Wonder Woman: Happy Birthday, Flo-Jo!

Allsport U.K./Allsport via Getty Images
Allsport U.K./Allsport via Getty Images

The track and field and fashion phenomenon Florence Griffith Joyner—fondly known as Flo-Jo—would have been 58 years strong today, and undoubtedly still slaying us with her inimitable style.


Long before Serena Williams stunned in her on-court ensembles or Ibtihaj Muhammad stayed true to herself and her sport in hijab, Flo-Jo was showing the world what #BlackGirlMagic looked like—at record-breaking speed.

In the almost 20 years since her sudden death at age 38, the world has never seen a female athlete so fearlessly, fashionably black—from her famed “one-legger” running suits to the tips of her inches-long, always artfully designed nails. She boldly defied every existing convention of the female athlete, wearing long nails, hair and even jewelry while dominating the sport she loved. In the process, she won three gold medals and one silver in the 1988 Olympics alone, in addition to shattering records in both the 100- and 200-meter races—records that remain unbroken today.


In honor of this true Glow Up goddess/gladiator and true American hero, we joyfully remember Florence Griffith Joyner with love.

Maiysha Kai is Managing Editor of The Glow Up, co-host of The Root Presents: It's Lit! podcast, and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door...May I borrow some sugar?

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Thanks for writing this. I remember watching her run in the Olympics. She was the epitome of glamour, accomplishment, and power to my 11 year old self. I loved her.