FIG WTC announced the new rule at Worlds.
I’m not sure when it goes into effect
Many instantly reacted online. Dvora summaries those concerns
Coach Jason Mortimer had the most thoughtful reaction I’ve seen so far:
… Gymnastics will always straddle, pun intend, the line between athletic sport and artistic expression. …
If you’re an athlete and you want ZERO theatricality, run track. If you’re a performer and you want ONLY theatricality, do theater. If you’re an athlete who wants to perform, there’s gymnastics.
It’s in the nature of the sport to test the boundaries in each direction. Simone is testing the physical limits of what someone bit by a radioactive spider can do.
(Céline van Gerner) tested the limits of what can be performed. I applaud her for trying. FIG reacted by deciding that’s not a boundary we need to push right now. The emphasis and direction of the sport, based on the way the current codes are written, seem to favor the direction of pushing toward the sport-end of the sport/art direction.
Now, their word choice, using the phrase, “modest,” was a bad decision.
… yes, it would be disgusting if their decision was meant to censor women, or stifle their creativity. …
Ask yourself this: does the makeup enhance the performance, or not? If the makeup does NOT enhance the performance, then it isn’t necessary, and isn’t something that needs to be fought for. If it DOES enhance the performance, is that what we want gymnastics to become? Do we want girls getting deductions because their makeup wasn’t flamboyant enough? Do we want insufficient costume deductions? Do we really want to send the message to clubs that now they need to employ makeup artists to be competitive?
The impetus behind ANY envelope pushing at this level is to create some kind of competitive advantage. (Céline) could not compete with Simone on floor by out-tumbling her. She had to try something else. So she tried stepping up what the Dutch had already been doing well: she tried to be MORE artistic. …
… FIG decided they were concerned about the slippery slope. What would come after makeup? Props, right? …
… we should only be judging their gymnastics. It should not matter if they have bright nail polish, or visible tattoos, or non-natural hair color. None of that should matter. …
If the US women’s soccer team all came out with full bald-eagle face paint, would they play any harder or be more likely to win? I doubt it. To them, there’s no correlation between their makeup and their performance. We’re only thinking it does in gymnastics because gymnastics already has some “performance” element to it.
But I don’t want my kids losing a meet because they wore a temporary face tattoo. And I don’t want them winning a meet either because their smokey eyes were on point. For myself, I want to compete gymnastics. I don’t want to compete theater.
There’s more on Jason’s Facebook post. Leave your comments there.
Personally I would not restrict makeup or face painting for MAG or WAG in any way. But props should be disallowed.
The word modesty is too open to interpretation. That has to be defined clearly.
It would seem this is a WAG rule. Of course it should be applied to MAG, as well.
Finally, this is a classic example of folks getting very worked up about a tiny issue. Céline was rewarded for her brilliant, creative innovation at Europeans. Let’s get the rule better defined. And move forward.