Olympic Bodies

Yesterday I watched some of the Olympic coverage on TV. I don’t follow any sport particularly closely, just whatever’s on. That’s how I ended up watching synchronized diving yesterday afternoon. By the way, kind of a bizarre sport. I’m a terrible diver and I’m not terribly co-ordinate so I’m super impressed by anyone who can both dive and do it in sync with a partner. It was fun to watch 2 Canadian girls win the bronze medal.

What struck me though was their bodies. Generally, when we see women in swimsuits on TV, they are thin, tanned, and toned. This may not be what we see at the beach but it is most definitely how the media portrays women. Look at the cover of almost any tabloid and you will see some celebrity in a bikini. Either the tabloid is applauding her “beach-ready body” or they’re circling the cellulite on her legs and telling us she’s let herself go.

Roseline Fillion and Meaghan Benfeito of Canada – two young women who definitely haven’t let themselves go. (Photo taken from star.com)

What’s cool about the Olympics is that we get to see women who are athletes. Women with real bodies. These are elite athletes who train hard; their bodies are their tools. Every single one of the women I watched yesterday was fit and muscular. I have no doubt that they could kick my butt. They use their bodies and they use them well. They don’t match the celebrity swimsuit bodies the media constantly throws at us. The image that women are continuously told they should match up to in order to be beautiful and healthy. But these women are beautiful and healthy, plus they’re Olympic medallists.
Pretty gosh darn cool, I think.

In other news….

If you missed the finale of Emily’s stint as The Bachelorette, Jimmy Kimmel has handily recapped it for you in 30 seconds. Hilarious. Also, I am pleased that she chose Jef and I think it’s cool that they have gone to Ghana together. That is all. What do you think?

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2 thoughts on “Olympic Bodies

  1. This is a great post. The media (thankfully not in Canada, from what I’ve seen/read) has been really horrible to some female athletes recently. I thought this column about it in the Vancouver Sun was good too – http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/2012-summer-games/Aussie+swim+star+cruises+into+final+sending/7008119/story.html
    On another note, I can’t take my eyes away from diving either. Something about the graceful athleticism combined with the total lack of fear it must take to throw yourself backwards off a 10m platform. The time zone difference has lined up perfectly to watch diving during breakfast every day.

    • I read an interesting article about beach volleyball and how the female athletes are consistently shown without their heads – basically just leaving them bodies in swimsuits. I can’t imagine a journalist commenting on a male athlete’s body the way some have on Jones’.
      And yes, I’ve been watching a lot of diving and swimming. Somehow it always seems to be on TV when I want to watch some Olympics!

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