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Im so pretty!

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I’ve heard it said that women are very simple beings. That was certainly true this morning as I made my way into work. You see I’m trying out a new look. I had washed my hair that morning and instead of styling it in my regular way; I decided to be a little more edgy with my look and be a bit more urban and tried something different. I wasn’t entirely convinced I had achieved my purpose but I decided to carry my need for change to completion – or at least till the end of the working day. To my utter delight, I got quite a few stares and smiles from guys whom I thought were pretty darn cute (my measure of hair success evidently). My day had started off with a healthy bang!

I have always been fascinated with the little things we women do to make ourselves feel good. If I’m having a bad hair day, you can be sure that my entire day is forfeit. Just last week I had a crisis because I didn’t get to take of f my chipped nail polish before leaving home which left my fingers looking like a half eaten plate – not very appetising. I was so conscious of my hands for the entire day that my entire posture was off.

Reading the morning papers with my edgy hair style in place and my feelings at an all time high, I stumbled on the scandal surrounding the South African athlete, Caster Semenya. Having not heard of her prior to this, I was drawn to the picture accompanying the article. Being completely honest, her physical appearance was very masculine at first glance. I was rather taken back by how ripped she was but then again, every time I see a female body builder, I feel the exact same way. I’m probably more than a little disturbed by the female body builder for numerous reasons. Not to my taste that’s for sure and I do not understand why a woman would want to make her body look like that. To be fair though, I don’t understand male body builders neither but they are easier to stomach than the female for some reason. No offence intended of course; it’s just a tad bit bizarre in my humble opinion.

Back to Caster’s case though, I do not agree with the way the IAAF has chosen to conduct their investigation. This is not the first time an issue such as this one has been investigated but previously, the IAAF have chosen to conduct themselves in a professional and discreet manner that served to protect and preserve the athlete’s dignity and esteem. There are some who would agree that the IAAF is under no obligation to do so but I would disagree. The investigation is being conducted on a person not an object. Caster is a woman and has grown up as such. There are fewer things more shocking to the system as finding out that the things you have held and believed to be true beyond any doubt are in fact questionable and assumed false. The manner in which she has had to deal with it also not only takes away from her diligence and discipline as an athlete but destroys at the very core any ounce of pride she might have had in her femininity and achievements as a woman.

I am not surprised that her family, friends and fans are worried about her mental state and calling for her to be put on a suicide watch. The humiliation at having to deal with the speculation and then the eventual verdict that you are less than what you are must be devastating. Everyone has something to say either about her voice or her muscles or her mannerisms. No one has paused to note that the object of the scrutiny is in fact a teenager. One that has worked very hard to get to the position she is in. One that has not been allowed to celebrate her success but instead has been dealt a crippling blow, which affects not just her athletic credibility but her personal choices as well.

On a more superficial point, I can not imagine what it must feel like having spent 18 years building up your self esteem and trying to love yourself as you are and be confident in your own skin to be told that you might be both male and female. Forget the medical explanations, what you are saying is ‘FREAK’ and this is never something any teenager wants to hear especially one that’s probably spent time convincing herself she isn’t one due to her athletic prowess and physical appearance. I fully empathise as I can’t imagine living my life under as a glaring a spotlight as she does. When I have a bad hair day, I feel as though the whole world is pointing at me and laughing – ‘look at that crazy chick with the stupid hair-do!’ How much worse is it to have every aspect of you taken apart simply because you have chosen to do what you love best?

My argument is not whether or not she should compete or whether her ‘condition’ if she does have one, leaves her at an unfair advantage over the other athletes. My issue is one of guarding another’s privacy. This whole affair could have and should have been conducted differently. There are women in tennis for example that I feel look more masculine that some footballers (soccer that is). They aren’t being subjected to this invasion and rightly so. No one deserves the kind of scrutiny Caster has endured. It is glaringly obvious that she has been exploited and her needs have been discarded for the need to feed the sensationalists but she is, as she claims to be, a woman. I just think someone needs to spare a thought for her and her family and take a step back. This must be an extremely difficult time for her and support is what she needs not more mockery and invasion.

Now on to being a total simpleton and revelling in the attention I am getting for my brave new look. I might keep this hair style till the end of the week. Till next time folks!

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