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A gymnast's 'Cats'-inspired costume caused controversy and now theatrical makeup is banned

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Controversy has erupted in the gymnastics world over this Dutch competitor’s outfit.

Celine van Gerner caused a stir in August when she dressed as a cat for her floor routine at the European Championships. Van Gerner wore a cat-patterned leotard and had her face painted like cat, complementing her music from the musical Cats.

Celine van Gerner competes in the women’s individual floor final. (Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Celine van Gerner competes in the women’s individual floor final. (Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Fans fell in love with the outlandish move, rarely seen in the traditional and strict world of gymnastics. Although fans applauded the outfit, the International Gymnastics Federation was not so fond of the feline-inspired ensemble.

Celine van Gerner in action. (Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Celine van Gerner in action. (Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images)

On Tuesday, the federation announced that competitors will henceforth be banned from doing likewise.

“Face painting is not allowed. Any makeup must be modest and not portray a theatrical character (animal or human),” the governing body stated.

Van Gerner took the news well, tweeting that she felt blessed that she got her performance in before full-on face painting was banned.

However, others didn’t react to the news with such grace.

With the French Open infamously banning Serena Williams’s catsuit, there aren’t many sports left where dressing like a cat is legal.

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