Unless you live under a bridge somewhere, you know today is Super Bowl Sunday. Some of you will care. Some of you will not. Some of you will be interested only in the ads. Some of you will be interested only in the half-time show. But how many of you will be interested in “beautiful wives and girlfriends of Super Bowl players?” I know North American society has two major obsessions these days: beauty and celebrity. What I don’t know is what beauty has to do with football.
You may ask me where this thought comes from. I am irritated to have to say that I saw it on the Edmonton Journal online today. I get the paper copy of the newspaper delivered to my door every morning. I know some people would call that “old school” or even “old-fashioned,” but I like to feel the newsprint in my hand and to peruse the pages with my coffee. The only downside to reading my news in the traditional way is that it’s not as immediately updated as the online version. So, occasionally, when I have a couple minutes downtime, I pop onto the Edmonton Journal online. It was there that I saw the link to a gallery of photos called “beautiful wives and girlfriends of Super Bowl players.”
To say that I was disappointed that my beloved home town newspaper thinks this is newsworthy would be the understatement of the week. I think a better word to match my feeling on the matter would be “disgusted.” I didn’t click on the photos, and I don’t intend to do so. The headline says as much as I need to see. I do have some questions, though.
What do the wives and girlfriends actually have to do with the Super Bowl? Why are we supposed to care? The celebrities are the coaches and the players, not their better halves. The game is about two teams of men battling it out for the championship. The focus should be on the teams, the men and the game. The focus should not be on the wives and girlfriends. Today, on the field, they are irrelevant.
Even if you believe the wives and girlfriends are relevant, perhaps because they play supporting roles for the players, then why feature only the “beautiful” ones? Are the average looking ones, or even the ugly ones, not just as valuable to the players who love them? Why ignore all the less gorgeous women simply because they don’t meet the standard of beauty?
This brings me to another question…
Who decided what the standard of beauty was? Who decided which women are beautiful enough to “make it” to the gallery and which are not? What criteria were used to make this designation? Eye color? Hair color? Body shape?
The wives and girlfriends of Super Bowl players are all people. Therefore they are all beautiful. Every one of them should be featured. Or, better yet, since none of them are playing in the game, none of them should be featured.
In either case, shame on you, Edmonton Journal, for making the beauty of the wives and girlfriends of Super Bowl players something people can find in the newspaper—where it really isn’t news, where it really doesn’t belong.