Overheard: Girls and Sports

I just overheard two of my male coworkers talking about their daughters’ involvement in sports. One of them said that his daughters do gymnastics and he likes that, because it’s good for balance and keeping healthy — but that he didn’t want them to compete because of the pressures it would put on them about their bodies, and planned to subtly discourage it. He said for guys he thinks competitive gymnastics are mostly okay, but girls get negative body image crap.
Sometimes I love the bay area. The fact that a couple of computer geeks were talking about their daughters getting negative body image from their extracurricular activities gives me hope. So many people — male and female — either aren’t aware of that kind of thing, or actively encourage it.
I do hope if their daughters do want to compete in a physical activity that they find one less likely to push them to be super-scrawny and encourage them to go for it. (One possibility would be swimming, at least at the lower levels. My poor-to-middling high school swim team included a handful of us who were darn good swimmers but not what you’d call thin, and we never got flak about our weight from the team that I can recall.)

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