In the intersecting world of fashion and celebrities, sportswear is not something that's discussed very often. But according to ESPN, as reported by Refinery 29, in 2012, 44 percent of NFL fans were women. And, surprise, your favorite celebrities are probably just as into watching their favorite team play on Sunday as you are. NFL Women's Apparel released a new campaign called "Choose To Own It" that features team jerseys and clothing for female football fans, and the gear is actually pretty cool.
Celebrities like Keke Palmer, Alyssa Milano, Olivia Culpo, and others joined the brand to debut the campaign and emphasize exactly how ridiculous the notion is that women aren't real football fans. Of course, many of this know this stereotype to be absurd — but have also seen it time and time again. There's the assumption female fans are just trying to "look cool," or are fans to impress their boyfriends, or are unique because they're "not like other girls." Eye. Roll.
Alyssa Milano, for example, is a long-time fan of the New York Giants and sports enthusiast in general. In fact, Milano is the creator of Touch, one of the first female specific sports licensing brands, so the latest NFL Women's Apparel campaign is something that she supports wholeheartedly. Oh, and the idea that women aren't real sports fans? Milano thinks it's totally insane.
"I think it is crazy! I know tons of women, including me, that completely understand the nuances of the game and are 'real' fans!" Milano says in an email interview with Bustle. "And, what defines a 'real' fan, anyway? No matter your level of understanding the game, if you choose to hang out with your family or friends on a Sunday watching football, I believe you can call yourself a fan."
Keke Palmer, who is a Chicago Bears fan herself, echoes Milano's thoughts about the matter. In fact, Palmer mentions that a former role of hers actually alerted her to just how unfair people can be when it comes to female sports fans.
"I actually did a movie called The Long Shots when I was 14, where I got to play a football player, and what I realized is that there’s not always a lot of support with women’s side of sports," Palmer says in the same email interview. "I’ve always loved to play sports, even more than I love to watch, so for me, I think it’s all about supporting women."
Needless to say, football enthusiasts like Palmer and Milano will love the fact that NFL Women's Apparel has fan-friendly gear that's also perfect for seamlessly adding into your wardrobe. You can, of course, always rock your favorite old jersey to a game with some comfy jeans (that does sound pretty great, right?), but if you want to add a little flair to your look, that option exists now too.
Having options for every type of football fan is exactly what's important about a collection and campaign like this. Football may not be your thing at all, but for many women, it is something they enjoy week in and week out. Having more options for what to wear to those games, and having just as many as men, is representative of the fact that the sport is becoming more inclusive of female fans overall.
And like Milano says of the campaign, "It conveys a level of confidence & passion every woman should strive for — whether it is representing their favorite team or in their everyday life...this year’s campaign truly connects with me and how I try to live my life and influence those around me."