Society’s standards for women was very much on display this week. In case you missed it this article in the New York Times summarizes it all.
The first volley was by the New York Times criticizing Lolo Jones for using her looks, and sex appeal to get ahead. The articles headlines says it all – For Lolo Jones, Everything is Image. This article was printed two days before her event. And she came in fourth. Today Lolo’s teammates – Dawn Harper, winner of the silver metal and Kellie Wells, winner of the Bronze stuck the knife in a little more in an interview on NBC Sports.
And you know I get why they are upset. Lolo’s looks translated into sponsorship and money. And you can’t say that she didn’t use her looks because she did appear nude on this cover and was in ribbons on this one, both which opened her up for censure. Still she is no different than an actress appearing on the cover of Playboy but saying she wants to be taken seriously or a young girl using beauty pageants to launch her career. She was only playing the game by our standards. We are a society that values beauty. But why negate all the years she has put into training and the sacrifices she has made? She made the team.
Then in about face Gabby Douglas was trashed for having nappy hair on Twitter. Quoting from the New York Times article here are couple of the tweets: “Gabby Douglas’s hair is ratch” and “Could Desiree Hooker (a star black volleyball player) please help Gabby Douglas with her hair?”.
This blew my mind. Gabby Douglas is the first American gymnast to win gold in the team and all-around competitions and she is the first African-American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in the individual all-around gymnastics competition. And people are commenting about her hair? Which by the way, I thought looked fine.
I wish we could get pass appearances. If we as a society didn’t put so much emphasis on looking great then women like Lolo wouldn’t need to play the game and how an athlete looked while breaking world records would be the further thing from our mind.