All that glisters
August 8, 2012 11:28 AM   Subscribe

McKayla Maroney is not impressed. (Single Link tumblr) Tiny athlete is mightily unimpressed with everything.
posted by tigrefacile (73 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is more than a little bit silly, but the double rainbow did make me laugh.
posted by TwoWordReview at 11:30 AM on August 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Bless her little heart. She really is amazing. I read somewhere yesterday that those who win the bronze tend to be happier than those who win the silver.
posted by ColdChef at 11:31 AM on August 8, 2012


I'd like to propose the addition of a word to the english language. Disimpressed, McKayla seems disimpressed to me.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:32 AM on August 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


Any background on why this has become a meme? According to Wikipedia, she does seem impressed, and also seems like a class act. Kind of a shame really, that a split-second facial twitch has resulted in an idiotic Tumblr blog.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:32 AM on August 8, 2012 [9 favorites]


chanfilter.
posted by anigbrowl at 11:36 AM on August 8, 2012


Yeah.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:40 AM on August 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


She had me agreeing up until Justin Bieber. Not impressed by Justin Bieber? That's just wrong.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 11:42 AM on August 8, 2012


Burhanistan: "Yeah."

Obviously unimpressed by the plain theme.
posted by Memo at 11:47 AM on August 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Hug.. denied.
posted by phaedon at 11:51 AM on August 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah.

Not impressed by 106 new MeMails?
posted by uncleozzy at 11:51 AM on August 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


Any background on why this has become a meme? According to Wikipedia, she does seem impressed, and also seems like a class act. Kind of a shame really, that a split-second facial twitch has resulted in an idiotic Tumblr blog.

The trick is to create you own tumblr: "McKayla Maroney is not impressed with McKayla Maroney is not impressed. You can take every image and photoshop that image at the edge of it, showing how much it lacks impressiveness. Then the whole thing will collapse into a recursion chasm!
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:53 AM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


The NBC one literally made me laugh out loud.
And holy crap, a 9.733 on vault?!
posted by Karmeliet at 11:56 AM on August 8, 2012


Actually, I think it's because she threw a mini-fit when she failed to perform to the best of her ability the other night. She was a bit of a poor sport, pushing away her coach/handler and continuing to pout for a while... and it was caught on camera, of course. It also wasn't a one-off.

I got nothin' against her and think she's talented as hell... but I get the meme for sure.
posted by heyho at 12:03 PM on August 8, 2012 [2 favorites]



Any background on why this has become a meme? According to Wikipedia, she does seem impressed, and also seems like a class act. Kind of a shame really, that a split-second facial twitch has resulted in an idiotic Tumblr blog.


I respect Hillary Clinton and think she's a class act, but the textsfromhillary tumblr was still funny to me.

It's just the internet.
posted by sweetkid at 12:04 PM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you took every bitchface I've ever made and cut it out in Photoshop, you couldn't even plaster them all on the same screen without making them so tiny that they would become invisible to the naked eye. I swear, my poker face is so bad there are probably baby pictures where my eyes aren't even open and I'm like, "Nice hospital, jerks."

I assume she's taking it in stride (as seems to be her deal), but boy, I'm glad nobody has videotaped me every time I haven't felt like hugging and smiling at my moment of great disappointment.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 12:05 PM on August 8, 2012 [30 favorites]


Salon: McKayla Maroney isn't a mean girl.
Well at least she's won pure comedy gold.
posted by Dr. Zira at 12:06 PM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Damn I didn't even know vaulting was a thing. This shit looks dangerous.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:12 PM on August 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


Meh-Kayla.
posted by mudpuppie at 12:17 PM on August 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


She's only 16 years old, for cryin' out loud.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:17 PM on August 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'd be very surprised if Maroney wasn't disappointed with that medal. She is far and away with no competition the best vaulter. You don't even have to know anything about vaulting to recognize that; her vaults are obviously more powerful by a considerable margin. She was basically guaranteed the gold medal unless she fell down. Which she almost never does.

She fell down.

So, yeah, bronze medal is great. But if you're universally expected to win the gold and you yourself (correctly) believe you should win the gold, it's gonna hurt not to win the gold.
posted by Justinian at 12:23 PM on August 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


Ad hominem, those Atlantic Wire GIF guides are great, thanks!
posted by daisyk at 12:25 PM on August 8, 2012


But if you're universally expected to win the gold and you yourself (correctly) believe you should win the gold, it's gonna hurt not to win the gold.

I heard her interviewed about it the next day, and she was pretty straightforward; her comment was something like, "Obviously I don't deserve the gold medal if I fell down on my butt...but I'm still sad."
posted by infinitywaltz at 12:26 PM on August 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Totally needs one with her with Sinead O'Connor tearing the Pope in half.
posted by mykescipark at 12:26 PM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Do we really need to be doing this? Everyone needs to calm down and read a tweet from the girl herself:

For anyone who thought I didn't want to hug Maria and Sandra that's not the case(: They are my friends, and I'm proud of them both!

https://twitter.com/McKaylaMaroney/status/232600742593196032
posted by greenhornet at 12:26 PM on August 8, 2012


alright, cue the

McKayla vs Spock being not impressed.
posted by edgeways at 12:28 PM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


The US Ladies Gymnastics team look like extras from Mean Girls- Tiny Edition to me.
posted by Keith Talent at 12:28 PM on August 8, 2012


> The US Ladies Gymnastics team look like extras from Mean Girls- Tiny Edition to me.

Really? They looked like extremely hard working and focused individuals coping as best as they can with intense scrutiny and visibility. They probably never even had time to watch "Mean Girls", let alone let their high school reputations consume their waking hours.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:33 PM on August 8, 2012 [9 favorites]


I've been interested to watch the role of meme-culture and animated gifs as a way of watching and consuming these Olympics. The gif seems like the perfect medium--much better than youtube's load/watch/replay--for analysis of form, as in: How the U.S. Gymnastics Team Crushed the Russians: A GIF Guide
posted by msbrauer at 12:36 PM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Jocks suck amirite?
posted by KokuRyu at 12:36 PM on August 8, 2012


The US Ladies Gymnastics team look like extras from Mean Girls- Tiny Edition to me.

I get this feeling, too, and I think it has to do with their severely pulled-back hair combined with the furrowed brows and intense eyes of concentration and competition. Once they're done with a decent routine or out of the competition, though, they look plenty friendly to me.
posted by msbrauer at 12:39 PM on August 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


I know I saw her shrug off a hug from her coach though. My initial reaction was negative but after I thought about it for a while I'm guessing that she is just the kind of person that needs to be alone for a bit when she is sad/disappointed/etc and doesn't need to run to someone else to be comforted. I'm fine with that.

When she is getting ready to compete, she does look a bit like a gymnastics robot (or gymnobot in our house) though. Well, gymnobot 2.0, gymnobot 1.0 is Bridget Sloan.
posted by VTX at 12:39 PM on August 8, 2012


>for analysis of form, as in: How the U.S. Gymnastics Team Crushed the Russians: A GIF Guide

Really, that would make a much much better post than this dopey memeturd.


Yes! Those Atlantic gif guides are really good!
posted by KokuRyu at 12:42 PM on August 8, 2012


She thinks the tumblr is funny.
I really like the quotes I'm seeing from her, she seems a sublimely rational person.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 12:43 PM on August 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


Maroney isn’t the naturally smiling, ebullient Olympian. She doesn’t exude the warmth of Sanya Richards-Ross or outdoorsy ease of Kerri Walsh. Nothing about her serious, controlled persona says, “Hey, world, love me!” That’s a difficult thing for a lot of people in the world to accept in a female. . . . . [but] She’s a 16-year-old who got up from the kind of shocking, public, humiliating disappointment that few of us can even imagine, and, with every camera in the world trained on her face, couldn’t plaster on a fake smile. That doesn’t make her a sore loser. It makes her real and human.

But, seriously, I'm glad she is able to take the bitchery about her in stride.
posted by crush-onastick at 1:07 PM on August 8, 2012 [11 favorites]


(oops. I SWEAR I searched for the Salon link in the thread)
posted by crush-onastick at 1:08 PM on August 8, 2012


I think at least half of the narratives surrounding any competitive sport are patent baloney, even when the sport itself is legitimately contested.

Nevertheless, I was glad to see Aly Raisman win medals on the Balance Beam (Bronze) and Floor Exercise (Gold), in addition to her role in the team gold. After she edged Jordyn Wieber for a spot in the individual-all-arounds, I saw some skeptical articles that suggested that Aly had merely taken advantage of Jordyn's off day, and touted a (likely out-of-context) quote from Shawn Johnson that Aly was merely consistent rather than outstanding.

...and in an additional bit of catharsis, to tie this comment into the post topic, McKayla Maroney had a (presumably supportive) word for Aly after her floor exercise win.
posted by The Confessor at 1:23 PM on August 8, 2012


That look is what Kurt Wallender is referring to when he says someone "pulled a face."
posted by Tullyogallaghan at 1:30 PM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I read somewhere yesterday that those who win the bronze tend to be happier than those who win the silver.

Jerry Seinfeld explains why this is the case.
posted by ShutterBun at 1:42 PM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I actually think the gymnasts are showing some of the best sportsmanship I've ever seen. They always congratulate each other, and even the "kiss noise darling" pretend hugs seem to have genuine respect behind them most of the time, and they seem seriously impressed when someone does something amazing.

As someone whose default facial expression is somewhere between "supremely unimpressed" and "murderous", I have a lot of sympathy for someone whose game face when performing difficult, dangerous things in front of millions of people under great pressure isn't "cheery fake smile". It's as bad as the bullshit about Gabby Douglas' hair. They're not there to be what Joe Q. Public thinks is attractive, they're there to do gymnastics.
posted by biscotti at 1:45 PM on August 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


It is something that is forced on you from a very early age. Forced to shake hands with the opposing team even though you know they totally suck and they only won due to pure luck. Being told that the worst thing you can be is a sore loser.

Console games have buttons dedicated to saying "Good Game" in the lobby after returning from a game. "Rage quitters", people who alt-f4 and people refuse to say "GG" after they lose are the lowest of the low. I suppose that it is part of being gracious in defeat but while we think of losses as defeats of course people are going to be pissed.

I never participated in any sports, but I play pool and darts at a competitive level and in pool making noises or refusing to shake hands can get you disqualified for "sharking". A friend of mine got disqualified once for unscrewing his pool cue during a match (of course I get sharked all the time by guys asking for multiple re-racks). I think we need to acknowledge that. My opponent may have won, but I may not want to concede that they are the better man.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:54 PM on August 8, 2012


Let's talk about Gabby, even though NBC didn't want us to until she kicked everyone's asses.
posted by Brocktoon at 1:57 PM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Looking kinda angry
Standing there cross-armed in stance
Like McKayla Maroney
Face all contorted and most def
disimpressed
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 2:07 PM on August 8, 2012


It is something that is forced on you from a very early age. Forced to shake hands with the opposing team even though you know they totally suck and they only won due to pure luck. Being told that the worst thing you can be is a sore loser.


And forced for good reason.

But a split second smirk caught and immortalized on camera does not a sore loser make.
posted by ocschwar at 2:19 PM on August 8, 2012


Let's talk about Gabby, even though NBC didn't want us to until she kicked everyone's asses.

What? They talked about Gabby a lot, well before she kicked everyone's asses. Of course, prior to that it was mostly about her "winning smile," which yes, it's very infectious, but enough already and also did you know she's really very good at gymnastics?
posted by infinitywaltz at 2:33 PM on August 8, 2012


All I remember hearing about constantly was what I refer to as "The Four Y's"; Gabby was an afterthought.
posted by Brocktoon at 2:38 PM on August 8, 2012


Yeah, it seemed like the narrative about her was that they were sure her nerves would get the better of her and she wouldn't amount to much.
posted by sweetkid at 2:45 PM on August 8, 2012


Related: The Ultimate Aliya Mustafina Tribute
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:52 PM on August 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


Oh, wait a minute. I had her confused with Aliya Mustafina when I mentioned the pushing away of her coach and the pouting. Wrong girl altogether.
posted by heyho at 2:55 PM on August 8, 2012


I bet if she were a fencer or a weight-lifter, nobody would care.

It bothers me that the women's sports which are focused on during the Olympics (in the US, anyway) are sports where pressure is put on women to be pretty and happy and dainty. Even the female swimmers have to be all "OMG I love Justin Beiber and here is a funny internet video I made!"

Going back to gymnastics, it also unnerved me to hear the NBC commentators describing Aliya Mustafina as a "diva". I understand they work hard to create a narrative, because otherwise gymnastics as a sport is fairly boring. But why not try to find narratives that are real, rather than just being all, "Look at that bitchy Russian girl! I hope she doesn't win any medals! USA USA USA"
posted by Sara C. at 3:25 PM on August 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Sara, that is why I like the track & field events so much more. I just get dumbstruck by the raw power on display in the sprints. None of it is billed like a beauty pageant, and while a fashion element definitely creeps into it, the hair styles are so much more interesting and unique! Plus it helps that the commentators don't say one idiotic thing after another, and I was also pretty pissed off by how negative the gymnastics commentary was.
posted by Brocktoon at 3:31 PM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I suspect that Gabby's success had a lot to do with the new(ish) scoring system, whereby difficulty is somewhat disproportionately rewarded, compared with execution.

I do agree that difficulty should be a factor, but currently it can account for as much as 40% of the total possible score, which I think is too high. What happens is that gymnasts are compelled to attempt more and more difficult routines/maneuvers, hoping that fortune smiles on them that day and they manage to land them. A routine with a 6.5 difficulty with a "very large step" on the dismount gets a better score than a perfect routine with a difficulty of 6.2

Gone are the days of the perfect 10, or even seeking it. I get the feeling that if someone was able to consistently approach perfect execution scores, they would be accused of "not challenging themselves enough."

McKayla's (to my eyes) perfect vault from the team finals, then, looks like a fluke when compared to her attempts in the individual event finals. It further solidifies the notion that luck has more to do with one's success than simply being able to consistently hit your spots. It leads to World Champion gymnasts missing the mark, because they missed a highly difficult move, and at the same time encourages underdogs to attempt to sneak onto the podium by attempting high-risk maneuvers that they have little hope of landing. Before long, gymnastics could end up looking like an X-Games event.

How does Gabby Douglas figure into all of this? Well, her difficulty level was definitely important, but even based purely on execution scores, she would have 36.532 cumulative score, winning only 2 events by very narrow margins, but still enough for the overall win. Her big key, though, was consistency, which is of course what the all-around competition should be all about. What's impossible to know is how much "striving for higher difficulties" may have hurt her competitors who either overreached their abilities, or simply had a bad day. Gabby certainly had a good day, all around.
posted by ShutterBun at 3:33 PM on August 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


@allisonjones_
OMG THIS WEBSITE LOL @McKaylaMaroney http://mckaylaisnotimpressed.tumblr.com

retweeted by @McKaylaMaroney at 8:27 AM - 8 Aug 12
posted by me3dia at 4:05 PM on August 8, 2012


You know why this is shit? You can't see the butter cow and not be impressed by the butter cow.
posted by Muddler at 4:42 PM on August 8, 2012


I'm glad Maroney thinks it's funny, because this seems a bit mean-spirited.
posted by grouse at 4:48 PM on August 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


I suspect that Gabby's success had a lot to do with the new(ish) scoring system, whereby difficulty is somewhat disproportionately rewarded, compared with execution.

Yes. Basically no one cares about sticking the landing anymore. It just doesn't matter with the new scoring. Remember when a little step could cost you a medal? No longer an issue. It's now perfectly acceptable -- preferable, even -- to hit the mat flat on your face because the vault is too difficult. And you're rewarded for choosing to do vaults you have no hope of landing. If you stick the landing, your vault was probably too 'easy.'

Kerri Strugg must be so fucking pissed.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:31 PM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


McKayla Maroney appreciation post

One of the things that gets you to the highest level of competition is really, really, REALLY hating to lose. I've heard more than one championship athlete claim that they hate losing way more than they enjoy winning. That these athletes hold it together as well as they do is pretty amazing.
posted by billyfleetwood at 5:44 PM on August 8, 2012


Even the female swimmers have to be all "OMG I love Justin Beiber and here is a funny internet video I made!"

There are male swimmers in that video too, and they all appeared to be having fun. And it looked like a fun thing to do, for people that spend most of their time working out.

As for the Bieber, she genuinely seems to like him; he tweeted her, and she got excited. She's a teenage girl, I'm not sure why that's weird.

All they _have_ to do is win. Why shouldn't they enjoy themselves while trying to?
posted by inigo2 at 6:19 PM on August 8, 2012


ShutterBun: McKayla's (to my eyes) perfect vault from the team finals, then, looks like a fluke when compared to her attempts in the individual event finals. It further solidifies the notion that luck has more to do with one's success than simply being able to consistently hit your spots.

Maroney successfully landed a streak of ~33 vaults in competition before she fell in Olympic vault finals. If a meet has a team component, she'll usually vault a total of five times during that meet, so those 33 vaults added up over a long series of meets. The fall was the fluke, not the near-perfect vault. /serious gymnastics fan
posted by swerve at 6:53 PM on August 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


The fall was the fluke, not the near-perfect vault.

I agree that that's the case (after all, she was brought in as a ringer for that event specifically) but based solely on what we were shown, it made it *seem* like she had hit a rare perfect landing in the group final.

On the other hand, so many vaulters were coming up short in the event final that I honestly began to suspect that something was wrong with the springboard. I can't remember the exact sequence of events, but it seemed as if something like 4 or 5 girls in a row under-rotated, didn't get enough height, or flat out landed on their butts (or knees). I wouldn't be at all surprised if it was discovered that the tension in the springboard was incorrectly adjusted.
posted by ShutterBun at 7:37 PM on August 8, 2012


A couple of other interesting links I found thanks to todays Maroney meme floating around

Deadspin's super slo-mo Of her vault from the team competition. Which is part of their series of videos described thusly:

This is a Deadspin Video, in which strange sports moments are slowed down to ridiculous speeds and matched with indie music. This video features "Swinging London" by Magnetic Fields.

and The Couchgyymnast
, which is a pretty insider-y blog about the world of gymnastics. It also has more on the scoring by difficulty thing ShutterBun brought up.
posted by billyfleetwood at 9:23 PM on August 8, 2012


Deadspin's super slo-mo Of her vault from the team competition.

So what were the deductions for?
posted by grouse at 9:28 PM on August 8, 2012


They'll never tell. Best guess, as a "once every 4 years watcher" would be: slight buckling of the legs on landing, separation of feet on hitting the springboard, arms not tucked close enough to body during jump, and maybe just a little bit of "we've decided perfection is no longer attainable, therefore she MUST have made some mistake."
posted by ShutterBun at 9:42 PM on August 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Here's the relevant post from the Couch Gymnast billyfleetwood was referencing, which laments rewarding un-stuck landings with higher difficulties vs. perfectly executed "easier" vaults.
posted by ShutterBun at 9:46 PM on August 8, 2012


(I see billyfleetwood had already linked to that specific post. apologies; carry on)
posted by ShutterBun at 9:50 PM on August 8, 2012


The GIF Guide that Ad hominem posted up above is incredible, and actually does explain the whole thing very well. Plus, you get to see the "action shot" of the "not-impressed pose" in the last .GIF!
posted by Curious Artificer at 10:06 PM on August 8, 2012


Somewhat off-topic: Has anyone compared the US Women's Gymnastics team to My Little Pony characters? Who would be Rainbow Dash?
posted by sleeping bear at 12:34 AM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Morning Edition on NPR briefly talked about this tumblr this morning.
posted by I Havent Killed Anybody Since 1984 at 4:49 AM on August 9, 2012


So countless adults who should know better are calling a 16 year old girl "bitchface" because she made a split second smirk during the most intensely video recorded event in human history.

ocschwar is not impressed.
posted by ocschwar at 7:59 AM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I watched the US NBC coverage of the women's vault event via Comcast "On Demand" (hey they finally kinda did something right, covering everything covered by NBC to some extent) and was taken aback by how catty the commentators were, going on about how McKayla's victory was a foregone conclusion and taking occasional snipes at the competition. They were obnoxious during the all-around as well and they are obnoxious in general especially when it comes to gymnastics coverage...but during the separate vault event they seemed to be creating an overpowering fuck-yeah narrative of "of course she'll freakin' win, it's just a matter of how perfectly executed it will be or whether she totally screws up fat chance LOL" just begging for her to fail.

I was rooting for her but became judgmental when she seemed to refuse a hug by her Russian competitor after her fall and went on a little Google-spree to see if anyone else had commented yet on the hug deflection, learning about the whole "bitchface" thing in the process. Some folks frame it as an endearing thing like "you go bitchface girl, you let your bitchface flag fly!" as if they're somehow bolstering her by joining the "bitchface LOL" chorus.

I read her tweets reacting to the criticism and felt bad for her and in the end any negativity I may have felt about her immediately after the performance was more cultivated by NBC's portrayal of her as a "state of the art" (they loved to say that) unstoppable cyborg than anything McKayla did. I got the feeling that she's a typical person without much acting ability who is not interested in making a big show of emotions during a moment of unexpected failure and subsequent reflection. The "bitchface" appellation is of course totally sexist on its face and is a generally horrible way to describe somebody's given facial appearance and the closest equivalent I'd expect to see lobbed at a male competitor might be "fierce" or "focused" or "intense." I haven't paid much attention to the medal ceremony stuff but I know I have a hard time deciding what to do with my facial muscles during certain situations and she's probably just feeling a little awkward standing there after being upheld as the glorious vault cyborg even if she is grateful to get the silver.
posted by lordaych at 2:16 PM on August 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


Damn it would suck to have you worst day at work broadcast live to the world.
posted by the_artificer at 6:56 PM on August 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


I think the pout makes her look hot.
posted by WalkingAround at 2:32 AM on August 12, 2012


Keith Talent: The US Ladies Gymnastics team look like extras from Mean Girls- Tiny Edition to me.
I agree! They're petite sex symbols! They should look happy, cute, and above-all, sexually accessible... not serious, as if some big, life-changing event were about to happen to them.

Maybe if they spent less time on the parallel bars, and more time thinking about all the awesome shopping! they could have done while in London.
posted by IAmBroom at 2:24 PM on August 16, 2012


When I try to mimick Ms. Maroney's facial expression, I find myself twitching my mouth and nose to the right - not to the left, as in the original picture. Maybe this is why I never became an Olympic athlete.
posted by WalkingAround at 3:00 AM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


« Older Sam Harris- 'Wrestling The Troll'...  |  “We’re getting a lot of calls ... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments