Thursday, August 16, 2012

Best in Hair: London 2012

Hair was all the rage in London. Journalists, long-time gym fans, and four-year fans were obsessed with the gymnasts' hairdos. Not wanting to miss out on the action, I assembled a panel of sassy bloggers to give you their thoughts on the best coiffures displayed in London.

Let me introduce you to our panel of commentators:

Lauren Hopkins of The Couch Gymnast
Spanny Tampson of Spanny's Big Fake Smile
Dvora Meyers of Unorthodox Gymnastics and the author of Heresy on the High Beam
and Uncle Tim, who might as well be one of the ladies.

Dvora would like to kick things off with a preface:

Before I get started, I want to thank Uncle Tim for the opportunity to pick apart the male gymnasts’ appearances. Usually, the only commentary we get to hear is about the women. In an ideal world, we’d leave everyone’s looks alone and snark only about the stupid things people say. Alas, I think the invention of the Internet has killed that dream. (Thanks, Al Gore!) But I’ll settle for getting to analyze the men’s style. Equal opportunity objectification, folks!
That said, shall we begin?

Coiffure #1: Wai Hung Shek, Hong Kong

Lauren: There's no ladylike way to say it...this is SEX HAIR. I'm not judging. All the power to him if that's how he warms up before a competition.

Spanny: I have to give him credit for his hair having such body. He reminds me of Carol Brady. I bet she would kill for that body, though.

Dvora: His mussed hair looks like something Mrs. Doubtfire would use to dust the house.

Uncle Tim: As someone who cares about technique, I have two questions: Do they still make Aqua Net hairspray? If so, how much spray did he use in order to get his hair to stay like that? Needless to say, I'm impressed and simultaneously worried for the ozone layer.

Coiffure #2: Epke Zonderland, Netherlands

Lauren: This is SUCH A WIG. He looks like Will Ferrell in a comedy about 70s pornstars! But I love watching it flop around when he's on the high bar.

Spanny: Epke looks like a Lego. Or Ken. He doesn't look real. Also rather full-bodied.

Dvora: His haircut reminds me of Mary Lou Retton’s bowlish boyish cut that she wore when she won the gold in 1984. I guess the parallel works—both won the first gymnastics gold medals for their countries. (What’s the Dutch equivalent of Wheaties?)

Uncle Tim: I want him to perm his hair and say, "Tina, you fat lard, come get some dinner!" in Dutch. What can I say? I love Napoleon Dynamite, and I love anyone who can do three huge releases in a row.

Coiffure #3: Sam Mikulak, USA

Lauren: This is basically the haircut my brother had when he was eight. Except he had a rat tail hanging down the back of his neck because it was the early 90s.

Spanny: I appreciate short hair. I am of an older generation, so as such long hair looks stupid to me. It's a little too puffy on the sides for my tastes, but overall, I approve. Although, I wonder if in ten years from now, we'll make fun of this hairstyle the way I make fun of Blaine Wilson's in 1999.

Dvora: When your coach tells you to warm up, he doesn’t mean for you to stick your finger into an electrical socket.

Uncle Tim: Sam, have you ever thought about keeping the faux hawk and adding on a mullet? Faux hawk mullet = Major swoonage.

Coiffure #4: Marcel Nguyen, Germany

Lauren: Okay, so I know it's super taboo to make Nazi jokes in Germany, but he could have tried a little harder to not look like a 21st century take on the Hitler Youth. Get rid of the gel and it's not so bad...

Spanny: Hitler youth. Is it horrible that I like the style? My Jewish father will be so disappointed. German men with dark hair though. They are just IT for me.

Dvora: If Vanilla Ice did gymnastics and was German. That is all.

Uncle Tim: So. Much. Gel. I wonder who uses more hair gel—Marcel or the German synchronized swimming team.

Coiffure #5: Louis Smith, Great Britain

Lauren: See, this is Nguyen's Hitler Youth cut without the gel, basically. It's not terrible. I don't think it'd stand out much on the street. The douchestache, on the other hand...

Spanny: This reminds me of the bowl cut that was popular in the mid-90s. For the youngins, the style at the time was to have long hair on top, and then shave up real high. If you were real fancy, you would grow that top part out real long, and it would swing around and such. So there's your history lesson for the day.

Dvora: I know it’s fairly unoriginal to observe this, but there is something downright Faustian about his facial hair. If indeed it is part of some deal-with-the-devil bargain, I think Smith should file for breach of contract for coming out on the wrong side of that tiebreaker.

Uncle Tim: Louis single-handedly turned shaving into a Zen art. Facial hair is the new bonsai, and men, you better treat it as such.

Coiffure #6: Enrique Tomás González Sepúlveda, Chile

Lauren: YES! He looks like a villain in a silent movie. All he needs is an old-timey suit, some rope, and a girl he can tie to the train tracks. But at the same time, he—like Zonderland—looks 70s porny. He can be the Steve Carell to Zonderland's Ferrell in what I'm sure will be the comedy hit of the decade.

Spanny: The widow's peak belies his age. His hairline is already shot. Take away the peak, and he's like 40 years old.

Dvora: So many thoughts, so little time. Tomas, you’ve got to choose—you can either grow a ridiculous mustache and be a porn star or pierce your brow and audition for the roles of goth youths in movies. But these two looks do not work together. (Also, to make that mustache anything but a pornstache, it must be paired with hipster glasses and flannel. Ask anyone in Brookyn for the past decade.)

Uncle Tim: If Charlie Chaplin were still alive, he and Enrique would be besties with testes. They totes would text each other with mustache-grooming tips.

Coiffure #7: Random Coach, France

Lauren: Random French Coach looks like a ginger version of the 40-year-old who somehow passed himself off as the RA on "Saved by the Bell: The College Years." Or a ginger version of Santa. His hair and general demeanor scream "I play harder than I work." I love him.

Spanny: He reminds me of Tatiana Lysenko. And really, can that ever be a bad thing?

Dvora: So that’s what happened to Michael Bolton. He grew a beard and moved to France.

Uncle Tim: This guy's like the ZZ Top of the gymnastics world, and I love it! I wish that more coaches would follow in his stylish footsteps. Tim Daggett, Kevin Mazeika, and John Geddert, I'm looking at you.


  1. This is fantastic! You guys verbalized a lot of what I was thinking watching them perform. Thanks for the entertaining piece.

  2. I don't think I saw Nguyen's hair move even once. Very admirable.

    The commentary was absolutely hilarious. I was laughing all the way through. Well done, guys.

  3. " He reminds me of Tatiana Lysenko. And really, can that ever be a bad thing?" Damn it Spanny I can't stop lauhing.