In case you missed it, everyone’s mad at Lolo Jones. Maybe they’re disappointed, but they’re definitely salty—about something, and it could be a myriad of things. She’s too pretty to be really talented or not talented enough. Here she is hogging all this good media coverage, including magazine covers and commercials, yet there’s not one gold medal in sight. How dare she? She’s a tease and a joke to the sport of track.
I read “For Lolo Jones, Image is Everything,” in the New York Times Sunday Edition and thought it was crap. Writer Jere’ Longman wrote, “Still, Jones has received far greater publicity than any other American track and field athlete competing in the London Games. This was based not on achievement but on her exotic beauty and on a sad and cynical marketing campaign. Essentially, Jones has decided she will be whatever anyone wants her to be — vixen, virgin, victim — to draw attention to herself and the many products she endorses.”
Simply put: How is this girl getting all of the attention when she hasn’t yet proven herself in her sport?
Today, the Gawker published a story, “American Medalists Unleash on Lolo Jones in Awkward Interview” where the track stars discussed their wins and personal stories versus another teammate who shall, ahem, remain nameless. The story ended with this, “Wells, at least, seems to be focusing her frustration at the media and not at Jones herself — the question is, how much is Lolo Jones responsible for the media machine that surrounds her?”
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Though I didn’t agree with Longman’s views at all, he speaks to what America takes pride in: achievement and results over fluff. We play to WIN, and losers get no love. However, we forget that media loves nothing more than a good story, and Ms. Jones has it.
She’s a pretty girl who has a body to die for and two very important elements: a sob story and unpopular, rather uncommon belief. Abandoned by her black father who was in and out of prison, not only is this biracial beauty an athlete, instead of a beauty queen, but while surrounded by countless men and suitors in her field, she hasn’t had sex yet at 29 years old. She chooses not to.
America loves that kind of shit.
Harper, the runner who actually won a gold medal and draped herself in the flag, has a great story, too. One that she thinks, according to her Gawker interview, is more compelling than her teammate’s. Sadly, it’s not colorful enough for them. Those are the breaks in our twisted society.
So Jones has no medal, therefore, she’s a worthless sack of perfectly tones muscles who should stick to what she’s better at: being pretty. This is an unfair assessment of her performance at the Games and her worth as a whole.
She’s being ripped to shreds right now, but trust, no one feels worse about not winning a medal than she does, even with an armful of endorsements to fall back on.
She has one, maybe two more Olympic games to prove naysayers wrong, but in the meantime, I say get all of the endorsements made available. If that means, she’s a pretty face with no medals for the next four years, so be it. Does that diminish her talent or worth? I don’t think so. Stop trying to make her all things at once.
Jones isn’t the first to be hyped up for a letdown, and she won’t be the last. How long was Lebron James put on a pedestal before he finally told haters to kiss his championship ring during this year’s NBA Finals? Let’s be real, tons of people think President Obama is a fluff President– a celebrity personality, more than an accomplished politician.
Glory doesn’t come quick and easy. Giver her time.