...from an excellent article my friend sent me the other day stemming from the debate over whether women competing in sports should be weighed or not.some feel it's just a part of measuring an athlete's overall health (most argue it's to monitor for quick weight loss or gain), but others (and, surprise, i fall into this category) think it causes unnecessary anxiety about a factor that isn't particularly indicative of an athlete's health or ability to perform optimally, and can lead to the dreaded female athlete triad - eating disorders, amennorhea, osteoporosis. it's an interesting debate, and i recognize the flaw in my thinking. i want women to be given the same advantages that men are given - in sports, in business, in life - but is asking that female athletes not be weighed and their weights not be made public (like all male athletes are required to do) asking for preferential treatment? or is it just protecting our young female athletes from the reality that is our weight- and size-obsessed culture?Alison Bales, Duke University Center...The difference today, at least in basketball, is that big women are more secure in being and playing big, said Goestenkors, the Duke coach. She said that Bales, the Blue Devils' center, proudly wore three-inch heels, which made her 6-10, while the team was in Cancún, Mexico, in December. Bales said a photograph of her in heels on Duke's Web site had elicited several grateful messages from tall girls or their parents.
i suppose what we ultimately want to strive for is a redefinition of what it means to be
all at the same time. many of the young women the article mentions - college basketball players Courtney and Ashley Paris, the Williams girls, the women of the WNBA - seem to be doing just that, god love 'em. in the same article, Courtney Paris is referred to as "the female Shaquille O'Neal." and that's a compliment. i love that. i know sports is not the cure-all, there are plenty of eating disordered athletes out there, but i do think it can help shift ones relationship with the body from passive - the body to be preened, plucked and paraded - to active - the body to run, to dance, to leap, to lunge.
(unfortunately, i think the article is now only available if you have a subscription to the Times, if you're desperate to read it, let me know, and i'll email you a copy. hush hush.)