I’m going to put it out there: I hate sport. I hate watching sport. But when the Olympics rolls around, like many others in the world, I stop and watch. Like many others in the world, I pay my respects to the amazing athletes that are, quite simply, the best in the world.
There is something so primal about the idea of two humans, pitted against each other, in a simple competition of strength, ability and finesse. Who can run the fastest? Who can jump the highest? Who has the most on-brand beauty offering? Oh… wait. No, that’s not a thing.
A lot of op-eds have been penned this year, touting Rio as being the most sexist Olympics so far. It’s a dire assessment in 2016, a point in history at which we should really know better. Or is it simply that we notice it more? That we feel empowered to call it out today? I sincerely hope it’s the latter.
So, in 2016, I’m here to add another voice to the uplifting fray: the Olympics is NOT fashion week, Mr Sports Reporter. And you are not to commentate it as such.
It all started for me with some extensive fan commentary about the US gymnastics team and their hairstyles. Mostly, people appeared to be offended that a gymnast had chosen a boring top knot to, you know, COMPETE IN THE OLYMPICS.
So why are we so obsessed with female athletes and their appearance? Did these commentators get lost in the studio and think they were covering fashion week?
Bo Deitl, from FOX News, decided to take it a little further: "Why not a little blush on the lips? And cover those zits… I like to see a person who wins a gold medal and go up there and look beautiful."
"When you look like a washed-out rag, no one's gonna support you," he continued, even though no one asked him to.
Meanwhile, female Fox Sports reporter Tamara Holder actually said this on TV: “Female Olympians are sexing it up more than ever by wearing makeup during their competitions.” Ugh. I can’t decide whether that comment is offensive or creepy.
Head over to the pool and it’s no better: Hungarian swimmer Katinka Hosszú SMASHED the world record for the 400m individual medley, and the response from NBC commentators was to point out “the man responsible” – her husband. I mean, I’m surprised they didn’t just announce her for the podium as “Mrs Shane Tusup”.
Oh wait, the Chicago Tribune already did that.
Look, there are so many things to be outraged about this year, not in the least because the word ‘catfight’ was used during the Judo gold medal final. (Hey, here’s a whole list of them in case you want to rage some more).
But in the end, the thing we should be raging about is the fact these commentators think they know ANYTHING about fashion or makeup. First of all, they appear to think blush goes on your lips. And second of all, they appear to think that blush is a thing right now.
Blush SO 2014. This year, it’s all about Non-Touring. Der.
You can follow Bianca’s post-top knot Olympic journey (that has nothing to do with the Olympics at all) on Instagram at @_thesecondrow