The FSU Women's Basketball Team's website looks more like a prom scrapbook than a site for a high-ranked athletic program. Unsurprisingly, it's raising some eyebrows.
The new campaign, put together by Ron Sachs Communications (which does a lot of business in Tallahassee), features the team posing around a limo in different shades of the same shapeless, sleeveless, metallic dresses.
Let's not even start on the pictures of the team's loan male coach getting out of the same limo with his shirt unbuttoned, tie undone and mouth fixed in a huge grin.
So, what exactly is the message?
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"You do get a sense of the players as people on the site, yet there's not much basketball going on. And if anything is placed before 'athlete,' isn't it supposed to be 'student' not 'sex?'" asks The Seattle Times .
"Female basketball players have long had to fight against the stereotype that they're gay and, after watching the preview for 'Training Rules,' it's hard not to wonder whether this straight-gals-going-to-the-prom photo-shoot is evidence that it's still the case," wonders Salon , raising the idea of homophobia.
Of course, Riptide has to wonder if there's nothing more nefarious going on here than really, really bad execution of the campaign. The thing looks like it was art directed by a 15-year-old boy trying to emulate Darren Aronofsky, and the girls look like they're wrapped in silk sheets and not wearing actual dresses.
There's a way to do "glamorous" and "beautiful" without having people think about the politics of gender and sexuality, and this sure wasn't it.