L Rice discusses the issues created by the new face of women's football
Late February the announcement was made that Adriana Lima (below)
would be the fan ambassador for Women’s World Cup, this was a conversional choice due to the lack of relationship she has with the sport. The ex Victoria Secret model grew up in the home of football, some would argue, Brazil. The country holds the most crowned wins in the Men’s Fifa World Cup with five trophies to show as well as some of the best players but does this mean Adriana is the best person for the job?
In the past Adriana has also been reported speaking up about her Christian values which is being pro-life saying phrases like abortion is a crime. Everyone is entitled to an opinion but ones like this are costing girls and women across the world their lives. As she is the face of the Women's World Cup fans may be expecting someone who is more in line with women’s rights as well as being an active campaigner for them.
"Fans may be expecting someone who is more in line with women’s rights"
Her career as a supermodel also creates questions as it is well known that the modelling industry is highly toxic and unhealthy especially for young girls as they are impressionable and taught at a young age they need to look a certain way. Models like Adriana do not help problems, like eating disorders and body dysmorphia, that are steadily rising in young girls. Comments she has made in the past about starving herself for days to prepare for her catwalks are only encouraging girls that it's normal to suffer in order to look pretty.
Adriana’s past comments do not represent what women's football is about, instead of encouraging girls to get involved with sport it's building on toxic ideas that girls are only valued for their looks. The choice Fifa has made to place her as the fan ambassador symbolises how far women still have to come to be viewed equally in sports and the media. It seems the model was chosen for her looks rather than her achievements and connections to the sport.
Fifa was not restricted on empowering females with strong ties to football as the world of women’s football is at an all time high. After England's win last summer at the Euros, English teams have had more support and recognition which they deserve. With so many influential faces who have used their platform so wisely it makes the choice of Adriana Lima even more disappointing.