Not sure how many of you have been following the saga of the South African runner who has been subjected to “gender testing.” She is a breakout star, without the typical “feminine” look that often accompanies successful female athletes.You can have a look here.
While I can’t imagine that pain that she must be going through, having her identity questioned (no matter her biology, mind you), now her testing has brought with it an image makeover. Yes, this runner has been glammed up for the media. Have a look at her new look.
Shame on the folks who thought that a new look would quell “worries” about her identity or worries over the test. Of course a more femmy look will make everyone forget about the testing to which she’s been subjected.
For me, this issue highlights many things. First off, it really points to the boundaries put around women who excel in athletics. Beauty and glamour are a must in order to make it big as a female athlete. Somehow, it’s important to always emphasize one’s femininity — the more of a super star you are, the more important it is to make that emphasis. I don’t for a second think that the athletes are the ones pushing this, but rather it’s the agents, publicists, the sports media, etc.
Most profoundly, though, this athlete makeover is yet another blatant example of how society expects women to look and how terribly unacceptable it is to look any way that jogs outside of those boundaries. To me, that is utterly shameful.