File under “How Not to Be Taken Seriously.” Dueling Barbies has what to do with basketball…or race…or anything of significance?

Angel Reese considers herself “a pink kind of girl.”

“Pretty in Any Color: Women on the Court Make the Style Rules”

Pink nails, pink hair tie, pink shoes, sometimes even “a little bit of pink in my lashes,” Reese said of the eyelash extensions she applies before basketball games. “Everything’s pink.”

It’s all part of the pregame routine for Reese, who in May transferred to Louisiana State after a breakout season on Maryland’s women’s basketball team. Before Reese hits the court, she swipes on lip gloss and gels down her edges — her hairline — to prevent flyaways.

“Grandma would always emphasize, ‘Don’t let anybody make your makeup sweat,’” Reese said.

Reese’s devotion to her appearance for games expresses who she is as much as her playing style. Players in women’s basketball freely use style touches that are popular in Black and Latina culture, like gelled edges. It’s a freedom that some say is an advancement in a sport whose athletes have historically been pressured to fit a mass-market ideal that has long benefited straight, white women. Reese is Black.

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