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08 Sep 2009 07:14
“Wow, look at Caster now!” is the headline on a South African glossy magazine. It carries a picture of Caster Semenya, the athlete at the centre of a gender testing controversy, wearing makeup, jewellery, a new hairstyle and a glamorous dress.
The women’s 800m world champion, whose androgynous appearance sparked global debate, has been given a makeover in a photoshoot for You magazine.
Over four pages the teenager is seen modelling designer dresses, jackets, skirts, tight leather trousers and high heels.
It is a radical departure for the woman who grew up in a rural village wearing trousers and tracksuits, playing football with boys and eschewing western fashions.
You magazine proclaims: “Exclusive: We turn SA’s power girl into a glamour girl—and she loves it!”
It carries an interview with the 18-year-old student. “I’d like to dress up more often and wear dresses but I never get the chance,” she says. “I’d also like to learn to do my own makeup.”
The lifestyle magazine quotes Semenya’s university friends saying that she wants to buy stilettos and have a manicure and pedicure. Semenya adds: “I’ve never bought my own clothes—my mum buys them for me. But now that I know what I can look like, I’d like to dress like this more often.”
You magazine says that, after the photoshoot, Semenya told her manager that she would like to buy all the outfits she had modelled.
Semenya also breaks her silence on the furore over her gender, which made headlines around the world. “I see it all as a joke, it doesn’t upset me,” she says. “God made me the way I am and I accept myself. I am who I am and I’m proud of myself.”
Wilfred Daniels—Semenya’s coach—quit on Monday, saying that the runner was duped into believing she was undergoing standard doping tests instead of gender tests.
Daniels, announcing his resignation from Athletics South Africa, said: “I’m so sorry for the part I played; because of my negligence she went through all that. I am so sorry we let you down.”
He added: “I am not happy. I’m not pointing fingers at anybody because I am part of the collective responsibility and blame. We did not handle Caster properly. The handling of the issue was atrocious.” - guardian.co.uk
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