I don’t know how many of you out there are fellow fans of Project Runway. And I don’t know how many of you caught last Wednesday’s episode. The challenge, for those of you who missed it, was to make an outfit for the US women’s Olympic team to wear at the opening ceremonies. The actual uniforms, of course, were left up to Ralph Lauren, while these were pure fantasy.
Since most of the designers in question had never participated in sports and only a smattering of them said they watch the Olympics, many of them had bizarre ideas of what would be both appropriate and flattering (Really, Suede? A cheerleading uniform? And Daniel, you broke my heart when you decided to make a cocktail dress).
One of the things Tim Gunn kept trying to impress on people in the workroom was that these are athletes who are strong and probably want to show off their bodies a bit…but still women who might not appreciate embiggening horizontal-striped skirts.
That got me thinking a bit about all the sizes and shapes of female athletes at these games. From tiny, lithe gymnasts to massive, powerful weightlifters and everything in between, the Olympics is a fabulous chance to see just how many shapes and sizes strong comes in.
And that in turn reminded me to take a look at a slideshow in the NYT that had been pointed out to me earlier in the week. There are only seven pictures, but they illustrate perfectly how diverse and how beautiful the athletic body can be. Each of these people is perfectly built for their sports. None of them would be as good in another athlete’s sport. All of them are inspiring to see.
And I’d like to see someone try to put that fabulous female weightlifter into a damn cheerleading uniform.