Archive for ‘Whip Me Into Shape’

June 10, 2011

I Play Like A Girl

Growing up, I heard a lot of “you can’t do that, you’re a girl.”  Not that I payed attention much, being a tomboy and all.

But it was still there. PE classes where the boys played baseball or basketball, and the girls will handed jump ropes or, if we were lucky, the lone softball in the bucket. Pop Warner football teams that handed the girls pompoms and called it good enough. And even when we all had class together (running), the girls only had to run half the distance the boys did. Which is great, unless you like to run.

But then, even when you did manage to break through, you were either compared to the boys, or told you weren’t acting “ladylike”. Pssh. Who wants to be a lady, if it means you can’t have FUN?

As we got older, some of us broke out. Joined the football team, the hockey team, the track team. Found places to practice yoga that was anything BUT relaxing. OR, in my case, dance. Of every kind I could get my hands on. I have a habit of telling my marathon runner husband that I’ve been an athlete at a caliber he can only DREAM of for the last 20 years. Anyone who says dance is not a sport (or is easy) needs to sit through ONE rehearsal. That’ll shut ’em up.

But until recently, there hasn’t been a lot of respect for female athletes, and on an even bigger level, women who just LIKE physical activity. Mass media tells us women should be thin and graceful, but not have the muscle definition regular sport provides. Look good in a sports bra, but don’t have strong shoulders. Pippa Middleton is revered for her crazy thin legs, but you can find people who think Kara Goucher looks deformed because her record-breaking runs have built up some serious muscle, and it shows.

Which is why it’s so, SO encouraging to see companies coming out in support … and LOUD support at that … of women. To be able to say to a little girl “Find something you love to do and DO IT. However that shapes your body is perfect. See? Here are a bunch of people who think so, too.”?  EXCELLENT. And long-awaited. We’re girls. We play hard. Get used to it.

Ad campaign courtesy of Nike Women.

Click and read them. Some are better than others (Thighs and Hips are my favorites) … and Butt is just hilarious.