Friday, February 24, 2006

Little girls in pretty boxes

Congratulations to Shizuka Arakawa for winning the women's figure skating competition at the Winter Olympics. As if the pressures of body image and fame weren't enough, she managed to defeat the sentimental favorites of the NBC Sports propaganda machine, and represent all of Japan in the medal count.

I watched her skate Thursday night because I'd already read she won. But I can't help but feel like I'm supporting an event that thinks so much and so little of girls. The commentators seemed eager to characterize any kind of growth spurt or curvature with derision. At times I wasn't sure if the skaters were competing to become a gold medalist or Harrison Ford's next girlfriend.

The title above refers to this book, which I read years ago, and the subsequent Lifetime TV movie. In gymnastics and figure skating, coaches and parents force teenage girls to be something they're not: prepubescent boys. Stunted development and eating disorders abound. Interesting but depressing subject matter.

55 Fiction Friday says eat more food and take up hockey.

Even if the seminar were not so boring, he doubted he could stop watching her. She asked questions with such a soft and warm voice, never disrupting the presenter's flow. He wished they could share a private moment and dispense with formalities.

Unfortunately, she was busiest during breaks, refilling coffee cups and collecting empty dishes.

1 comment:

site said...

This can't work in reality, that's what I think.