May 22Liked by Cintra Wilson

I love this painting so much.

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ok if i had read this when it was written and i always figured "Salon" was on online thing and at that time i was maybe 4 years from getting someone's hand me down computer the size of a trailer fridge.

if i had properly absorbed this no doubt i would have sought your address and erected a shrine in your honour and all the other fairly dubious shit stalkers are known for these days ie. asking you out for a drink lol

how far we have come ummmm right!???

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I was a gymnast from age 5-20. I can tell you that I only had 7% body fat. For that reason puberty was delayed to the point where I didn't really get my period until I was 17. I grew 2 inches in height after high school and filled out.

At age 16, I worked in a gymnastics academy in SoCal as a coach. There was an academy side that would feed the team side. The team side was a feeder to Junior Olympics and Olympics. On the team side, the girls worked out 10 hours a day and were home schooled in the gym. Girls my same age were socially stunted, as they spent their days in the gym. They had the maturity age of 12 years olds.

This way of being, not going to a regular school, and sheltered from social interactions, leads easily to the kind of abuse we saw from Larry Nassar and other monsters. USA Gymnastics did not take any of those situations seriously and needs to be re-org'd entirely.

In order for a girl to make the 'team,' the coaches looked for physical attributes of size, big hands, big feet, etc. If a girl was talented but her parents looked too tall, too fat, or other undesirable trait, then the girl was not advanced to the team side.

When people tell me their girls are in gymnastics, I say, it's the girls version of football. Very hard on the body. I recommend swimming instead.

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May 10Liked by Cintra Wilson

I felt dirty just reading this and remembering watching it back in '96. Going to go jump in a bleach bath now.

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Hi Cintra, I think you wrote about ladies' gymnastics elsewhere, probably earlier than 1996, because I remember the line "wrong as veal." I liked that line so much I've used it in real life! Am I wrong as veal? I think it was in the Examiner. I love some of your images in this one too. "Horrific stage parents with their inky tentacles groping for vicarious glory." Ha! I think your critique can work for men's gymnastics as well with it's buff ken-doll aesthetic, or how about the vienna boy's choir, or anything else where adults are in charge of molding the very young...

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May 10Liked by Cintra Wilson

Cthulhu help us all. Wilson. You’ve got high-‘n’-low comic nuggets of genius strewn in a multitude of places over the years. I didn’t discover your Salon columns until 1997 and the purchase of a BIG Mac. Before that, I’d squealed with delight at an advice column in one of the SF papers.

Every freakin’ sentence here is pregnant with acrobatic hilarity … unlike the dour, stunted ‘Murica Moppets whose ovaries were cattle-prodded into raisin-form in the name of literal Twistedness as public athletic entertainment.

Best of all (and as usual) you were dazzlingly ahead of your time in this lampoon of dysfunctional Lady-Diminishment that was really only a few ladder rungs higher than itty-bitty girl beauty pageants.

I hadn’t read this one. Insanely, laser-pinpoint hilarious AND prescient. Wilson, you are the sexy djin who keeps on granting favors even after I think I’ve asked for (and seen) everything.

You’re worth every dollar, Ms. Cultural Lobotomatrix. You always have been.

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