She is not alone. Less than 24 hours after winning the European Championship with England last summer, Ella Toone went viral for saying she was “really gutted” that she had not been wearing her signature false eyelashes for the occasion. Sprinter Dina Asher-Smith has described the joy and confidence from experimenting with her make-up on race days, and is one of a long line of track-and-field athletes who have shown off their style in competition.
Tennis player Coco Gauff told Telegraph Sport last year that while on tour, she hunts down the best beauty salon in every city she visits to update her intricate nail art. But the evidence shows that women in sport are often taken less seriously simply for embracing or following beauty regimes that break the mould.
For this reason, Glenn is researching some of the worst examples of trolling of elite sportswomen for her sport science degree, which she is doing through the Open University.
Aston Villa’s Alisha Lehmann, who has 12 million Instagram followers, contends with abuse every day and has voiced her anger about it.
“When I looked at the comments on her Instagram, it really annoyed me,” Glenn says of her research. “It’s all about her looks. It’s demeaning and quite seedy, saying she just does it for publicity. People think she doesn’t work or train as hard, because she’s too busy doing this kind of thing. Do people not realise how long it takes to put some lashes on – not long, by the way. I think she’s really cool, a class footballer and she’s got style. It’s just sad to see she gets that amount of hate for wearing a couple of milligrams of foundation.”
For Glenn, even her white-ball England debut was marred by trolling, as she received derogatory comments about her size and for getting a manicure for the occasion.
She says women cannot win either way. “I performed well, and I was really excited, but there were so many comments on how I look or rating me – I felt objectified a little bit. Don’t get me wrong, I see it happen in the men’s game – girls posting about footballers they fancy – but I think they don’t get comments saying they do it for attention, making out like I haven’t worked my a— off to get to where I am. That’s the frustrating thing.”
Glenn has previously spoken about her ambition to potentially set up an all-female gym one day, to help women who feel judged while exercising.
For now, she is going to continue addressing the issue publicly. “I just want to try to remove that stigma because I know there are lots of girls growing up that might shy away from being themselves in sport. It doesn’t have to be make-up, it could be anything, for anyone not doing what is expected of them in their sport.
“I don’t want girls to feel like they have to fit into a category to take part.”
News Source: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/cricket/2023/04/24/sarah-glenn-interview-england-social-media-body-image-ashes/