Double Standards on So You Think You Can Dance

On So You Think You Can Dance, young female dancers frequently audition in tight, form-fitting, or revealing outfits. It’s not uncommon for the girls to display bare midriffs or perform in little more than a bikini top. The judges take this in stride; no one comments.

But when the shirts of young male dancers become untucked, unbuttoned, or get removed entirely, the judges (including Nigel) squeal like schoolgirls.

“Keep that shirt on!” shouts one. “Button up that shirt, please!” insists another. Last night, when a male dancer’s shirt rose high enough to expose a half-inch of his flat tummy, Mary pitched a fit. “Watch that shirt! It’s coming outta there!”

I don’t get it. If it’s okay for a woman to prance and twist and leap around in little more than a bra … why does the exposure of a male’s abs or chest cause such a huge commotion?

On So You Think You Can Dance, young female dancers frequently audition in tight, form-fitting, or revealing outfits. It’s not uncommon for the girls to display bare midriffs or perform in little more than a bikini top. The judges take this in stride; no one comments.

But when the shirts of young male dancers become untucked, unbuttoned, or get removed entirely, the judges (including Nigel) squeal like schoolgirls.

“Keep that shirt on!” shouts one. “Button up that shirt, please!” insists another. Last night, when a male dancer’s shirt rose high enough to expose a half-inch of his flat tummy, Mary pitched a fit. “Watch that shirt! It’s coming outta there!”

I don’t get it. If it’s okay for a woman to prance and twist and leap around in little more than a bra … why does the exposure of a male’s abs or chest cause such a huge commotion?

Mark McElroy

I'm a husband, mystic, writer, media producer, creative director, tinkerer, blogger, reader, gadget lover, and pizza fiend.

3 comments

  • Apparently you haven’t heard the latest scientific research, Mark. Male nipples have hypnotic qualities.

    And don’t even let me get started on the navel button. We might see the treasure trail! And you know that the church ladies would fall over for that.

    It is a double standard and a stupid one at that!

  • It wasn’t that his abs were showing… He was pulling his pants down *very* far and it exposed some “hidden” tattoos and came close to exposing more than we’re used to seeing on prime time. It was compounded by the shirt cinched around his abdomen.

  • Knol: While that may explain last night’s outburst, it doesn’t explain last season’s constant stream of “Keep your shirt on!” comments, usually (but not always) directed at the young Russians.

    Before last night’s “wardrobe malfunction,” I’ve chatted about this with other viewers of the show. When I said, “The women can dance practically naked,” the others interrupted me and said, “But if the men take off their shirts, the judges scream ‘Cover up! Cover up!'”

    So: while tattoos and low waistlines might have played a role last night … I still think the show, in general, enforces a double standard here.

    And while I’m ranting: WHAT in HECK was up with that drag performance by Travis Wall last night?!?

    Earlier this season, you’ll recall, Nigel told a bearded drag performer that he embodied all the reasons fathers didn’t want their sons dancing.

    I can’t help but think last night’s little dragfest was an effort to temper what some (not me!) might have taken as anti-drag or homophobic overtones …

Who Wrote This?

Mark McElroy

I'm a husband, mystic, writer, media producer, creative director, tinkerer, blogger, reader, gadget lover, and pizza fiend.

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