This season, Dancing With The Stars has both Chaz Bono, the first transgender contestant, and Carson Kressley, an openly gay contestant competing on the show. Very athletic soccer star Hope Solo is also part of the cast. Yet ballroom dancing remains strictly heteronormative.
Kressley, whose dance partner is a woman, thought he might get paired with a man. Apparently producers considered it, but decided against it. Kresseley says he understands:
"It's about the sport of ballroom dancing where men are paired with women. There's a lot of tradition there," says Kressley. "But also, I respect that it would have been totally fine with me about dancing with a guy as well."
But in ballroom dancing, a man leads and a woman follows. Very old-school. And though the sport is highly athletic, a woman is expected to be soft and girly. At least, that's what soccer star Hope Solo kept hearing last night. She was chastised, again and again, for not being "feminine" enough. I immediately thought of the Worth 1000 photoshop challenge in which female celebs were given bulging biceps. We don't believe women are weak, but this show reinforces society's message that visible strength is only for men. In fact, as you can see in this clip, Hope herself says, "There's too much muscle in that arm to be pretty." Honey, your deltoids are gorgeous! Also: Abs. Christ.