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Is this really about Boobs? WPRA updates rule on shirts

December 23, 2011

If you haven’t already heard. The WPRA (Women’s Professional Rodeo Association) has ruled that you will not be able to wear pull over type shirts at rodeo’s anymore. The “new” rule reads, “long sleeved, collared, button or snap up shirts and jeans without holes, western boots and cowboy hat.”

Well there you have it girls!!!! We are back to wearing clothes at rodeos that we wouldn’t be caught dead wearing in town. Most of the posts that I read, have said that the rule was brought up after some people were concerned with the low-cut type t-shirts that girls were wearing. Supposedly their “boobs” were flying out of their shirts during a run. Some people complained that they just weren’t western enough and were not professional. For those that liked the pull over shirts that have become popular over the last 10 years, they stated cases of comfort, size, the fact that they don’t hang on the saddle horn, along with breathability, and style. Personally, I just like the pullover shirts because I can buy them for about $10 bucks a piece in the Miley Cyrus section of Wal-Mart. But to each his own.

This won’t phase me a bit. I wouldn’t ever consider not going to any barrel race or rodeo just because of a dresscode. A matter of fact. I love running barrels so much that if we were required to wear a monkey hat. I would do it. But what really me tossing and turning at night is what would the founding members of the Girls Rodeo Association (the association that turned into the WPRA) think about this? If it really is about the shirts being too revealing, then who are they too revealing for? The founding members of these associations were strong women that very rarely ever molded to the shape that society pushed upon them. These women were riding roughstock when most women weren’t even thought capable of doing any kind of man’s work. I just think that most of these founding women would probably tell you, “Piss off! If I want to wear this shirt. I’m going to wear it! Why not be a renegade and look beautiful doing it.” I have yet to see anyone in any of these pull over type shirts that looks unprofessional. Maybe revealing, but none unprofessional and for any of you gals that think revealing and professional don’t go hand in hand. Go visit a major corporation. I promise you that you will be surprised to find how fitted and sexy most business suits are made these days.

Also, this isn’t really a rule change, but more of a rule clarification (I think, I haven’t actually researched all of the dress code rule modifications over the past 10 years). When the long sleeve pull-over became popular it was because the rule read that the shirt only had to be “long sleeved.” Of course at that time, the only shirts that were in style and long sleeved were also collared and button up. So really, in my opinion it’s just a rule clarification of a loophole that us barrel racers have been taking advantage of for the past 10 years. Our founding barrel racing mothers, probably would have never expected any of us to wear a pull-over shirt, but I’m sure if they saw how damn cute they were, they would be all for it.

Some of the girls are complaining that the button up shirts get stuck on the horn when they are running. To them I just say wear an undershirt, if god has blessed you in that manner. Personally, I have had the same thing happen to me but no one noticed. There wasn’t anything to fall out.

So really girls!!! Lets be honest!!! Is this really about The “Girls” popping out?  If so, I’m saddened by this development. I think it’s a huge step back in what our founding rodeo mother’s meant for us! I mean lets me honest here! The rodeo dress code even with the pull0ver shirt is in no way revealing. The only thing that you end up seeing is hands, neck, and face! I think modern america can handle it! Think back to Mia Hamm winning the World Cup. Her “girls” got a lot of TV time. But if we did it to get back to what our founding mother’s expected in preserving the western life style, then I’m in a lot of trouble because most of my rodeo attire is Abercrombie and Ralph Lauren.

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16 Comments
  1. Cowboy permalink

    Howdy –

    Well …… good heavens. I guess you need to buy a whole new wardrobe 🙂
    No matter how you’re dressed when it comes to barrels – the girl, horse, and time is all that matters.

  2. nellie permalink

    Sorry to tell you, but a western button down is always going to look more professional than a long sleeve t-shirt. And jeans with holes in them are not professional either.

    Horse show girls have come to embrace their attire and wear blinged out beautiful things, or crisp solid colored button down things. Most of them would not wear these on the street, but they also wouldn’t wear their street clothes to show.

    You spend the $ to be there, so running to win should be different than running for practice.

    • laura vannoy permalink

      Coming from the old days, wearing lame pants and stupid puffy sleeve shirts, i’d prefer the jeans & long sleeve, button down shirts. However, I must admit the jeans and t-shirts r pretty cute, and way cheaper than the crap we wore. Where does the WPRA get off telling you what to wear in the place.

      • Carol Tescher Obrigewitch permalink

        They always have told you what to wear!

  3. Kaylee permalink

    Amen sister!!!

  4. Kendra permalink

    FINALLY the WPRA is bringing back some professionalism. Those girls look terrible in t-shirts. And there are plenty of cute button ups. But if you can’t find one, go 80s barrel racer and make one, damn it. We all did. And looked awesome, btw! Western clothing companies will make what the consumer asks for. I have waited a long time for them to fix this rule. And be careful. If you bitch about this one they might go back to “no blue jeans.” Speaking of 80s racers, we’ll be back in colored pants! Good job, WPRA.

  5. amy permalink

    Im bummed. I have some beautiful long sleeve. beaded shirts that i rode it. Never revealed anythng. (And i have plenty to reveal) now i cant wear them anymore. They looked beautiful in pictures too. And looked very professional

  6. jmw123 permalink

    Gee, sorry you can’t wear your holy jeans and tee shirts to a professional show. Yeah, I know it’s a lot to ask to look professional and put out a good image to the public, but I’m sure you’ll survive. You invoke the names of the early cowgirls and yet they went above and beyond the call to dress beautifully and like ladies. I’m fairly certain if you asked any of them today, were they still around, they would tell you to shut up and dress like ladies and quit worrying about if you can show off your boobs for two minutes.

    You know, if I were riding and worried about the saddle horn unsnapping my shirt I would either, wear a tank top under it or wear a tank top or vest over it. Odd how attractive and efficient that is.

  7. Jann Parker permalink

    If you really want to be taken seriously – i.e. sponsorships, etc., I PROMISE professional is the best way to go. Just ask ANYONE who wants an upgrade from coach to first class on an airline…if you are wearing pajama pants it probably is not going to happen. In this ultra competitive sports world we live in, with limited sponsor money, the high road will get you farther. I know, I get asked for sponsorships weekly, sometimes daily, at my business. And I promise you – PROFESSIONAL – gets my money. I expect that from a PROFESSIONAL association. I tip my COWBOY HAT to you, WPRA.

  8. Carol Tescher Obrigewitch permalink

    For those who are saying that the WPRA doesn’t have the right to tell you what to wear. There has always been an arena dress code. I am sure most competitors use common sense in the way they dress when competing, but the few who don’t help make the rules! Women talk about wanting equality and being treated with respect…and then they dress in a way that doesn’t warrant respect. It is not a boob show…it is rodeo!

    • rodeo 1 permalink

      I am all for acting and looking professional. However it should not matter what a woman wears, especially in contrast to a man. You, IMO, are part of a serious problem. You probably also are one of the people that asks “Well what was she wearing?” when someone is a victim of rape. A little clue..it does not matter.

      • Rodeo1 I’m not sure how you read into my post as something that would make you think that I would ever victimize a victim. The post is actually about the complete opposite of what you are accusing me of. I was also saying that it shouldn’t matter and that women should be able to wear what they want in a professional matter. I, in no way, would ever condemn a victim of something like rape because of their clothing choice.

  9. Shelby Kovalchuck permalink

    Its a Rodeo, its about whoever’s the best rider , not who has the biggest boobs. Boobs don’t get you to finals.

  10. Jodi LaBorde-Meyer permalink

    If someone doesn’t like to follow WPRA,PRCA dress code there are many little play days, gymkhanas and such like sw Missouri who wear skimpy tank tops and shorts and have a few who have been aaked to leave for being “intimidating” in their “professional” attire because it makes the others feel uncomfortable….so…if you need to dress down and hang out with ppl who choose to wear inappropriate RODEO/BARREL RACING attire…..then go ride with them….my family always has and always will dress professionally when competing…sorry to make you feel uncomfortable and intimidated….

    • I was never advocating for girls to wear skimpy tanks tops or clothes. My point was that if they wanted to make the dress code more formal (all the WPRA did was require that the shirts be button up and collared, as opposed to their previous rule of just having it be long sleeved) then they should have said it was for the sake of being more professional, not use an excuse like “It’s inappropriate.” The dress code has always called for long sleeve. I’ve never had a problem with the dress code.

  11. Debbie O'Neill permalink

    Back in the 70s we couldn’t wear blue jeans but I will say we had some fancy outfits! I mean every color of pants you could think of!

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