Last night on Dancing With the Stars, Hope Solo–the best goalkeeper in all of women’s soccer, if you ask us–proved that she is a powerful force not only on the field, but on the dance floor as well. She and her partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy danced the Viennese waltz with enough talent and ease to earn them one of the highest scores of the evening. There was just one problem: Solo, whose body does amazing things, was told that she needs to be a “bit more feminine” if she wants to have any chance of winning the competition. Apparently her toned, muscular, strong, fit body was a bit too athletic for the judges.
“You look like you’re punching me in the face,” judge Bruno Tonioli said.
Another judge, Carrie Ann Inaba, added, “Just be aware of muscling things — it’s a natural tendency for you.”
Len Goodman summarized, “Just be a bit more feminine out there.”
Feminine? Really? We’ve had this debate before on Blisstree about how the media has called some women “too buff”, and we are growing weary of people thinking that in order to be feminine, we have to be all dainty, delicate, frail and ladylike all the time. Women who are muscular are strong, powerful, capable, confident, beautiful and plenty feminine. They are not bulky and masculine as some idiotic media–and judges–insinuate. And we certainly don’t need to “cling to our tiny weights and shuffle along on the treadmill” as powerlifter Dana McMahan wrote on here before.
But, sadly enough, even Solo appears to buy into this stereotype. In an earlier clip, she said, “I can’t dance — I’m like a stiff athlete. Then, gesturing to her outstretched arm, “There’s too much muscle in that arm to be pretty.”
As much as we love Dancing With the Stars, they need to rethink their definition of “feminine” before more people are affected by their infinite lack of wisdom. Stick to judging the dancing, not the bodies, judges.
Take a look at Solo’s dance from last night and see if you agree: