Social Question

JLeslie's avatar

Does it bother you when the gymnasts wear heavy make-up?

Asked by JLeslie (65474points) August 15th, 2016 from iPhone

I’m watching the Olympics and some of the gymnasts have on very heavy make-up. It always seems a little odd to me for an athlete to be all made up. Some of the girls look so young, and have a cake of foundation on. I don’t know the minimum age? Not that it really matters, because even the older gymnasts look odd to me with a ton of make-up, and I like very made up glam looks when the timing is right.

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61 Answers

Uberwench's avatar

No. I prefer to focus on what they are doing, not what they are wearing. I’m also not up for judging young women for being a little self-conscious while performing in front of the entire world.

FlutherBug's avatar

Well the gymnasts I can understand…...

But I do see girls / women wearing tons of makeup sometimes in gyms…....

Or hiking….

I swear I saw a girl on a hot hike and she has a full face of makeup on AND fake eyelashes.

I am up for girls doing whatever they want, but girls who usually wear tons of makeup to the gym/hiking seem insecure to me.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

No. It doesn’t bother me.

cookieman's avatar

I do feel it’s unnecessary, but I think it’s almost a gymnastics tradition they choose to keep. I agree that what they’re doing is far more important, but as an athlete, why the stage makeup? And that is the distinction here. Not just makeup in an every day kind of way, but over done stage makeup, like a dancer might wear — so as to be seen from the back row of a theater.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Nope. It only bothers me when they fall and get hurt.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

I haven’t watched one minute of the games. I’m sure I would not care about makeup though.

canidmajor's avatar

Nope. Doesn’t bother me.

jca's avatar

This is a great and interesting question. I saw a discussion on a New York Times Facebook page called “Social Q’s” which is kind of like a Fluther on FB. People ask and answer questions about social situations or things like this topic. Today (or yesterday) one of the questions was about ladies in the Olympics and their hair and makeup.

People were commenting about how it’s up to the girls to wear makeup as they want to wear it. Others were saying it’s sad how society judges girls on their appearance. People on that page were and are really going at each other about society and opinions and judging. I would link it but I don’t think it would work for people who are not on FB. Social Q’s is also a column in the NY Times, but for the social commenting (Fluther style), this was on their FB page.

I actually Googled and found that there are requirements for hair not to look too sloppy for the gymnasts. More than one stud earring in each ear is not allowed as it can be dangerous. Their underwear can’t show (can’t slip out or whatever) or they can lose points so many choose not to wear underwear. I also found out that European equestriennes wear different hairstyles than American equestriennes.

I did notice last night while watching the ladies’ sprinting events (running) that some wear full makeup, false eyelashes and have their nails done, while others appear to wear no makeup.

I feel, in the case of the gymnasts that for young girls who are performing in front of the world, they should do what makes them comfortable. I’d probably be self conscious, too. If they’re comfortable and happy with makeup and sparkles, let them enjoy themselves and express themselves how they see fit. They are all beautiful girls and such incredible athletes, and if they want to enhance their beauty with makeup and whatever, so be it. I would probably do the same if I were them (not that I’d ever be, because I can’t do one cartwheel).

As for the society that judges women based on their appearance, I live in that society and it’s not changing any time soon . I, too, wear my hair and wear makeup every day that I’m out of the house, 99% of the time, because it makes me comfortable, not totally because society expects it. I feel I look better with makeup on and I feel better about myself when I have my hair looking clean and decent.

JLeslie's avatar

Let me just say that me using the word odd is not me saying I judge the girls who wear heavy make-up. I also feel they should do what they want regarding make-up, but I can’t help but feel it is not only societal pressure to wear make-up, but also pressure within that sport, because it has become the norm.

My reaction was to the extreme of how heavy the make-up is. It’s not just enhancing looks, they are glammed up for the performance, some really look like they have “show” make-up on. They are in front of cameras, so I can understand it, really I do.

In terms of rules for hair, jewelry, nails, I’m all in favor of having the rules, and I hope that never changes. Reasonable rules help girls fight off peer pressure, and especially safety rules should not be compromised. The rule about underwear surprises me, but I don’t think I’ve ever worn underwear with a leotard, so it’s also a non-issue to me. I don’t remember any girls having panty lines in ballet or gym class, but I also probably wouldn’t notice it.

Someone mentioned women in full make-up at the gym. I’m in full make-up at the gym about 20% of the time. I don’t remove my make-up to go to the gym, and depending where I’m going after the gym I might have make-up on, but I don’t put on make-up to go to the gym. I’m very happy I can have no make-up and just pull my hair into a ponytail and show up.

I think if none of the gymnasts had make-up on the audience would not even notice or make note of it. I don’t think society has an expectation that a gymnast wear make-up. I think that all the pressure is within that sport. I can see ice skating being different, its more like a dance, it’s different to me.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Not in the least. Maybe I am obtuse, but I don’t even notice it.

This strikes me as an odd thing to be concerned about.

JLeslie's avatar

@elbanditoroso I’m not sure I would use the word concern, but it is a little annoying to me that before performing at the Olympics these girls have to spend time making up their face.

jca's avatar

@JLeslie: It’s probably more that they want to look good for the world, and for the cameras. Especially now that cameras take such detailed photos and all of the photos will be on social media, scrutinized, debated, sadly sometimes criticized and always forever for the world to see.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

No. The association of women with makeup is well accepted by all around the world. Now I would be more interested to see male gymnasts wearing makeup and how other hyper-masculine, insecure men feel strongly against it.

JLeslie's avatar

@ica True. But, it’s not true for all sports. It’s not like the swimmers and divers all have make-up on, but some do.

Pandora's avatar

Only if the make-up is done poorly and they look like a clown, but otherwise, not really. I’m usually too stressed out watching them do things that can break their neck or leg. Like that poor male gymnast that snapped his leg when he landed. Boy did my stomach turn watching that. I don’t know how he didn’t pass out.

You do also know that gold medal winners get commercial contracts often and one of the selling points for them is when they look attractive. These are possible sponsors that can help them have enough money to keep training.

ucme's avatar

The welded on hair & fucking ugly fake smiles of the synchro swimmers bothers me, sinister looking bastards

Jaxk's avatar

It doesn’t seem strange to me at all. It is after all a stage show and the people they most want to impress are in the live audience, the Judges. Flashy costumes and flashy make-up all add to an impressive show. Any little edge they can get is worth it.

jca's avatar

I just googled “Ladies gymnastics clothing and hairstyles Olympics” and so many articles came up. I just read one and it said the reason why they are so into the bling is that these girls forego so many things that regular teenage girls do, like the prom, so they want to look pretty and sparkly before the cameras and the audience.

MrGrimm888's avatar

I think heavy make up is unattractive on any woman. Female gymnasts aren’t attractive to me anyway though.

It always bothers me when really young girls wear make up. It’s like someone is teaching them their ugly or something.

jca's avatar

I think the gymnasts are very pretty, all in different ways, and if they want to wear makeup, bling or sparkles and that makes them feel prettier, then whatever suits them is fine with me.

kritiper's avatar

No. I’m more interested in their baruma.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

No. Why would it.

All the world is a stage is it not?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, they are on stage. I like the pretty-pretty, all the glitter and stuff. Once they start doing their thing though, I don’t notice it any more. I simply wonder why white people even bother trying to get into the Olympics!

I’m also glad to see that the women volleyball players are wearing something other than string bikini-thongs this year, although what they’re wearing is still form fitting. That I never understood. The men play in loose shorts, why don’t the women? If I was playing that’s sure what I’d prefer to wear.

The pressure for women to look sexy is just unrelenting.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Dutchess, they are amazingly talented. I don’t find them attractive normally because they have a similar build to a man.

I get the pressure thing though. And it’s amazing that some of the finest athletes in the world would be concerned about their appearance.
But they are human like the rest of us.
They have insecurities like the rest of us apparently.

I feel I should add that a lot of pressure put on women (in the US anyway ) is put on them by other women…

Dutchess_III's avatar

It’s put on by society as a whole.

Dutchess_III's avatar

You know, when I played ball it made me feel sexy and strong and confident. I guess they want that to reflect on the outside too.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Well, in past Olympics, I never noticed it, but we are in changing times. I find it ironic people talk on one side of the street about the over sexualizing of young women and girls and yet promote it in the Olympics are at least not rebuke it. It is like beauty pageants complain the girls are being made up to look older and like eye candy but then telling them how best to use the eyeliner and lip gloss. If I had to lean towards a side, media and cameras notwithstanding, is a competition, and the focus should be 100% on that. Again, we are in a media driven society that no matter how you cut it always comes back to pretty, which goes to show if she bombs and her skills are not up to snuff, she can still get Atta boys for being prettier than the other gymnast.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^^Disagree. I think they think

A. It makes them prettier.

B. It’s a form of self expression.

But I don’t mind a girl without make up.

I think natural is appealing.

Seek's avatar

They’re performing for a stadium with 30,000 people in it.

Have you ever been to a play? Are you at all familiar with stage makeup? Regular daily makeup on stage does nothing to keep your features from disappearing.

cookieman's avatar

why they are so into the bling is that these girls forego so many things that regular teenage girls do, like the prom, so they want to look pretty and sparkly before the cameras and the audience.

@jca: I can totally understand that and had never thought about it that way.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Seek Well, but male actors wear stage make up, too. I don’t think male athletes do.

Seek's avatar

I’m not the makeup police.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Dang, people! She did it again!. Simone Biles took the gold for floor.
You go girl! She is amazing.

jca's avatar

@Dutchess_III: She is amazing. She screwed up last night and just made Bronze on the beam. Did you see the girl from the Netherlands? Really balletic and beautiful routine.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I haven’t been watching, to be honest. Volleyball on Saturday because hubs turned it on.

MrGrimm888's avatar

The female gymnasts for the USA are amazing. All the girls are special. But the US girls gymnasts are bad ass this year.

In fact, every person who is a gymnast is a bad ass. Lots of strength involved. Much respect.

anniereborn's avatar

“I simply wonder why white people even bother trying to get into the Olympics!”


Dutchess_III's avatar

LOL! Just checkin’ everyone’s pulse @anniereborn!

anniereborn's avatar

Apparently I am the only one with one @Dutchess_III

Dutchess_III's avatar

That’s cuz you READ!

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

It makes them look bad. Nsfw bad. I wouldn’t let my daughter go out like that. I don’t have a child so don’t worry.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Pretty sure they’re making their own decisions @RedDeerGuy1. But how does it make them NSFW bad? Do you think they look slutty? Could their outfits having anything to do with your impressions?

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Just the heavy eye make up. I refused make up in drama and dropped out of drama.
. I personally don’t like makeup on anyone. It’s between them and their coach. It’s all goop to me. It’s a belief that is keeping me out of acting and being an anchor for a tv station .

Dutchess_III's avatar

Ah. Well, I like what makeup used to do for me. Still does, just not as dramatically.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I’m still learning how to brush my teeth. Basic hygiene before makeup use is where I’m at.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

When the US get a table tennis gold…..wake me, i might be impressed…....

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

My daughter has a friend who is a gymnast, (who may be competing at these Olympics. I can’t remember if she said she was or wasn’t). I’ve asked her to check whether they are instructed to wear make-up. I would hazard a guess that the make-up is an expected part of their ‘uniform’. A bit like a ballerina wearing her hair in a bun. I’d guess if they want to compete, they are expected to conform to certain ‘dress’ standards. Ridiculous though that is, and it’s really a form of sexism if they are required to wear heavy make-up, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this was the case. As has been mentioned above, there is a ‘performance’ element to gymnastics. It’s not just about their form, strength and movement. There are aspects of their work that definitely is theatrical and performance based.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@RedDeerGuy1 “I’m still learning how to brush my teeth. Basic hygiene before makeup use is where I’m at.”


Umm, how, uhh, how old are you?

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@Darth_Algar 39. Dentist told me that I was doing it all wrong.

Darth_Algar's avatar

How on Earth do you get teeth brushing wrong?

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@Darth_Algar from the gums down not left to right.

cookieman's avatar

I just watched the women’s floor exercise final. Simone Biles and Ally Reisman won gold and silver respectively. They were amazing! Truly impressive.

Then Bob Costas chatted with them afterward. So positive and fun and goofy. Girls just like any other. Ready to take time off and eat pizza, burgers, and fries.

Love them.

JLeslie's avatar

@jca I was thinking yesterday how physical some of the girls are with the coaches. Hugging them, sitting close to them. It all looks perfectly platonic, but it occurred to me that they are a lot like surrogate parents, and that the girls probably don’t get any chance to date, so the normal transition from being a little physical with family, to eventually getting “touch” needs from friends and SO’s is probably missing.

@Pandora I do know they get contracts to endorse and do commercials, and that very likely is at least part of the reason they put on make-up, but I think even so, the gold medal in a popular sport is more of a draw for Wheaties.

jca's avatar

I saw Simone Biles in a commercial last night for Tide. I was thinking “already they’re featured in commercials.” She wouldn’t get that if she wasn’t cute, no matter how good she was or is. Looks are important in our society whether we like it or not.

@JLeslie: I was noticing that, too. Being cynical I was thinking if any coach was into little girls he’d have plenty of opportunity to look at little girls’ bodies being a gymnastics coach

Seek's avatar

There are some activities that suspend normal modesty. Gymnastics, dancing, theater…

When you’ve changed your leotard in between performances in front of the same people who have caught you in midair 900 times a week, sitting closely on a bench is hardly scandalous.

JLeslie's avatar

@Seek I said the opposite of scandal. I said it appeared to me totally platonic. That it was a close, normal, parent child type relationship.

Although, I do see @jca‘s point that the rare case you could get a creeper taking advantage of the proximity to young girls, like so many other professions and situations.

@jca Simone does not wear a ton of make-up like some of the other girls. She’s a cute, rather average looking, girl. Nothing wrong with that. If you google photos for her she often barely has a lipstick color on, but does usually have some eyeliner and mascara. When she competes I don’t think I’ve noticed her very made up, has she been? I might have overlooked her make-up, because what prompted my question was some other girls who really caught my attention for how heavy their make up was.

JLeslie's avatar

@jca Look at this photo gymnastics netherlands photo Simone looks the closest to natural and this is on the podium when they have a chance to touch up lipstick, and anything else if they wanted to.

jca's avatar

@JLeslie: Simone wears glittery peach colored eye shadow on the top lid and below her eyes.

JLeslie's avatar

@jca I’m not sure pink glitter classifies as glamour shots. I’ll look for some more photos. I was talking about make-up that if the girl let her hair down and made the right face it woul be considered practically sultry.

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