Flavor of the Month: July 1998

Kwan cross-dresses as Mulan

Michelle Kwan is heart-stopping as a cross-dressing Chinese epic heroine in "Reflections on Ice," her first television special (aired June 16, 1998 on ABC), a skating showcase for Disney's latest and all-time greatest animation heroine. Kwan anchors an extraordinary cast of Asian American and other skaters as they bring to life the film's comments on the construction of gender.

Kwan's enactment of Mulan's makeup and hairdressing rituals deconstructs the feminized glamor image of female skaters. And her aggressive mien when suited up as a soldier in the Imperial Army is proof that small-boned women can look as butch as big, muscular ones.

Disclaimer: Flavors of the month are chosen without regard to the skaters' sexual orientation. Unless the skaters are listed as out elsewhere on the Rainbow Ice site (élite or adult gay skaters), they are not known to be other than heterosexual.

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