Okay, I know I’m going to be stigmatized for saying this but am I the only one who thinks that the “women’s” gymnastics competition kid of a sick societal obsession?
Yes, it is a fetish of sorts, but in more ways than you would think…
If the young heroine’s quest is one of development, then what does the maniacal obsession for perfection do to such a quest? If, for the young girl, the quest is from alienation to integration within a community where she can develop more fully, then what does our compulsion/ obsession with perfection do to that quest?
It strangles it.
I’m not here to rail against gymnastics, nor any other sport. However, I have to wonder what an unhealthy preoccupation with exercise, weight, and poor body image do to a young girl’s psyche. I would never allow my daughter (if I had one) be put through the torture of gymnastics or ballet training no matter how gifted she was. It’s inhumane to demand perfection. It’s also tragic that we allow adults to break little girls in a mad quest for perfection.
And to some degree, it’s different for female athletes than it is for the males. While the males also suffer the same injuries and make the same sacrifices (sacrificing puberty for their sport, for example), for the females there is the added burden of body weight. Female gymnasts (as well as ballet dancers) are instructed (conditioned) to be obsessed by weight. Mix a torturous training regimen (often the bulk of waking hours) with abnormal dieting and you have a clear-cut path to eating disorders and arrested physical and psychological development.
I usually consider myself an open-minded person, willing to try to see all sides of a story, but as I watch the following montage, I have to shake my head and wonder what sane parent would willingly allow his or her daughter be put through all this.
For what? For whom?
For every girl that manages to do a one-legged landing and become an idol to millions of fans, there are the countless broken bodies and psyches of girls so young it’s hard for me to wrap my mind around it.
My name is Eddie and I’m in recovery from civilization…
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