This French figure skater may not have won a medal, but her pants took people's choice

During the ladies’ short event, French figure skater Maé-Bérénice Méité carved out a place for herself by skating to music including the Beyoncé hits “Halo” and “Run the World (Girls).” But that’s not the only aspect of her performance making waves. Méité emerged from the masses in a bodysuit with pants. Yes, you read that right: A figure skater competed at the PyeongChang Olympics sans skirt.

The 23-year-old took to the ice in black leggings that appeared to be attached to a gold and black sparkly sleeveless top. And her performance was just as dazzling as it would have been in a frilly, flouncy skirt, if not more so, because it was so bold.

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Maé-Bérénice Méité at the Winter Olympics
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Maé-Bérénice Méité at the Winter Olympics
GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 11: Mae Berenice Meite of France competes in the Figure Skating Team Event � Ladies� Short Program on day two of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Ice Arena on February 11, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 11: Mae Berenice Meite of France competes in the Figure Skating Team Event � Ladies� Short Program on day two of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Ice Arena on February 11, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 11: Mae Berenice Meite of France competes in the Figure Skating Team Event � Ladies� Short Program on day two of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Ice Arena on February 11, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
France's Mae Berenice Meite competes in the figure skating team event women's single skating short program during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangneung on February 11, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 11: Mae Berenice Meite of France competes in the Figure Skating Team Event � Ladies� Short Program on day two of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Ice Arena on February 11, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 11: Mae Berenice Meite of France competes in the Figure Skating Team Event � Ladies� Short Program on day two of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Ice Arena on February 11, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
France's Mae Berenice Meite competes in the figure skating team event women's single skating short program during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangneung on February 11, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Roberto SCHMIDT (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
France's Mae Berenice Meite competes in the figure skating team event women's single skating short program during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangneung on February 11, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Mladen ANTONOV (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
France's Mae Berenice Meite competes in the figure skating team event women's single skating short program during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangneung on February 11, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Mladen ANTONOV (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
France's Mae Berenice Meite competes in the figure skating team event women's single skating short program during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangneung on February 11, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Mladen ANTONOV (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
France's Mae Berenice Meite competes in the figure skating team event women's single skating short program during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangneung on February 11, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Roberto SCHMIDT (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
France's Mae Berenice Meite falls as she competes in the figure skating team event women's single skating short program during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangneung on February 11, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Mladen ANTONOV (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 11: Mae Berenice Meite of France competes during the Figure Skating- Team Event-Ladies Short Program on day two of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Ice Arena on February 11, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
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Méité expressively floated and twirled around the ice winning the hearts of the world, despite her fall, with her boundary-pushing music (this is the first Olympics at which skaters are allowed to use music with lyrics!) and even more daring ensemble. These Twitter reactions sum it up.

Unfortunately, the judges weren’t as impressed, giving her a score of 46.62, putting her in ninth place. Did she lose points for her pants? Not possible. According to the NBC Olympics page, “Ladies in singles and pairs can wear a skirt, pants or tights.” However, that wasn’t always the rule. After Katarina Witt came out on the ice in a few feathers barely covering her behind in 1988, the International Skating Union enacted a rule that women had to wear skirts. That rule was overturned in the early 2000s, bringing back the pants.

Then why don’t more women wear pants? For one, it seems not everyone is up to date on the new rules. Last week, costume designer Jan Longmire told InStyle, “The guidelines change every now and then, but every girl always has to wear a skirt — she can’t come out in a leotard on its own.”

Plus, skirts are just easier on the eyes and more frequently identified with femininity, which is what figure skating is pretty much all about. But if women can wear tuxedos on the red carpet and not be any less elegant, female skaters can do the same in the rink. And they have.

Méité might prefer pants; she competed in the same costume at the women’s short program dance during the Internationaux de France ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating in Grenoble, France, in November. She also wore pants for her free skate at the 2014 Olympics — the unitard was similar, but the sparkly top was silver, blue, and black.

American skater Polina Edmunds wore a purple bodysuit in the ladies’ short program during the 2018 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

As soon as the skirt-only ice age melted away, Russian skater Irina Slutskaya wore a fiery bodysuit at the 2006 Olympics.

So, Méité might be onto something. In the words of Beyoncé, the pants-clad and badass skater is repping for the girls “who taking over the world.”

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Meet the ice skating stars of the Olympics
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SAN JOSE, CA - JANUARY 05: Mirai Nagasu competes in the Ladies Free Skate during the 2018 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships at the SAP Center on January 5, 2018 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 12: Adam Rippon of the United States of America celebrates after competing in the Figure Skating Team Event Men's Single Free Skating on day three of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Ice Arena on February 12, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Nathan Chen of the United States awaits his score after competing in the Figure Skating Team Event - Men's Single Skating Short Program during the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Ice Arena on February 9, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 11: Bradie Tennell of the United States looks on during the Figure Skating Team Event � Pairs Free Skating on day two of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Ice Arena on February 11, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
USA's Alex Shibutani and USA's Maia Shibutani compete in the figure skating team event ice dance short dance during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangneung on February 11, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Mladen ANTONOV (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Russia's Natalia Zabiiako and Russia's Alexander Enbert compete in the figure skating team event pair skating free skating during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangneung on February 11, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Mladen ANTONOV (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Figure Skating ? Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics ? Team Event Pair Skating short program ? Gangneung Ice Arena - Gangneung, South Korea ? February 9, 2018 - Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim of the U.S. compete. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Figure Skating ? Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics ? Team Event Pair Free Skating ? Gangneung Ice Arena - Gangneung, South Korea ? February 11, 2018 - Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim of the U.S. compete. REUTERS/John Sibley
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