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The Glamour Games

Date
Medal for manicure ... nail art brings a little glamour to the Olympics.

Medal for manicure ... nail art brings a little glamour to the Olympics. Photo: Getty Images

If they gave medals for good looks, this Olympics would be a record-breaker.

The Olympics are inspiring the nation. They're inspiring us to rise and shine to be inspired by sporting excellence. They're inspiring us to attempt mad fitness pursuits when we're so bleary we can hardly lace our trainers and so out of shape that, really, we should only be wearing those trainers in an ironic way. The Olympics are also providing style inspiration. Suddenly we're aspiring to look like athletes - fit and healthy and, in many cases, very glamorous.

Hair: why do female swimmers have so much of it? 

From the preponderance of nail art to the fantastical makeup seen on gymnasts, lady Olympians are no longer willing to settle for wash and wear. Which brings us to hair: why do female swimmers have so much of it?

It's not for its performance enhancing qualities. As Michael Klim noted to me, swimming caps help to smooth things out but hair still gets in the way. ''I'm surprised they're keeping the really long hair. It does make a difference. It's resistance as its the first point of contact with the water. It doesn't make sense having the big ponytails.''

No such aquadynamic problems afflict the men though. The you-beaut, no-sweat, short back and sides is the hair cut of choice for male swimmers and the men in the audience are following suit.

''There's always a market for the athletic, user-friendly hair cut but for the past week with London it's over-riding the classic and trend cuts for men,'' says Daniel Ravech, founder of Melbourne's Worksense salons. ''People like to look like champions. They want to look like swimmers the most, probably because of their bodies. They're asking for hair that looks good all of the time - that they don't have to worry about, that they can just let be natural. It's all down to the cut.''

The sport cut is preppy. It's short and, says Ravech, it suits everyone. ''Men come in all the time and say they want a cut like they saw on TV - Brad Pitt was big for ages and the most recent's been Ryan Gosling. But none of the Olympians' hair cuts really stand out - they're just saying they want a 'sportsman's' cut.''

Have the Games provided you with any style inspirations? There've been reports of bright green nails across suburban pools. The exaggerated make-up of the gymnasts may seem like the last word in glamour. Or perhaps it's been the long, blonde hair of so many of the female members of the Australian team? Have you found yourself, if not getting sporty, then, looking more sporty now that the Games have begun? Or maybe the personal style of the some of the athletes hasn't been a winner for you?

29 comments so far

  • The cycleing has me wanting to wear Lycra 24/7....

    Commenter
    Bean
    Location
    Beanville
    Date and time
    August 02, 2012, 2:05PM
    • if you look like some of those female bike riders then go for it :)

      Commenter
      markymark
      Location
      sydney
      Date and time
      August 02, 2012, 3:39PM
    • That would be "cycling"

      Commenter
      Kam i Am
      Location
      Australian Institute of Online Linguistic Corrections
      Date and time
      August 02, 2012, 3:49PM
    • Thanks 'Kam i Am', we all appreciate you performing an essential function in making that correction. Without it we simply would not have been able to understand Bean's comment. Also, should the personal pronoun in your nickname be a capital 'i'? Actually, my apologies. How dare I accuse a member of the Australian Institute of Online Linguistic Corrections of such an atrocity.

      Commenter
      MT
      Date and time
      August 02, 2012, 4:46PM
    • The men's swimming and water polo are great to view. mmmmmm yum!

      Commenter
      pk
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      August 03, 2012, 12:39AM
    • Surely the women's beach vollleyball provides the best perv material. Is there a channel that broadcasts it non-stop?

      Commenter
      alto
      Date and time
      August 03, 2012, 8:50AM
    • MT, people who can't spell properly certainly don't need a cheerleader. Have you seen the Internet lately? The more people who correct spelling mistakes, the better. It's a war out there, and frankly, I think human literacy is in decline.

      Anyway, Stephanie Rice is gorgeous and needs to keep her lovely locks. Although even she admits the chlorine is hell to deal with (see her recent tweets).

      Commenter
      Crystal
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 03, 2012, 10:54AM
    • Oh goodness.
      Its feedback in the paper guys...
      Not war and war and peace....

      I cincerly apalgise if I affended youse...

      Commenter
      Bean
      Location
      Beanville
      Date and time
      August 03, 2012, 11:04AM
  • The Dutch Women's hockey team are in a class of their own. Wowee!

    Commenter
    Nathan
    Date and time
    August 02, 2012, 2:19PM
    • Orange is very flattering...

      Commenter
      Pipi
      Date and time
      August 02, 2012, 3:14PM

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