John Protevi on body dimorphism in gymnastics.
…a glaring instance of gender inequality is with the sport that is usually said to get the best TV ratings, women’s gymnastics. The difference is in the disciplines. The men do 6 disciplines: floor, vault, pommel horse, high bar, parallel bars, and rings. The women do floor (but with music, which the men do not have), vault (but with the horse placed horizontal to the runway, whereas it is longways for the men), uneven parallel bars, and balance beam.
The resulting difference in demands produces a striking body dimorphism, with women gymnasts being very small and thin in the upper body compared to the men.
Indeed – also very young; also very small all over as well as in the upper body; also very made-up and with sparkly stuff in their hair. They’re part athlete part dancer part showgirl. It’s seriously weird.