I'm over 18, Dutch and if you want to know what I'm into, have a browse through my tumblr. If you are friends with me in real life and you have found me, hello! I don't think you'll stumble onto any new things on this tumblr.
If you are one of those people who reblogs those 'amazing fact!' or 'signal boost!' or 'omg I never knew this!' posts without spending one minute searching online to check if it's true, please go away.
That “backflips were banned in skating because white girls can’t do them” post re: Surya Bonaly really bothers me.
No, they actually are really dangerous, and there are a number of other jumps and lifts that are highly regulated in these events.
When Surya Bonaly did the flip at the Olympics, it wasn’t her ~daring~ them to mark her down. She fell in one of her routines and she couldn’t possibly rank medal level, so she decided to do the flip because it no longer mattered. She could have gotten a perfect score on that skate and still ranked below bronze.
I’m not saying there were no racist comments around Bonaly, because there definitely were, but that post going around is 100% false and stupid and disrespectful of Bonaly’s intent.
I love Surya Bonaly, I saw her skate live and in person and squealed like I was watching a Beatles performance. I saw her do the backflip and swooned. One of the reasons why is that I LOVE that she did the back flip as a fuck you at the Olympics. BUT, while I don’t know everything about Surya, but I did research her a bit when I came into skating four years ago and what I read and learned about her just does not match the tumblr myth of Surya’s career and it’s driving me crazy.
1) The backflip was banned after the 1976 Olympic games. Argue about whether it’s being banned is right all you like, but Surya Bonaly was born in 1973. She didn’t start competing in senior ranks until 1988. She’s not the cause of the backflip being banned.
2) As far as I know Surya never lobbied for backflips to become a judged jump in competitions. I could absolutely be wrong but why would she? She could do them, yeah, but… (see below)
3) She had a amazing career. Surya Bonaly faced a ton of bullshit, no doubt, but here are some of her titles:
French National Champion: 9 times
European Champion: 5 times. CONSECUTIVELY. That’s huge. 5. Years. Running she beat out every competitor including the Russians.
World Championship Silver Medalist: 3 times, consecutively. She lost to Oksana Baiul of Ukraine, Yuka Sato of Japan, and Chen Lu of China.
You want other Grand Prix/International Medals: She’s got 20. 11 of them were gold medals.
4) Surya went to the Olympics 3 times. She placed 5th and 4th at her first two Olympics. I’m sure that was BITTER AS HELL for her. But in 1998, the final Olympics she competed in, she was 10 years into her skating career and after a big injury to her Achilles tendon. She did fall on her first jump sequence in the long program. Which she skated knowing she wasn’t going to get a medal after placing 6th in the short program. She did also believe she was unjustly scored in her short program. (Do I agree? Mmm.) BUT Surya also sure as hell knew she was going to retire and go into pro skating after the Olympics, so why not go out like a goddamn rockstar which is exactly what she did. That’s awesome, applaud that for days. No one even mentions that she bowed to the crowd before the judges!
But remember she did all that after a long career of bring home medal after medal after medal.
5) If you want a hardcore, painful moment of protest, one that actually cost Surya a lot, read up on her protest of the 1994 World Championship judging. That cost her a lot more than a fun and final fuck you before going pro. Just remember, it’s also not an objective situation. Figure skating is subjective. You can choose Surya’s side or Yuka’s, but it’s just choosing sides. You can’t prove right or wrong here, you just form opinions.
6) Surya Bonaly is a lot of things, bad ass, smart, fearless, entertaining, and bold. She was not, however, a constant victim. She had a LOT of gold medals, and a LOT of success, and she was a major figure in competitive skating. That said, I love Surya but I’m still not going to call her a theatrical skater. Unless that theatre is Rocky Horror Picture Show, which she skates to delightfully. She’s fun to watch, but not a skater that moves one to tears.
What’s that worth? Hard to say. That’s one of the primary debates in skating. Now that doesn’t mean that calling skaters “athletic” isn’t often done for bullshit reasons- IT IS - including body type and race when it’s given as a label to women. But the artist vs. athlete debate in figure skating is a little more complicated than reducing it down to, “They didn’t like her so they decided to say she wasn’t artistic.”
Final note: just to put her career in some context, Surya Bonaly embarked on her senior skating career in the 1988-1989 season after the career of Debi Thomas, a black American skater who became World Champion in 1986, and an Olympic Bronze Medalist in 1988. I’m not an expert in that era (or any era, I’m a bad fan), it’s possible there was some behind the scenes old white man fall out from that, but basically Surya didn’t come out of nowhere to the skating world.
Also Debi retired to become a DOCTOR, an orthopaedic surgeon to be precise. She’s amazing, funny, smart, and, in my opinion, an all around skater. I’d love to see people rallying around her too.
ANNE FRANK WAS BI
HOW DID NO ONE EVER TELL ME THIS
I FEEL FUCKING ROBBED
Excuse me while I memorize this list
I keep trying to tell people this but nobody believes me.
haha yea they edited bits of her diary out which included anne expressing attraction to girls and it’s even been banned from schools because of this!! fun fact
“Unconsciously, I had these feelings even before I came here. Once when I was spending the night at Jacque's, I could no longer restrain my curiosity about her body, which she'd always hidden from me and which I'd never seen. I asked her whether, as proof of our friendiship, we could touch each other's breasts. Jacque refused. I also had a terrible desire to kiss her, which I did. Every time I see a female nude, such as the Venus in my art history book, I go into ecstasy. Sometimes I find them so exquisite I have to struggle to hold back my tears. If only I had a girlfriend!"
I’d like to see the Dutch original text of that. The Dutch word for girlfriend and ‘female friend’ is the same, vriendin. Frank could be expressing her desire for a girlfriend or for a female friend who was also curious about these things.