Thu Aug 2, 2012, 10:41 AM
seabeyond (110,159 posts)
Zoe Smith takes on everyone
For the grand finale, she addresses the females who put down her and her teammates as well: “You’d think that young women around the same age as us would commend us for doing something different and with our lives, and putting 100% effort into it in order to make something of ourselves. But apparently we’re ‘weird’ for not constantly eating crap, binge drinking regularly and wearing the shortest, tightest dresses that the high street has to offer.” Zoe Smith for president of everything. Seriously. Give her a daytime talk show or a massive book deal or just get her to go around the world saying this to everyone on the planet, because this lady is brilliant. If we could bottle what she’s got and pass it around to every girl, the world would be a glorious place.
Smith’s already great achievement is that she has managed to cultivate her tremendous poise and wisdom in a veritable minefield of negative body image messages. If they handed out gold medals for body snarking, the competition these Olympic games would be ferocious. Earlier this month, Australia’s Herald Sun created an international furor when it declared that swimmer Leisel Jones’ “appearance that had tongues wagging” because she “appears heavier.” The paper also initially added – but hastily yanked – a poll for readers to weigh in on what they thought of Jones’ fitness. The swimmer, demonstrating truly epic grace, responded to the crass story by saying, “It’s the best thing that could ever happen to me. I couldn’t ask for anything more. I’m one of those people who if you put me under pressure, I’ll show you what I can do. I did one of my best sessions ever after I read the comments. I’ve had nothing but support. I think that has probably touched me the most. I have never had so much support in my life. So thanks to the journalist who decided to write not-so-nice comments about me because you have never made me feel so loved in my life.”
And last week Enow Ngachu, the coach of the Cameroon women’s soccer team, stated of the opposition that “Brazil are the favorites and they have nearly all the best players in the world. But … their players look a bit heavy to me – that might be a problem for them as well.” In other words, they’re the best … but isn’t it sad they probably can’t rock their skinny jeans?
Yes, the Olympics are the motherlode of hot female bodies. It’s a fact that certainly hasn’t escaped the attention of many, many sources. But in case anybody forgot, they’re a celebration of what humans can do, not how they look. And if you look at a woman who’s one of the greatest athletes in her field in the entire world and not just have thought that she’s fat or she’s mannish or she’s ugly but have publicly expressed it, stop talking right now, you ridiculous, ridiculous little worm. And while your yap is resting, consider that it’s a whole lot cooler being an Olympic contender than a “close minded and ignorant” boob. Consider the wisdom of Zoe Smith. Because if there’s one thing a world-class weightlifter knows about, it’s jerks.
note: i wanted to put this in the appropriate thread, but, i think that thread has played out and most wont read.
the olympics is about what women do. not what they look like. a world where all of us work so hard to categorize a girl/woman by looks and not a damn thing about who she is and what she does. when the shallow whine about women calling that out, this is why. the black girl that chooses a white doll is why. what obama said about michelle is why.
fuck.... is it so hard for a man to imagine a world where ALL his worth is in his looks. look in the mirror men, and come back to us how it would feel to know, that your value is only in the way you look. how would you rate?
yes we all want to look our best. i watch my two teenage boys primping as much as any girl. but, when they talk about their looks, that is the bottom of the list, an after thought. they name off their accomplishments, their successes, their character.
we have only continued to get worse as a nation as we supposedly have become so much more progressive. to see how this effects us far beyond just a shallow objectification is stupid or lazy.
"One argument is that women are just more sensible than men," the president says in the magazine's September issue of why women are less likely to run for office than men. "They don't want to put themselves through the ridiculous process. But I do think part of it has to do with the enormous strains being a candidate places on your family." He also admits that girls are often raised differently than boys. "It's easier for boys to imagine themselves being president. They see themselves as being in charge. Girls are socialized to think about other people more."
So what can we do differently? The first lady has plenty of ideas, including one that dovetails with her focus on fighting childhood obesity. "We have to start with them while they're young and instill in girls a sense of confidence. That's why sports are so important," she explains. "They teach you how to compete—how to fall down and get back up. We've got to give young women the opportunities to be leaders."
"It can be as simple as sitting down at the dinner table and asking them to articulate what's going on in their day or having them negotiate for the things they want," says the first lady. "All of that is practicing leadership. I constantly remind my girls that when they get to college or have a job, they're not going to have a parent there to help push for the things they need. Girls need to know it's okay to advocate for themselves and for the things they think are important."
President Obama agrees. "I want Malia and Sasha to feel confident about expressing their opinions. And if they're good at something I want them to have the confidence to step up and shine. I don't want them to lose their empathy and stop thinking about other people, because that's an important part of leadership too. But I don't want them to be wallflowers."
And, according to President Obama, his girls already have a pretty outstanding female role model at home thanks to Michelle. "She's very smart. She's a wonderful speaker. She's very cute. Having said all those things, the quality I love most about her is, she's honest and genuine. I think that comes across to people. They get a sense that they can trust her," he shares. "You know, the word 'authenticity' is overused these days. But I do think it captures what folks are looking for—not just in leaders, but also in friends and coworkers—and that is, folks who are on the level. People like that tell you what they think and don't have a bunch of hidden motives. That's who Michelle is. She's also funny. She's the funniest person in our family."
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Zoe Smith takes on everyone (Original post)
Response to seabeyond (Original post)
Thu Aug 2, 2012, 12:07 PM
redqueen (109,236 posts)
1. The insidiousness is so obvious.
From the boozy crowd Zoe aims at here, to journalists who target an athlete's weight for criticism....as Dr. Blay so aptly put it, "The message is, ‘You ain’t sh#@t ouside of what I can see.'"
It's good to educate girls early that it isn't the case, but I think we should also work on changing the culture that causes it.
I've never been a fan of treating symptoms and ignoring causes.