Elle Magazine recently caught up with Brittney Griner, the gender-bending, slam-dunking sensation who’s swept through women’s basketball. Griner’s become a trailblazer since at least last spring, when she nonchalantly came out of the closet. Elle’s profile takes up from where Griner finds herself now, amid the whirlwind of attention. And, in typical Griner style, she refuses to be anyone but herself:
[Griner] retreats into the tiny bathroom to change from her low-slung jeans and Nike T-shirt—the company has signed her to model its menswear, the first time a woman has had that gig—into her suit for Conan. Once the stylist has fussed over her, including rolling her pants cuffs to just the right height, lest they hike up if she crosses her legs—“I never cross my legs,” Griner assures her—Kagawa Colas calls her over for a quick makeup session. “See, it looks like nothing,” she says as she puts the slightest smudge of foundation and undereye concealer on Griner’s smooth, flawless skin.
At the WNBA’s rookie orientation, Griner says she declined to participate in a session about makeup application and how to dress. “I don’t need that shit,” she says without rancor, adding that the only lecture she appreciated was one on 401(k)s. (Yes, new WNBA players are taught how to apply makeup while NBA rookies learn to beware of gold-digger groupies who might prick tiny holes in condoms.) Now, peering at herself in the makeup mirror, Griner approves of her agent’s handiwork. “Looks like nothing,” she agrees.