Many of you are no doubt enjoying the Olympics this summer, I know Jon and I are. It's difficult though, trying to enjoy the Olympics when there is the black cloud of controversy and oppression hanging above the games.
I'm talking about the controversy that surrounds Women's Gymnastics. All around the world, from decades past millions of girls are plucked from their homes at a tender age and forced by their parents and coaches to...
...wear scrunchies. That's right, these poor girls are forced to don these extremely outdated accessories while they train and compete. Everyone knows that no girl above the age of 9 and living outside of the 1980's has any business wearing a scrunchie (we'll be a little more lenient with the Chinese gymnasts because they are nine), and yet the oppression continues.
One wonders if this travesty has any affect on the performers themselves. Luckily enough, I have had the opportunity to get in touch, via email, with a USA gymnast who wishes to remain anonymous and this is what she had to say:
Does it affect my performance? Of course it does. I consider myself a fashionable person who otherwise wouldn't be caught dead in such a hideous hairpiece, but I am forced to wear one whenever I compete. As soon as I step out there, I see all eyes on my scrunchie and I start to lose my concentration. It gets in my head and once that happens, it's difficult to regain control of my focus. Not to mention the fact that my equilibrium is completely thrown off by the extra weight. It's getting to the point where I have to wear them all the time if I want to maintain my competitive edge. It's really been a struggle to overcome. Thankfully though, the world of gymnastics is making strides in the right direction, we are no longer forced to wear glitter or "mall bangs," and it's changes like these that make me hopeful for a scrunchie-free tomorrow.
And there you have it. It's nice to see that in the face of such opposition, this particular gymnast is so willing to hope for the future. I'm not sure that I share that same hope. As you can see from these pictures, scrunchies are an epidemic that has a very strong hold on the gymnasts of today.
Here, Nastia Liuken and Shawn Johnson grasp hands in empathy for the struggles they share as fellow athletes and friends
This picture shows that the US is not the only country where this oppression continues today
This is almost reminiscent of Hitler's reign
Here you can see the scrunchie having such a negative affect on this gymnast's balance that she actually has to hold her arm out in an attempt to regain her balance, almost causing her to fall and risk injury.
These women might be considered quite lovely without the ugly masses of fabric surrounding their ponytails, but the real tragedy is that some girls are actually mimicking their behavior because they don't know any better. I worry that we will see many more scrunchie laden years before the awful cycle is broken.
Please, I urge you to do all that you can to stop this virus from spreading. Contact your congressmen and alert them to this heinous crime forced on women, and maybe together we can make the future brighter and more fashionable for the daughters of the world.
Thank you so much for your support and for reading about this cause that is so close to my heart.