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."

Most Shared
Facebook / Mikhail Galin

Putting your pet in cargo during a flight isn't always safe. In 2016, the Department of Transportation reported a total of 26 pet deaths and 22 injuries on flights. Because conditions in cargo can be uncomfortable for animals, the Humane Society recommends taking your pet aboard when you fly, or just leaving it at home.

It's not surprising that one Russian man didn't want to put his overweight cat in cargo during an eight-hour flight from Moscow to Vladivostok. What is surprising is the great lengths he took to fly with his four-legged friend.

Russian airline Aeroflot allows pets to fly inside the plane's cabin, as long as the cat weighs under 17.6 pounds and stays in its carrier during the flight. When Mikhail Galin went to check in, he was told he couldn't fly with his four-year old cat, Viktor. Viktor weighed in at 22 pounds and would have to be relegated to cargo.

But Viktor was sick from their earlier flight from Riga, Latvia to Moscow. And besides, Viktor had been allowed to fly inside the cabin during that flight. The airline staff didn't even bother to make Viktor sit on the scales. Galin was unable to persuade staff to bring his fur baby on board.

"To all attempts to explain that the cat won't survive there on an 8-hour flight with the baggage and would haunt her in her nightmares for the rest of her life, she (the Aeroflot staff member) replied that there are rules," Galin wrote in a Facebook post translated from Russian.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Photo by Kelvin Octa from Pexels

Newborn babies don't seem to do much beyond eating and pooping and, of course, hiccupping. A lot. Parenting advice on how to cure a baby's hiccups runs the whole gamut. It's recommended parents try everything from nursing to stop feeding the baby so much, from giving the baby gripe water to letting the hiccups play their course. But when your baby hiccups too much, you shouldn't freak out. There's a good reason why.

A new study published in Clinical Neurophysiology found that hiccups play an important role in a baby's development. Researchers from the University College London found 217 babies for their study, but only looked at 13 newborns with persistent hiccups. Ten of those babies hiccupped when they were awake, and three hiccupped during their "wriggly" sleep. We have no idea how the scientists got any work done with all that cuteness lying around.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
via The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon / YouTube

Actress Kristen Bell and "The Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon showed off their vocal and comedic chops on Tuesday night when the performed a medley of 17 Disney songs, spanning nine decades, in just five minutes.

The duo started with 1940's "When You Wish Upon a Star" and ended with 2013's "Let it Go" from "Frozen."

Bell will reprise her role as Anna in Disney's upcoming "Frozen 2."

Keep Reading Show less
popular

Ask almost any woman about a time a man said or did something sexually inappropriate to them, and she'll have a story or four to tell. According to a survey NPR published last year, 81% of women report having experienced sexual harassment, with verbal harassment being the most common. (By contrast, 43% of men report being sexually harassed. Naturally harassment toward anyone of any sex or gender is not okay, but women have been putting up with this ish unchecked for centuries.)

One form of verbal sexual harassment is the all too common sexist or sexual "joke." Ha ha ha, I'm going to say something explicit or demeaning about you and then we can all laugh about how hilarious it is. And I'll probably get away with it because you'll be too embarrassed to say anything, and if you do you'll be accused of being overly sensitive. Ha! Won't that be a hoot?

Keep Reading Show less
popular