I’ve been all about body love recently. So today when I heard some morning show hosts on WXRT making fun of synchronized swimming - implying that it’s not a real sport - I had an epiphany.
(And let’s just take a moment to acknowledge how incredibly challenging some of the synchronized swimming moves must be. Imagine the core and leg strength those ladies have got going on.)
Anyway, here’s the epiphany. I think when a person finds something physical to do that makes her feel good and takes her mind, at least briefly, off what she looks like and draws her attention instead to what she can do with that amazing body of hers, we we should celebrate it.
For a long time, I felt embarrassed that cheerleading was such a big part of my life in high school (so was show choir, for the record…I know, so Glee of me). I thought it hurt my feminist credentials somehow. But you know what? Cheerleading made me feel so strong. I still perceive myself as a tough, muscular person based on the fact that over twelve years ago I could throw people up in the air and then catch them on the way down. Never mind that I can hardly do five push-ups now. In high school, I was a freaking rock!
(Also, I should note, to re-boost my feminist credentials, that we cheered at an equal number of girls’ and boy’s basketball games. We rightfully followed Title IX laws to the letter. Although now that I think back on it, we didn’t have a girls’ sport to cheer at during football season, so we weren’t 100% about equality. I hope that’s changed, but I don’t think it has.)
Anyway, I just got fed up today with sports snobbery and wanted to say Go Synchronized Swimmers and Trampoliners and Curlers and Windsurfers! Do your thing and love every second of it!
By the way, that’s me on the left, eyebrows and all, and my lovely sister, Kelly, next to me.
Because of feeling the same about cheerleading/having been a cheerleader.