Sunday, August 17, 2008

Controversy

My last couple of posts have been a bit frivolous, and that's ok, because there is a time to joke, and a time to be serious. I'd like to take a bit of a turn from my usual zaniness and write about something very serious and extremely important.

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 That's right, these poor girls are forced to don these extremely outdated accessories while they train and compete.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.


Here you can actually see the shame on one of the athlete's face
as the others look on in sympathy.




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.

17 comments:

Erin said...

You crack me up Ali. Yes, scrunchies are indeed a heinous travesty. Thanks for the reminder.

Juli said...

Soooooo.....how late have you been staying up lately to watch the Olympics, Ali? Are you getting enough sleep? Maybe it's time to step back from the t.v. and go for a walk or something.....Just a thought.

Oh, and don't worry, I burned all my scrunchies years ago.

Becky said...

oh the scrunchie. i agree they should not exist!

i am entirely supportive of the bow and our dear shawn johnson has been sporting them!

ali said...

Hey, I resent the implication that my creativity is only a result of my not having enough sleep! Although, I really haven't been getting enough sleep lately...

Shanna said...

SO funny that you should post on this!! Kydon is sick of me ranting about all those STUPID scrunchies!! Although now that I know it is an opression and not a choice... I will feel bad for them instead of thinking how dorky they look.

Sarah said...

Are you kidding me? I LOVE scrunchies. I dream about long hair and all my old scrunchie do's.....sigh.....
I think they were my first clothing project on the sewing machine....I made a million and knew I was extremely 'fashion-forward'....that's right! And it looks like me and the Olympic team are still ahead of the fashion pack! Long live the scrunchie!!

ali said...

let go of the scrunchie Sarah! You'll be a better person for it.

Sarah said...

I just can't do it....and the clips they wear in their hair...all different colors and sizes with no sense of matching....they are so fashion backward that they are really forward. Just wait, baby number three will be the scrunchie and giant clip queen...he he he

Natalie said...

I am surprised that there isn't a humanitarian mission assigned to overcoming this epidemic. Let's start one Ali. Our first meeting will be at a really yummy eating establishment where we will create our business plan to create a non-profit, then we will travel to the home of bella and pickett. Are you in?

ali said...

oh I'm in! And Sarah--no niece of mine...

Chocolates for Breakfast said...

And what about all thoseclips in the hair? they must be made in China because the Chinese gilrs had a million of them in their hair! Off the subject, but were you the one that mentioned Midnight Sun (Edward's point of view)...is that a separate book?

ali said...

I am the one that mentioned Midnight Sun--it will be a separate book that she is writing, but I don't know when it will be published...

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Melinda & Matt said...

I have to admit--the scrunchies don't bother me nearly as much as the million clips around their pony tails--it drives me crazy to look at them! But really--the scrunchies--what is wrong with having nothing in your hair--just the ponytail with no accessory would not harm the routine any.

Natalie said...

Did anyone else notice the poorly applied eyeliner? It bothers me almost more than the scrunchie.

Adam and Lisa said...

I think the scrunchie supplier gives them a disount on glitter too. Or maybe the scrunhies are covered in glitter and that is why it gets all over them and their uniforms!

ali said...

in that case, I think that China must be sponsored by the makers of cheap blue eyeshadow...

Andy and Jessica said...

What!?! Scrunchies aren't the in thing anymore. I guess I better git rid of mine. :-)
My favorite scrunchy is the one with the beads attached or the one with fake hair. Someone needs to let these girls know that they are not fooling anyone with these fake hair attachments.