Tobi Amusan’s style and the history of women's fashion in sport
More than the sportsmanship in her win, Amusan’s style gives us a number of things to ruminate on.
Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan broke the world record in the 100m hurdle race.
She is many firsts for Nigeria and is the champion of the world - wow! Champion of the world, that’s something not everyone gets to be, and that is who she is.
She is the first Nigerian to win a gold in the World Championship and the first Nigerian to break a world record.
In a time when the country is experiencing economic, security, financial and political crisis, her win shines as a beacon of hope - something to make Nigerians smile.
A little bit of history
When it comes to sports, women faced sexism. They had to fight to compete in sports and were allowed in the 1900s. Black people were only allowed to compete in sports in 1940s.
Women were asked to wear only modest items of clothing like petticoats so that they would not distract the men. Can you imagine playing tennis in a full skirt and long sleeves?
It wasn’t until the 1960s that they began to wear more modern attire. This coincides with sport brands like Puma and Adidas becoming popular.
But things aren’t the same anymore, women wear light and loose clothing to compete in sports.
This can be seen in modern sports and this year’s World Athletic Championship where Tobi Amusan emerged triumphant.
Amusan’s style has always been bold, usually wearing her natural hair and a very bold choice of lipstick. She is also fond of a lot of jewellery, bracelets, anklets, necklace and piercings.
For her World Championship game, she made cornrows with extensions, and had her nails done and coated in light purple.
That sort of look was popular during the 2022 World championship, with women, mostly the black women, laying their wig in elaborate colours, making colourful and long nails not to mention running with full-on makeup.
Her win and those of many other women demolish stereotypes and is a testament that being feminine and beautiful doesn’t mean you can’t be sporty and excellent.
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