The Colombian women’s cycling team who have come under criticism over their “scandalous” outfit, said Wednesday they refuse to change the design.
The uniform, which features a supposedly flesh-toned fabric that curiously accentuates the cyclists’ waist and hips, has caused such a stir and much derision in global media of late, with many calling it a “fashion crime” and the president of the International Cycling Union, Brian Cookson, going so far as to cry out in the name of “decency.”
While the team has been sporting in the same uniform all year, it was not until last week in Italy that the uniform received strange looks and international attention.
The Colombian women’s cycling team and their sponsors held a press conference Wednesday to defend their position amidst the social media storm.
“They’re the sponsors’ colors; there’s nothing scandalous in that,” said team member Angie Rojas who had a hand in designing the uniform. “We wear our uniform with pride and we are not considering changing it.”
“In this team there are mothers with families, people who sacrifice a lot for the sport, who love cycling and have clear objectives [to perform well as a team] rather than [any interest] in being the center of such scandals,” said Rojas.
While many Twitter users were preoccupied with the “fashion crime” aspect of the uniform design, Olympic cyclist Nicole Cooke claimed the uniform “has turned the sport into a joke.”
This has turned the sport into a joke. Girls stand up for yourselves – say no pic.twitter.com/Jpt1Vo9Xog
— Nicole Cooke (@NicoleCooke2012) September 14, 2014
However, another twitter commentator, Fidelma Carolan, brought up a more valid point, questioning whether the uniform was “sexist or feminist.”
Indeed, would it have caused such a stir had it been the garb of the men’s team? In 2010, Footon Servetto sported a similar “flesh tone” look and did not receive criticism.
“We don’t see anything wrong with the uniform. On the contrary, we must continue using it to prove that that there’s nothing sinister in the garment and that we can use it just as it has been this year,” said Alvaro Giraldo, marketing manager for the San Mateo Foundation, a team sponsor.
Aldo Cadena, director of Bogota‘s Institute for Sports and Recreation, made clear his support for the women’s cycling team’s decision to keep their uniform, adding that “If they want to change it, we will support them.”