July 2 email detailing the extensive list of clothing that will no longer be allowed on the course or at pro-am parties on the tour.

Golf Digest reported on the LPGA's roll back of dress code, in the face of increasingly progressive changes in the governing bodies of other professional sports.

They outline the new verboten:

  • Racerback with a mock or regular collar are allowed (no collar = no racerback)
  • Plunging necklines are NOT allowed.
  • Leggings, unless under a skort or shorts, are NOT allowed
  • Length of skirt, skort, and shorts MUST be long enough to not see your bottom area (even if covered by under shorts) at any time, standing or bent over.
  • Appropriate attire should be worn to pro-am parties. You should be dressing yourself to present a professional image. Unless otherwise told "no," golf clothes are acceptable. Dressy jeans are allowed, but cut-offs or jeans with holes are NOT allowed.
  • Workout gear and jeans (all colors) NOT allowed inside the ropes
  • Joggers are NOT allowed

    Goetze-Ackerman went on to explain that it's an LPGA Tour player's "job" to notify her clothing sponsors of this new policy, and that "penalties for violating the dress code will be a $1,000 and it will double with each offense."

    Heather Daly-Donofrio, the tour's chief communications and tour operations officer, offered the following statement: "The dress code requires players to present themselves in a professional manner to reflect a positive image for the game. While we typically evaluate our policies at the end of the year, based on input from our players, we recently made some minor adjustments to the policy to address some changing fashion trends. The specifics of the policy have been shared directly with the members."

    But some women are just not having it. Always progressive Teen Vogue stood up against what they see as "slut-shaming" with a cash penalty, noting that these players don't even buy their own clothes, and must now make sure their sponsors don't send them anything that incurs the $1,000 fine. Because after the first violation, they have to pay double that amount.

    This backlash toward more restrictive clothing for professional women was also seen this month in politics, when Newsweek reported on the House of Representatives blocking women from entering if they are wearing sleeveless blouses or dresses.

    Women "have been told they're not allowed to wear sleeveless blouses or dresses, sneakers or open-toed shoes," read a story from CBS, which noted that men are expected to wear suit jackets and ties in the House chamber and Speaker's Lobby. "These rules are far from clear-cut, and there are no visible signs defining them. They are also not enforced on the Senate side of the Capitol."

    Organizers claim these restrictive new rules are about decorum. But many women are pushing back, saying it's just another way to control them, with Newsweek referencing the popular dystopian Hulu series with their headline, "'Handmaids' in the House?"

  • Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women's news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.


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