Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.
Se Pasó is a daily opinion column where Vivianna tackles entertainment, news, and pop culture with her bold and fearless voice. In other words, she says exactly what you are thinking.
This can't be for real! Those were my thoughts when I stumbled upon an article on the Telegraph about a new "groundbreaking" product to get more women into sports called the "Ladyball." According to the company's website, the Ladyball is "specially designed for a lady's game" and features "soft-touch for a woman's grip, eazi-play for a woman's ability, and fashion-driven for a woman's style." There are so many things wrong with that statement, but "a woman's ability?!" What is that supposed to mean?! If that wasn't insulting enough, you have to see the YouTube video:
The ad ends with the tag line "Play Like the Lady You Are!" It just doesn't get any more sexist than that. I'd like to see the creators of Ladyball in an episode of Shark Tank with a panel of potential investors composed of the Ronda Rousey's of the world with this kind of product with ridiculously offensive marketing.
Retired Dublin football star Ger Brennan, appears as spokesperson for the brand, and when asked why he thought women need a ball specifically designed for them in an interview for the website he is quoted as having said:
"I think it’s a well known fact that women play differently and have different abilities and a different skill set, this is a fact that should be celebrated and I think the Ladyball does just that, it aims to enhance the way women naturally play. There’s nothing wrong with playing like a girl."
Brennan must have missed the Always #LikeAGirl campaign. Just telling someone to do something "like a girl" is incredibly insulting and demeaning. Women may be built differently than men, but we are still incredibly strong and more than capable of playing any sport. The Always campaign provided a depressing insight into the difference in self-confidence and how women see themselves depending on their age.
Young girls feel like they can do it all then experience a dramatic drop in confidence during puberty. Products for "ladies" isn't doing anything but perpetuating stereotypes that exacerbate this issue. Making a ball pink isn't more stylish and it isn't going to get more women into team sports. If we're not into something, we're just not into it. A "feminine touch" via a splash of pink and soft-touch feeling isn't going to be the aha moment we needed to get into soccer, or baseball, or basketball, or whatever it is geniuses like Ladyball are looking to give a "girly" twist to next. But if your goal is to play into insecurities that will keep us away from these games, keep up the great work.
The whole Ladyball concept and branding misses the mark so badly that we won't be surprised if it all turns out to be a big joke. The only catch is that women won't be laughing.