Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Solo sexy

Where does this insane notion that Hope Solo is not sexy come from? I mean it, how has this happened? What bizarro universe have we stepped into when a strong, accomplished, hard-working woman at the top of her profession is constantly, cruelly being told she just isn’t the right kind of feminine. And the key here is “the right kind” of feminine. Which, as we all know, is totally fucking bullshit. Women are beautiful, period. This is just a fact. And what makes them so beautiful isn’t their uniformity but their differences.

When it comes to Hope, what makes her beautiful (besides her ridiculously good-looking face and body that should be sculpted in marble) is her power. Yet week after week these fucknuts on “Dancing with the Stars” keep forcing her to be something else. I mean, I know “Mad Men” and retro shows are having a moment, but let’s not take the trend too far and transfer those rigid gender norms on this century. I can’t believe I have to repeat this, but apparently I do. Hey, universe, there is more than one way to be “sexy.” There is more than one way to be “feminine.” Instead of squeezing everyone into the same box, why not appreciate the magnificent variety of boxes available in the world.

Also, if you didn’t think Hope getting lessons from those females dancers was just zomgsexy then you need some sort of eye transplant because yours are clearly not working. Also abs, abs forever.

The more I think about it, the more furious I become. It’s not that I have anything against constructive criticism of her dancing. Better footwork, more fluidity and the like – things that actually make you a better dancer. But I am incensed by this seeming attack of who she is. They seem to be saying that this strong woman can’t be sexy, can’t be feminine, is inherently manlike. This idea, again, that there is one way to be sexy and that’s the “Dancing with the Stars” way. So they’re just going to keep insulting her until she conforms. And that, that’s exactly the wrong way to make someone sexy. Shaming someone into sexiness? Yeah, that totally works. You know what works? Building up someone’s confidence. Playing to someone’s strength. Also, not being a fucknut.

And what’s even more infuriating about this whole unfortunate episode is Hope is the so-called “sexy” one on the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team. She’s the one on the cover of ESPN’s The Body Issue and the one with the big endorsement deals. Are there other superstars on that team? Of course. Damn hot ones, too. Abby Wambach, Megan Rapinoe and many others. But Hope is the most stereotypically sexy of the bunch, and even she’s not sexy enough for these fucknuts on DWTS.

There’s a reason I don’t watch most reality TV, and this is it.

p.s. While my distaste for reality TV is very real (except for tasty, tasty cooking shows), I will give DWTS at least some credit this season for Chaz Bono. Lovable, huggable Chaz. The only reasons I tuned in (admittedly intermittently) to DWTS at all were 1) Hope and 2) Chaz. And I cheered both on, unabashedly. But my cheering for Chaz was purposeful, a middle finger to the hordes of hate. And, even though he left last night, I think he did a great service to folks watching at home who have never met anyone who fits the T in GLBT. Good job, man, very good job.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh snaarker, *standing ovation* well said! Hope remains one of the sexiest women is sports and i'm glad someone (apart from maks) is coming out to defend her. Non comformity is still uber hot

Anonymous said...

I am so happy to find out that someone like you makes comment on the she-is-sexy-or-not debate. The judges seem to prefer women who're thin, blond and 'girly'. Why don't they come out of their little universe and appreciate people like Hope Solo? Afterall, I do know a lot of dancers who're definitely not like these 'girly' ones on that reality show.

catvix said...

I had been thinking the other day that I would try to watch DWTS eps despite me not even watching the British version this year because of Hope (because, I have to say, I love women's soccer and we do *not* get enough of it on TV in the UK) and Chaz.

I'm not sure if hearing about her being told she's not sexy because she doesn't fit into a particular box puts me off getting a hold of the episodes or not. Because, like, I don't need to see someone else told it's a problem they're not a particular type of beautiful but at the same time I want to say a big sod you to the haters.

Finally, is Len one of the cheerleaders of the "Hope must be this type of feminine" campaign? Because if he is, I would NOT be surprised because he's a bloody dinosaur when it comes to gender. He's also one of the reasons I'm refusing to watch Strictly Come Dancing (British DWTS) this year.

To your post, Dorothy. I wish it didn't need saying in this day and age, but it does, and you said it brilliantly. I couldn't have said it better and I know this for a fact.

Tesla_Girl said...

- kudos to ya for this brilliant piece. i thought i was the only one thinking these very thoughts.

vrgriffith said...

It's all about reinforcing patriarchy and hetero-normative images and behavior. I wish you would refine the piece and post it on a site like Feministing.

Are we really in the 21st century?

wanderer said...

Postings like this is why I continually return to your blog. Thank you for being a voice of reason in all of the insanity that our culture preaches...

jetgirl said...

I think Hope gets a lot of flack because she's a superstar athlete, so they all assume DWTS would be easy for her. They don't realize how out of her element she is. This is a girl who never danced in front of her teammates in the locker room! Now she's ballroom dancing and getting "professionally" judged in front of millions.

Anonymous said...

All I have to say to you is Amen sister, and droooooool.

Haha I just realized what that sounded like out of context, but hell, you know what I mean.

You've made the feminist in me mad, and the lesbian in me a little... I would say that is a job well done my friend

foreveranonymous7 said...

Here's my two cents, for what they're worth: I agree with everything you said about different types of sexy and different ways to be feminine, and yes, people are blind if they don't think Hope is sexy. Cause she soooo is.

BUT. I don't think the judges mean exactly what you they mean - I think they should find a better way to say it, but what I think they're trying to say is that ballroon dancing is a sport, like soccer, and there is a right and wrong way to perform it. And for most of these particular dances, they require the fluid, gentle type of sexy. And that's not the type sexy Hope is - she's the strong, swagger type of sexy.

And there's nothing wrong with that, it's personally one of my favorite types of sexy on a woman. But the judges are right that it's not the type you need for dance. They really should find a better way to explain it though, instead of tearing her down.

Cause that fine a woman thinking she's not sexy? Tragic.

urban sapphic said...

Really? You ask where that notion came from? I am assuming that you answered your inquiry when you wrote: "a strong, accomplished, hard-working woman at the top of her profession."

I mean why are you writing as if you are clueless concerning the marginalization of women? WHY?!

Beauty vs. Sexy:

You also write about Solo's beauty, and she IS beautiful and her body. OMG!, but beauty does not necessarily mean sexy. Sex appeal is attitudinal, based on expression.

Individuals that some may find unattractive, others may find sexy as hell and it's based upon how that person expresses themselves.

So YES there were times when Solo's athletic ability impeded her attempts to be sexy (in a hetero sexist sense). Are you alluding to the fact that such factors be overlooked?

Granted I do believe that the judges were conspiring to eliminate Hope Solo, but to allude that her shortcomings as a dance be overlooked would be as annoying as voters putting Chaz Bono through for 5 weeks whn he had no da=ncing talent.

As Dorothy Surrenders and After Ellen attempt to normalize cock loving. you need to also be cognizant of the fact that despite your best efforts to embrace the dick, it's those who have them who are setting the standards for ultimately what's perceived as acceptable in womyn, and they assert social control with disparaging remarks about Solo having testicles and what not.

Hope's response was to be a girl and cry. My response would have been: "Don't hate me just because mine are bigger than yours."

It's called PATRIARCHY and it has NEVER gone away.

Jude said...

So how's that Hope and Chaz working out for you?

Sorry. Oh, so sorry. I just couldn't help myself.

Great post--I had no idea that there were people in the world who didn't consider Hope Solo sexy. I mean, I don't give a fuck so long as she's a good goaltender, but it's hard to deny that the woman has got it going on.

I've never seen an episode of this show, and I'm pretty sure I never will after reading this.

Emily said...

I totally agree with you. Regardless of what they MEAN to say, the judges are being especially unfair to Hope in my opinion. Is she the best dancer in the world? Of course not. Is she even the best on the show? No. But she's trying as hard as hell to improve and do the very best she can. I feel like the judges just aren't seeing that with her.

And if people are putting her down for not being sexy, they need to get their eyeballs screwed back in the right way. She makes the ridiculous costumes they give her so incredibly sexy, and hell, HER ABS. LOOK AT THEM. In my opinion there is nothing about her that is not sexy. She seems like a sweetheart and it sucks that this show is making her so frustrated.

In the word's of Hope Solo last night: "I just... don't understand this show." :P

Anonymous said...

What the judges are trying to say is she's awkward when she dances and awkward does not come across as sexy. Yes, she's sexy in real life, but it's hard to watch her dance because she's simply bad at it. Dancing is a sport with different physical requirements. It isn't that she isn't girly or feminine, Cheryl Burke isn't particularly girly or feminine, but she's an excellent dancer. Put her on a soccer field and she'd be out of her element and I wouldn't blame a coach who tried to help her improve her game.

LesbianGlow said...

I was just having this conversation with my roommate. I don't even know why this is a discussion. Hope is sexy. It's fact. What the fucknut judges want to be saying is that she lacks a bit of grace and fluidity...which is completely different and separate from her sexiness.

Anonymous said...

Exactly, LesbianGlow. Poor choice of words at times (aka nightly) by the judges. And as for Len, the guy is smitten with Nancy Grace! She is the poster-girl for not-sexy in my books.

Old-school notions of femininity die hard. I remember watching the 99 World Cup final with my Dad. When Brandi Chastain tore off her shirt, we both gasped and said OMG! He then said something about that "look" not being very attractive. Of course, I'm sitting there thinking the exact opposite.

Your friend, Rusty said...

Thanks for calling bullsh!t on this.

Anonymous said...

i totally agree but I must admit that I partly hold her partner/teacher to blame because he is letting this idea fester and to try to make her conform. What I loved about Carsen and his partner was that they took the best of what he could do and ran with it. If Hope is more strong than the usual female partner then he needs to man- up and become a partner that is good and productive and helps make this partnership work. I mean seriously, how is Nancy Grace appropriately sexy? How did Lacey make Chaz look like he was taking charge on the dance floor even though he wasn't the best dancer. I was like you furious but I think that her partner gave her a shit dance and has not just gotten on with it and danced. I just hope we continue to get ab-baring costumes. Forget the trying-too-hard sweater -- that's what I get to wear when I am on the couch!

egghead said...

Yeah, I only tuned in (as much as I could stand) to vote for Chaz. I had never ever voted on one of these shows before. I think it was MY voting that kept him in that long. (giggle) Got to feeling guilty that Ricky Lake might feel cheated so I stopped.

Oh Solo, I would hang from a chandelier (or a grappling hook) with her any day. She held me with all her muscles in all my day dreams. Yet she did miss a few goals in the last championship, but I didn't hold it against her . . . I'm sure she's still aching enough about that for all of us. About the judgment of said muscle bound sweety: Apparently the old man on the judging panel has gender hangups? - and is just an old queen. It happens.

Carmen SanDiego said...

standing ovation

Summer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Summer said...

I think that Hope is as sexy as HELL! But what i think they're looking for is femme, which can also be sexy, but isn't the only way to be sexy.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic read!

ker said...

could not agree more!

Rae said...

I'm flabbergasted. I didn't know there were people who aren't aware of the nonstop hotness that is Hope Solo. More for the leering lezzies I guess?

Anonymous said...

i love you for this.

Shasta said...

I agree that Hope is sexy and I also agree that the judges are messing up with how they try to critique her dancing. Her dancing isn't really sexy. Which is depressing! Athleticism and dance ability don't necessarily go together. She's been trying her damnedest though. I hope she can pull it out next week.
That training segment with the women from the troupe? Yeah, I had to rewind a couple times. And my recording was strangely gay and jumping through the broadcast so it skipped through Kristin Chenoweth's interview and landed on her saying she's always go for the petite brunette woman. Huh! (and just so I'm clear, I mean gay as in yummy gay and/or subtexty content, not any way assholes might use the word)
And I know they won't do it, but I wish they'd find Brooke Burke another job and hire Carson.

Alice said...

anyone who think hope is not sexy is just insane!! I think she's always sexy, no matter what anyone else says!!

The Locker Room said...

I had the pleasure of meeting Hope a couple weeks ago. I absolutely adore her and she could not have been sweeter. Thanks so much for posting about her. LOVED reading this. :)

-Anna

http://lockerroomgirls.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Right On !!!!

Their definition of sexy and feminine is sad sad sad for it's constrictedness that is a mess.

But whoever paired Hope with Max was really mean cause he's a bastard and has treated her with his usual sexist crappy ways.

Hope break free and don't go back.

Sora Ryu said...

Hope is hot. I don't know what those guys with their weird societal standards of beauty are talking about