'Hate it': Winter Olympics hero hits out over 'sl*t strands' term

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Chloe Kim and Eileen Gu, pictured here sporting the popular hairstyle at the Winter Olympics.
Chloe Kim and Eileen Gu were sporting the popular hairstyle at the Winter Olympics. Image: Getty

American snowboard star Chloe Kim has called for a highly-derogatory term used to describe the hairstyle of female winter sports athletes to be changed.

Female skiers and snowboarders will commonly wear two strands of hair outside of their helmets, framing their face in a sign of femininity.

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However the popular hairstyle is commonly referred to as "slut strands" - something that Kim wants changed.

According to American star Maddie Mastro, “slut strands” are a way for female athletes to show their femininity to male counterparts and show that females can match it with the boys.

“The feminine urge to pull hair strands out of your helmet every day so people know you are a girl,” she posted on TikTok in November.

“Sl*t strands 4 life.”

However Kim, who won gold in the women's halfpipe in Beijing, is not a fan of the term.

“We need to change the name to beauty strands,” she told InStyle this week.

“I hate the term. Beauty strands make me feel beautiful, and it’s such a cute thing.”

Snowboarder Elsa Watkins founded the 'Slut Strand Society' - an winter sports apparel company based in Denver.

Chloe Kim, pictured here after winning gold in the women's halfpipe at the Beijing Olympics.
Chloe Kim (centre) celebrates aftter winning gold in the women's halfpipe at the Beijing Olympics. (Photo by Lu Lin/CHINASPORTS/VCG via Getty Images)

She previously told Slate that she “didn’t necessarily like” the moniker but has embraced it because of its common use.

“When we started calling them slut strands in like sixth grade, it kind of just stuck with us. Now it’s turned into a giant global community of ladies and strands,” she said.

“I just grew up always knowing that that’s what we called them. I didn’t necessarily like it, per se, but I was like, OK, if this is what we’re gonna call it, we might as well embrace it and make lemons out of lemonade, because obviously the name is not gonna change.

“You will hardly see anyone in the Olympics right now without their strands out.

“It’s a super simple way to make people in the space feel celebrated and included and worthy.

“This is the one thing we can promote that’s approachable to absolutely everyone.

“It makes you feel connected by just two strands of hair.”

Chloe Kim defends gold medal at Winter Olympics

Watkins said the hairstyle is “basically (as) essential as your bindings themselves” and about “showing off your femininity in a simple and cheeky way”.

The 21-year-old Kim overcame a "mental battle" to successfully defend her Olympic title in Beijing after also winning gold four years ago in PyeongChang.

She claimed an unassailable lead of 94.00 points after her first of three runs, clutching her helmet and dropping to her knees as she slid into the finish area.

"I had the worst practice ever - I probably landed my run twice when I'm used to landing it eight times normally and that kind of puts you in a weird headspace," she said.

"I just overflowed with emotion when I was able to land it on the first go and then it opened up a lot of opportunity for me to go try something new."

with agencies

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