She Loves You Too
Hopefully you got a chance to read my piece on Lauren Jackson, and what the WNBA has to do with the Positional Revolution. Apparently, any WNBA lead is like kryptonite for NBA fans, even when the column contains three times as much men's content underneath. Oh well; you are going to have to click on it for the photo, otherwise this post might not make sense.
There's one point that I left out, lest everyone on both sides get angry at me. I wrote about LJ's demented in-game appearance. She looks terrifying, but because she does so using make-up and dye, there's also an inclination to judge her as "looking like shit." These are not only traditional signifiers of femininity, or beauty, but ones that identify both as a process of alteration, or aspiration to a universal ideal. The ideal is unattainable; Jackson uses them to reify individuality, while at the same time trading in their connotations: grotesque, damaged, even crazy.
The irony is that, even if other WNBA players go out of their ways to look "girly" in a variety of context, off the court Jackson is the only one who consistently, blatantly sexualized herself along those same lines. On the court, she is hunched, glowering, and from a traditional standpoint, unattractive. Which is the point -- she's kicking ass, not making pretty. There are plenty of WNBA players who do make a point of getting their hair did, and making their faces up right, before games. No shame in that, especially if it's a national broadcast. Think of Iverson and Melo with their braids.
Back to Jackson: do a photo search for her, and you'll find plenty of shots of the league's intimidating MVP nude, semi-nude, or modeling skimpy bathing suits. Without her Joker-esque get-up, Jackson isn't just striking, she's pretty damn hot. She knows it, and wants you to know, too. But not on the court. And if the WNBA has any concerns about its best player willingly objectifying herself, they are hard-pressed to voice them -- since when she plays, Lauren Jackson does more to deconstruct beauty rituals than a whole galley of theorists could do.
UPDATE: No idea why I labeled this "update". Anyway, kindly take a gander at my lengthy piece for FanHouse on hanging out with Dave Cowens and trying to go through an NBA practice. It has Barkley gossip!