Sports-Bra-Gate: Empowering or Demeaning?

It could become the defining image of Women’s Euro 2022: Chloe Kelly wheeling away from scoring the winning goal for England against Germany at Wembley, wildly waving her shirt above her head, revealing nothing but a white sports bra beneath.  As soon as she started peeling off, it was entirely predictable that she was going to be booked by the referee for the action.  But the social media reaction?  That was not so easy to predict.

Social media is a fickle beast.  For every partial striptease that is empowering, there is another one that is demeaning.  Empowering or demeaning?  Celebration or objectification?  Which way would social media jump?

Given the ecstatic, joyous nature of the occasion, it would have been mean-spirited to have poured cold water on the celebrations by voicing anything other than fulsome support.

However, another time, and a different occasion, and the morally-outraged bullies of social media would have been raising their voices in protest.

I am delighted that Chloe Kelly was able to express her emotions so demonstratively without censure; equally, I am sorry that Gary Lineker’s Twitter response to her action was suppressed.

It seems that social media only ever manages to unite by making moral hypocrites of us all.

© Donnie Blake

Donnie Blake is not a fan of social media.

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