And the grievance industry sails on

Talk about missing the point:

Swim England has apologised over advice published on its website for budding swimmers, which advised women to hide their “flabby stomachs” and “boyish figures.”

On a page promoting swimming as exercise, the UK’s official swimming body said women should “draw attention towards [their] more appealing characteristics” when choosing a swimsuit.

The article suggested how women could “accentuate curves” or hide a“boyish body”.

It also said that women with “flabby stomachs” should choose a “loose tankini instead of a bikini or 1-piece” and warned that bikinis “totally expose a jiggly belly, and trying to squeeze into a one-piece will not slim your stomach, only emphasise it”.

The article suggested that overweight women wear dark colours to “minimise” their shape.

The organisation’s stated aim is to “help people learn how to swim, enjoy the water safely, and compete in all our sports” and to “inspire everyone to enjoy the water in the way that suits them”.

However, many complained that their advice about swimwear could put women off swimming.

PhD student Simone Webb found the page when researching how to get back into swimming again, and complained to the organisation about the “sexism”.

Do – some – women worry about exposing their bodies to public view? Those who say no are a little short in the meeting actual human beings department.

Advice on how to best present is thus likely to increase the number who swim, not decrease.

But, you know, sexism and grievances.

Perhaps the PhD is already gained, assuming it is in grievance studies?

40 thoughts on “And the grievance industry sails on”

  1. As a triathlete myself I know plenty of women who hesitate about swimming because they are worried about “exposing” the shape of their bodies like that. Seems like Swim England was just trying to address that fear.

  2. Does Swim England have cozzy tips for transwomen? This advice looks a bit exclusionary on the face of it.

  3. >The article suggested that overweight women wear dark colours to “minimise” their shape.

    Bad advice I would have thought. After all, they might get mistaken for whales like that.

  4. Does Swim England have cozzy tips for transwomen?

    Don’t wear high cut swimsuits that let your cock and balls hang out.

  5. The usual confected outrage aside, one does wonder why a webpage about swimming as exercise was offering fashion tips.

    Wear what you feel comfortable to swim in is the only advice surely?

    Or were they concerned that both larger ladies* and trannies would feel most comfortable in itsy bitsy bikinis, thus ruining the lives of those swimming behind them?

    The same concern would apply to more portly gentlemen who felt comfortable in undersized speedos of course…

  6. Guess what xir’s degree is in

    Special bonus extra: PPE graduate! The Degree of Choice for those who believe they have a God given right to rule over you. Coming to a Cabinet near you some day.

    The two things I would ban today if I had absolute power:

    1. Leaf blowers
    2. Anyone with a PPE degree entering politics, and any already in politics.

  7. Consider also that if one was trying to break into the Grievance industry you need to get yourself recognised. It’s a cut-throat business, hard to get noticed at first.

    One way is to find some utterly trivial thing and get yourself published in a national ‘newspaper’ desperate to print any old crap. Voila! Now you can put on your CV that you ‘campaigned’ against something or other, and there’s the proof.

  8. If I was “looking to get back into swimming again”, I would find out where the nearest pool was and go swimming there.

  9. OK, Swim England has 249 employees and pays its board £242,000. The highest paid board member gets £123,000.

    Revenue is £15m, of which £3m comes from Sport England and £4.9m from a body called the Institute of Swimming. However £4m seems to have been paid back to this Institute of Swimming, which is the body that seems to train and certify swimming teachers and run events.

    Does this smell like a gravy train? What would the fatty of Ely have to say about this?

  10. Diogenes

    UK Sports bodies now also have national level sports – so there is British Cycling

    Cycling England.

    Swim England will do more grassroots stuff, whilst the British version will do the Olympic and national teams. Not really a gravy train – pay for working in the grassroots stuff is pretty poor, although the highest paid board member in Swim England sounds pretty expensive… Almost certainly comes from the success of British Swimming in recent international competitions. Should the government be spending so much on this stuff? Open to debate.

  11. ‘Outside of academia, I enjoy physical activities including bouldering, parkour, and walking, and hobbies such as reading, cooking, and video games. I am also a film devotee, and keen to pursue film criticism in addition to academic writing.’

    I introduce GCC, the “Gamecock Classification.”

    I give Simone a “5.”

    GCC is the estimate, in whole numbers, of how many cats a person is likely to have.

  12. ‘I’m Simone Webb, a PhD student in Gender Studies at University College London.’

    Note that her use of PhD is fraud. She doesn’t have a PhD.

  13. ‘Former competitive swimmer Catherine Oliver agreed, tweeting: “A huge reason I quit competitive swimming at 15 was feeling incredible uncomfortable of my body in a swimming costume.’

    Swim England recognizes the problem, and gives advice. How evil of them.

    “This is hugely disappointing @Swim_England. You should be supporting swimmers of all abilities, shapes, and sizes, not shaming them!”

    WTF? Shaming them HOW ?!?!

    No complainant rejects ANY of SE’s advice; they just forbid SE from giving it. This is the hideousness of CM political correctness. Any woman not going swimming because of insecurity about her appearance is denied advise on how to fix it.*

    *The constraint is mental – the body problem doesn’t have to be fixed, the woman need only become comfortable enough with their appearance to head to the pool. SE’s advice has been around – in women’s magazines, no less – for generations.

  14. Ken, it seems like an unnecessarily expensive level of bureaucracy to have a body that certifies and arranges insurance for swimming teachers also providing significant funding for a sports quango which duly hands back some of the funding to the organisation that gave it. I’d gladly take a salary of £100k to do that. And 2 of the board of Swim England bag over £100k each. The other 5 have to make do with less than £5000 apiece!

  15. Bloke in North Dorset

    I have some advice for fatties who want to go swimming (or using a gym:

    Wallowing around for half an hour (Wandering a gym looking at machines and sipping water) does not give you licence to eat two extra donuts when you get home.

    More seriously, exercising to lose weight doesn’t work unless you want to put a real load of effort in, and I mean hours. Exercise alongside cutting out food does work.

    I burned ~350 calories in 40 minutes of hard graft in the gym yesterday so I need to do another 7 sessions like that just to burn off one pound of fat, all else being equal.

  16. Struggling to see the Maritime History link in that global maritime history link. It’s basically a blog entry about herself. Excluding sheer narcissism and self-promotion, why is it there?

  17. More seriously, exercising to lose weight doesn’t work unless you want to put a real load of effort in

    I recall seeing someone simply sat on an exercise bike and reading a book, not pedalling, for about 30 minutes. Fair enough, but can’t see the point really.

  18. BiND, last year, the weight room director chastised me for laughing at a woman in the gym. She was taking one-on-one training. Near me, I saw her awkward attempt to use a piece of equipment, while being directly coached, and I made a joke. As usual, I laughed at my joke.

    Two days later, next time I was there, I get reprimanded for laughing “at” the client. I was told that I made the woman cry. NFS!

    Serially, as a paying user of the gym, I thought it stupid that they would chastise me. I guess it’s more of a hobby to them than a business.

    And I’ve heard of women being afraid to go to the gym because of how other people react to their appearance, and I think “what stupid children.” An adult woman who can be made to cry by someone laughing at them (sic) is a child.

    So here come Simone Webb, Catherine Oliver, Helena Horton, and the Telegraph encouraging woman to be childish.

    “Women, just like men, only smaller.”

  19. @BIND I understood that in weight loss all other things are not equal. So if you increase muscle mass, by exercising, you’ll burn more calories just because muscle burns more calories than fat, even when not exercising. Obviously you need to maintain the exercise otherwise the muscle will atrophy back to fat.

  20. Bloke in North Dorset


    Going through process (move more, eat less) for the umpteenth time as I had a serious injury and lazy summer so need to loose about 7kgs.

    If you stick to aerobic exercise, as opposed to muscle busting, you do get some muscle build/toning but not vast amounts. What happens, with me anyway, is I tend to hover at the same weight for a while but feel my body shape change, usually in the form of trousers getting more comfortable and then looser, then the weight starts dropping again. If you do a lot of muscle building as well you can out weight on while losing fat.

  21. Exercise is a crappy way to lose weight.*

    The best way? Don’t eat so damn much.

    *You have to burn about 3,700 calories to get rid of a pound of weight. Walk an hour? About 300 calories. Ten hours to lose a pound. Far easier to do table pushaways.

  22. “Note that her use of PhD is fraud. She doesn’t have a PhD.”

    She’ll get her ‘doctorate’ in her pseudo-subject because no examiner would dare to fail her…

  23. Gamecock,

    We all started from scratch once. As a weight trainer of many years experience I still hate using public gyms because of the occasional presence of knowitall pricks like you. Confronted with ever more complex kit rather than free weights, it can be a genuine struggle to work out how to use them.

    Stop putting their other customers off if you don’t want a bollocking.

  24. An adult woman who can be made to cry by someone laughing at them (sic) is a child

    A person who mocks someone else making a genuine attempt to improve themselves is a fucking arsehole.

  25. The business model for many gyms is to enjoy the yearly subscriptions of the many who sign up whilst only providing facilities for the few who turn up. Discouragement could be useful. Double benefit if they then tell Gamecock to fuck off.

    Depends on payment schedule, of course.

  26. @ Gamecock
    The best way to lose weight is a careful combination of exercise and a balanced diet.
    However I can tell you from personal experience (and from observing others) that exercise can reduce weight faster than starvation, let alone cutting down on food. That is obvious to anyone who thinks for a few seconds – if one burns up more than twice as many calories as the daily intake, one loses more weight through exercise than through starvation with less bad side-effects.

  27. ‘The best way to lose weight is a careful combination of exercise and a balanced diet.’

    Not true. It is what words best for the individual.

    Without individual considerations, eating less is vastly easier.

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