Caster Semenya, South African star athlete, has been the center of a significant storm of gender questioning as track sports officials engage in "gender testing," after accusations came from rival coaches that Semenya was posing as a woman for competitive edge. In response to such accusations, Semenya appears in the latest edition of South Africa's You Magazine with a makeover aimed at silencing the gender rumors surrounding her career.

Semenya traded her butch corn-rows, baggy track suits, and bare muscular physique for a relaxed curly bob, black dress (with capped sleeves which skillfully hide her muscular frame), and gobs of gold bangle jewelry:

 Semenya told the BBC:
"I'd like to dress up more often and wear dresses but I never get the chance.
I am who I am and I'm proud of myself."
Let's hope this is what she wants though.
Nothing Semenya has done in the past month has suggested that she likes to wear dresses, get manicures and let down her hair. After the controversy broke, she kept her cornrows, wore baggy clothes and pounded her chest in victory like a college football cornerback. When she returned to her hometown, she was dressed the same way. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. That seemed to be Semenya's natural inclination. This feels forced. [link]

While I have long viewed this gender testing notion as inherently sexist, claiming that women categorically cannot compete with men; it saddens me that an 18-year old young woman has been forced to put on a frock and make up to prove that she is a woman. Even more embarrassing is that Semenya was subjected to gender tests without her knowledge. Her coach at the time had taken samples in what he told her were standard doping tests.

One can only hope that Semenya does indeed enjoy the femmer side of life and isn't being pushed to affect her gender performance for the pleasure of the normative police.

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