Sun 12 Jun I was 12; she was a grown-up and standing in the showers at our local swimming pool, soaping her pubic hair into a lather. At the time the sight of women displaying their bodies prompted giggles, embarrassment and the odd sneer of derision from me and my school-age friends. For pubescent girls, showing any part of your naked body is anathema. It was an unspoken rule that you had to undress without anyone catching sight of your body. Why do we teach young girls to care first about how they look and second about their talent? Female body image, and its associated woes, is one of the biggest contributing factors preventing women from being physically active in the first place. While the United Nations has suggested that sport will play a leading role in the journey to equal rights for women and girls, cruelly our own messed-up ideas about body image are preventing us from doing the one thing that could liberate us all. Unfortunately as a society we are so used to the image-obsessed narrative that even sportswomen buy into it.
I was a track and field candidate back in my high school being. My favorite event was the meters, which for you non-track folks is two miles. One time at a particular meet, because there were barely two females competing in the battle, including myself, the officials combined us with the male runners so we could all run together and not have to spend approximately 12 minutes watching just two athletes run all the rage circles. I came in last, which was a bit disheartening. Although allay pretty fast myself, I knew I would not fare well next en route for these guys. Despite the embarrassment allied with bringing up the rear, I felt like running with the guys made me push harder and administer faster. If more sports were co-ed, it would strengthen camaraderie between manly and female athletes and make all perform better. Women have been held back in sports for hundreds of years due to completely false before irrelevant conceptions , like athletics bidding cause infertility or make us become old faster. Now that we can as a group dismiss those assumptions I sure anticipate so at least , men after that women competing with and against all other in athletics should be the norm.