EntertainmentTikToker Annie J takes on ESPN over sexualisation claims

TikToker Annie J takes on ESPN over sexualisation claims

A TikToker criticises a television station for sexualising her
A TikToker criticises a television station for sexualising her
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28 June 2024 20:41

Tiktoker Annie J is outraged by the actions of the ESPN television network. The young woman and her friend were filmed while eating ice cream for several seconds. According to Annie, this was a deliberate act intended to sexualise the young girl and generate interest.

The sexualisation of women is a widespread phenomenon in broadly understood media. Photographs of football fans dressed in tight clothing or recordings of women eating ice cream, lollipops, or hot dogs are hugely popular among commentators. The more embarrassing and sexist the comment, the more reactions it garners. Tiktoker Annie J fell victim to sexualization and has begun a fight with the American sports television network ESPN.

A young girl fell victim to sexualisation

It all started with the NCAA Men's College World Series—American baseball games held in Nebraska. Annie J and her friend attended the finals to support the athletes. As TikTok reports in a video about the issue, "It was 100 degrees (almost 38 degrees Celsius—editor’s note), so, God forbid, we were eating ice cream."

Annie J emphasises that the television showed about 20 seconds of footage of her and her friend licking ice cream. According to the Tiktoker, the recording was made deliberately to provoke ambiguous comments about her sexuality and the fact that a woman is licking an ice cream.

If not ice cream, then a hot dog?

Annie J informed that she ate a hot dog a few minutes before the ice cream footage was recorded. However, she did so while hiding behind other people, as she was aware that she might end up on television: "I ate a hot dog about 10 minutes earlier and ensured I was eating behind a row of people sitting in front of us because we were sitting close to the reserve bench, and I was terrified that if any camera caught it, I would be filmed. What is funnier than a woman eating an ice cream or a hot dog, something that can be overly sexualised? But ESPN can leave it vague enough that the ambiguity protects them while they simply open the doors for the freaking weirdos who can do whatever they want with it. Maybe let's just behave better and not consciously film women in the stands during sports games doing such things. As if I were doing something wrong, trying to avoid getting a heat stroke.

The Tiktoker adds: "I didn’t ask to be on television. In fact, no one asked us if we wanted to be on television. We thought at most we’d end up on the Jumbotron, because when you’re in the stadium, you know that’s something that could happen. But within minutes, literally, we saw our faces on the phones of people sitting around us, laughing at it. I can only imagine what those messages contained."

The TikToker addressed ESPN directly

In concluding her video, Annie J addressed the television network that aired the footage: “Stop contributing to the problem and stop making sports a place where women don’t feel safe or welcome. We can’t eat in peace, we can’t wear clothes in peace, literally we can’t do anything without it being sexualised and completely taken out of context. It’s not a problem of showing us on television. We were there the whole game. You could have shown us at any moment watching the game. Zoom in when we were fanning ourselves, because it was so hot there.”

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