Jamaican dolls light up the track

Jamaican dolls light up the track

Jamaicans have always been known to show up and show out when it comes to style.

During this year’s World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, however, our female athletes took glamour to the next level. From the Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’s seemingly countless wigs to Charokee Young’s glamorous lashes, and Brittany Anderson’s flawless face beat, the track had no shortage of Jamaican dolls.

But celebrity make-up artist Tonisha Kong says this is common in the Jamaican context as our girls have always been top tier.

“I don’t think it’s necessarily a new trend, ’cause remember when Shelly did the Olympics in Rio with her Jamaica-coloured hair, or even at Champs when the girls would come out in these palm tree hairstyles, it’s probably always been a part of our track culture,” Kong said. She said that while she believes Florence Griffith Joyner may be the true pioneer of on-the-track fashion, Fraser-Pryce is the modern ‘it’ girl.

“Flo Jo is probably a real pioneer for me. She came out in these fancy running outfits with those one-leg tights. I think in our time, Shelly can be considered as one [a pioneer] with her different coloured hair every time you see her. Hair and Shelly go basically hand in hand now,” she joked.

During this year’s championships, Fraser-Pryce dawned six different wigs during the championships. Though others are not quite as elaborate, the reigning Olympic 100m and 200m champion, Elaine Thompson Herah tapped into her ‘dolly energy’ as well, switching from her bright orange hair to a sleek bob.

Tapping into the celebrity of being an internationally recognised athlete, Kong says always being photo ready is part of the package in this day and age.

“Image is pretty important to anybody in the public eye. They’re being photographed and videoed constantly, especially on a world stage. Nobody wants when you look back on 2016 when they broke a record they’re looking an absolute mess, so maybe that’s why they try to look their best and put in the effort. The medals are what matter cause we want them to bring home the gold. But it’s so much more entertaining when we have something else to look forward to. I think we were all waiting to see what hair Shelly is gonna come out with next,” she said.

Though unsure what will be the next style evolution to manifest on the track, Kong says one thing is sure, Jamaicans will show up.

“I’m not sure where else they can go fashion-wise. I think they might have some limitations with their outfits ’cause remember they need to be effective athletes. But I definitely can see them trying to step out the box more and bringing some nice, new energy to the sport, and I’m looking forward to it,” she said.

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