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Here’s what's going on with the drama surrounding the LPGA’s dress code.

An email sent out by the LPGA has created quite the storm online.

This is a woman playing golf.

Image via iStock.

This is a man playing golf.

Image via iStock.


It sure seems like they're playing the same sport, huh? You'd think the expectations surrounding their attire would reflect that, but a new controversial email sent out by the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) has thrown that into question.

And people definitely have some thoughts.

Earlier this month, the LPGA notified its players about updates in the organization's dress code.

The email, sent by LPGA player president Vicki Goetze-Ackerman, listed a number of policies regarding players' clothing and asked members to abide by the guidelines beginning July 17, 2017.

Here's how the email read, as Golf Digest pointed out:

  • 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

As you might expect, the LPGA's email sparked a wave of criticism online.

As Teen Vogue put it, the list "leaves you wondering, what is allowed?"

Policing what women wear on the golf course is taking a step backward (maybe even into a previous century), some argued.

"Plain and simple this is a mistake by the LPGA," one Twitter user wrote. "The athletic wear is fine and crosses no line. #LetThemPlay"

But many people — most notably, several LPGA players themselves — don't see why people are making a fuss.

"There’s very minimal change to what our previous dress code is," golfer Christina Kim — who's currently competing in the LPGA tournament near Toledo, Ohio, this week — told The Detroit News. "I don’t know what people are making the hoopla about."

Fellow pro golfer Paige Spiranac tweeted that she doesn't think the dress code goes far enough.

Amid the backlash, it's worth comparing these rules to the dress code for men competing in the PGA.*

(*Why the women's association has an "L" in its name while the men's association apparently doesn't need to clarify gender is an article for a different day.)

According to the PGA's official website, its male "players shall present a neat appearance in both clothing and personal grooming. Clothing worn by players shall be consistent with currently accepted golf fashion."

And that's ... that.

The LPGA's (very) detailed email to its players reflects a bigger societal problem.

Double standards between men and women's athletic wear is nothing new.

In certain sports, standard attire requires girls and women wear much less than their male counterparts while competing. But in other sports, women are expected to cover up. We seem to police female athletes' bodies in tennis arenas, swimming pools, volleyball courts, and more — with much more scrutiny than we do their male counterparts.

U.S. Olympic beach volleyball players Misty May-Treanor (left) and Sean Rosenthal (right). Photos by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images, Ryan Pierse/Getty Images.

The LPGA, however, maintains that its dress code is certainly not the latest example of any sexist industry double standard.

Amid the uproar, the LPGA released a statement, blasting media reports and claiming the criticism has been misguided.  

The statement reads, as Yahoo News reported:

"Recent comments in the media about a 'new' LPGA dress code are much to do about nothing. We simply updated our existing policy with minor clarifications, which were directed by our members for our members. This is not a regression, but rather a clarification for members of the policy, with references relevant to today's fashion styles. There was not meant to be, nor will there be, a discernible difference to what players are currently wearing out on Tour."

Regardless of the LPGA's dress code, the fact the organization's email sparked such strong responses shows this is a discussion we must keep having.

After all, athletes of all genders should be seen as competitors — as athletes capable of dressing in the clothes that enable them to be great at their sport — not as aesthetic objects to patrol.

"Policing these women's bodies and clothes takes away from their professional accomplishments," Suzannah Weiss wrote for Teen Vogue. "And if the sport wants a positive image, body-shaming is not the way to get it."

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Artist uses AI to create ultra realistic portraits of celebrities who left us too soon

What would certain icons look like if nothing had happened to them?

Mercury would be 76 today.

Some icons have truly left this world too early. It’s a tragedy when anyone doesn’t make it to see old age, but when it happens to a well-known public figure, it’s like a bit of their art and legacy dies with them. What might Freddie Mercury have created if he were granted the gift of long life? Bruce Lee? Princess Diana?

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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

True

Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

via Dion Merrick / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.09.21


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