Tag Archives: This Girl Can

Monday Morning Motivation – Tried hitting the gym…

5 Dec

 

Just a little reminder to find an activity that you love to keep yourself motivated 🙂

This Girl Can advert

Monday Morning Motivation – Girls Can

14 Nov

I like this Covergirl advert about female empowerment and breaking barriers. Featuring a host of stars who’ve been trail-blazers in their respective fields, I find this advert inspirational.

Ellen DeGeneres: Girls can’t. Sometimes you hear it, but more often, you feel it.

Pink: Girls can’t rock.
Katy Perry: Girls can’t be strong.
Natalie Wiebe: Girls can’t check.
Ellen DeGeneres: Girls can’t be funny.
Becky G: Girls can’t rap.
Sofia Vergara: [Spanish]
Queen Latifah: Girls can’t run the show.
Janelle Monae: Girls can’t dance crazy.
Queen Latifah: Yeah. Girls can.
Natalie Wiebe: My sport is ice hockey. Everybody told me that I couldn’t do it. You have to just be courageous.
Pink: I was always told singers really should just sing. OK. Well, let’s just challenge that whole notion.
Queen Latifah: I heard that girls couldn’t rap, I rap. Girls couldn’t own businesses, I own my own business.
Pink: I like it when people say you can’t do something.
Ellen DeGeneres: You know, I just learned that you have to be yourself.
Janelle Monae: Girls can’t?
Natalie Wiebe: Yes they can.
Katy Perry: Come on, Cover Girls.
Becky G: Rap.
Ellen DeGeneres: Be funny.
Janelle Monae: Be off-the-wall.
Pink: Rock.
Katy Perry: Be strong.
Queen Latifah: Run the show.
Ellen DeGeneres: Make the world a little more easy, breezy, and beautiful.

Monday Morning Motivation – If at first you don’t succeed

7 Nov

This Girl Can advert

It’s important to have fun when you’re working out, but I also believe in the importance of determination and perseverence.

Monday Morning Motivation – Left school…

3 Oct

This Girl Can advert

40% 16-24 year olds participate in sport once a week or less often. How are you encouraging the young people in your family to keep fit?

Monday Morning Motivation – Under these gloves…

5 Sep

This Girl Can advert

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you may have noticed that I rarely appear in pictures where I’m not wearing sports clothes. Part of that is because of the topic of my blog, but it’s also because I rarely ‘dress up’. I’m most comfortable wearing jeans and a hoodie… but that doesn’t mean that I don’t care about my appearance. I may never wear make up and I try to avoid wearing high heels, but I still like my clothes to match (to an extent that my friends find humorous).

Being a strong woman doesn’t mean you have to give up on femininity, but it also doesn’t mean you have to be dressed from top to toe in pink. It’s about being confident with whatever makes you happy.

Monday Morning Motivation – I jiggle, therefore I am

1 Aug

This Girl Can advert

If I had waited until I had ‘the perfect body’ before I started exercising, then I’d still be waiting.

Get out there and jiggle! 🙂

This Girl Can – 18 months on

9 Jul

If you haven’t heard about the Sport England This Girl Can advertising campaign, where have you been? It has been 18 months since the campaign was launched and, in that time, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about issues facing sporty women.

This girl can website

The ‘This girl can’ website

The main criticism of the This Girl Can campaign that I’ve heard is that although the women in the video are from a range of ethnic groups and are different shapes and sizes, none of them is over 33 (I believe the main women are aged 29-33). As girls tend to participate less in sport after the age of 14, a few teenagers should have been included and also some women up to 70, 80 or beyond.

The campaign was discussed widely in the British media:

The one year on report stated that over 2.8 million women had been encouraged to take up sport as a result of the campaign, which is fantastic news, but as Jennie Price (Sport England’s Chief Executive) says “…the job is far from done. With a gender gap of 1.73 million fewer women playing sport compared to men, we need to keep getting the message out there that women come in all shapes and sizes and levels of ability, and they should all feel able to exercise and play sport.”

Hopefully, there will be further updates to the campaign and barriers to women’s participation will continue to come down.


Is enough being done to get women into triathlon and to give them equal opportunities?

In early 2015 the  50 women to Kona (TriEqual) initiative was launched, with the aim of there being an equal number of slots for pro women and pro men at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. Currently, there are 50 slots for pro men and 35 slots for pro women. WTC argued against the petition saying it reflected the smaller number of women competing in Ironman events, however stats show that women have a much harder battle to win a championship place:

50 Women to Kona data

In response to the 50 Women to Kona movement, WTC launched its ‘Women for Tri’ initiative. One of the first people to speak out against it was coach Brett Sutton: The Women for Tri initiative. One of the key points he brings up is that the original 12 women on the board were all American, but the main problems are in Europe and elsewhere, so a very narrow perspective is being looked at.

Another balanced article I read explained how WTC had fought back against accusations of ‘pink washing’: Inside the Women for Tri advisory board. I also read Sarah Gross’s article, Triathlon: a sport of gender equality?, wherein she states that “We are one of, if not THE most gender inclusive sports on the planet, we have a rich history of gender inclusivity”… however, despite being more inclusive than many other sports, there is still some way to go.

Although Women for Tri sounded like a positive initiative (and its Facebook group is a welcoming and inclusive place for women to discuss gender-specific tri issues), it didn’t take long before the only pro athlete on the board, Hillary Biscay, resigned as she didn’t feel the group had any real clout: http://hillarybiscay.com/2015/03/27/why-i-resigned-from-the-women-for-tri-board/

At grassroots level, it does seem that triathlon is doing reasonably well, but for the elites there are still gender inequalities.


Representation of women in sport

The images and messages that the media gives about women in sport are a huge influence on young women and their decisions about whether to participate in sport. Some of it, such as the abuse that sportswomen face on social media, can be difficult to control, but surely it’s not too much to ask that media professionals treat women with dignity and respect.

The 2015 Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition’s cover image caused a lot of controversy for oversexualising its cover model (check out what Lynda at fitnessmomwinecountry wrote).

hannah-davis-swimsuit-cover-reveal-2015.jpg

Things improved slightly this year, as one of the three alternative Sports Illustrated covers featured Ashley Graham, a so-called ‘plus-size’ model.

Ashley Graham

However, it wasn’t long before Chery Tiegs (a former Sports Illustrated cover model) hit out at the inclusion of Ashley Graham for promoting an unhealthy ideal. Whilst I do have concerns about people who are at either end of the weight spectrum (anorexically thin or obese) being used as role models, I see nothing wrong with Ashley Graham’s figure – she does not look like someone with weight problems.

I thought it was heartening to hear that Athleta were launching an ad campaign featuring real women playing sports. One advert that caught my eye was the Sayulita Surf Sisters advert:

athleta advert

To me it seemed like a great campaign – real women being shown taking part in the sport they love – so I was shocked to find that in the allegedly supportive Women for Tri Facebook group women were arguing about the unhealthy role models they were being presented with, with the woman on the right of the advert being singled out as being overweight.

Finally, I think it’s important to mention the ‘Like a Girl’ ad that aired during the 2015 Superbowl:

To me (and many others) it was amazing that an advert designed to empower women was described as oppressing men by its opponents. Fortunately, there were lots of great comebacks to the negativity on social media.


“Women’s issues”

Last year, menstruation and its effects on women’s sporting performance hit the news:

This is an issue that is regularly discussed in women-only online forums, so it was great that it was finally being talked about on mainstream media. It was even discussed by Ben Greenfield on his podcast.


Size and sport

There has also been a lot of discussion about what counts as an athletic figure. Many female sports stars, including Venus and Serena Williams, have been criticised for their ‘masculine’ physiques, but no-one could question their sporting ability. So, do we place undue emphasis on people’s looks over their sport’s requirements? After all, if Amanda Bingson lost weight she would probably not do as well at hammer throwing:

Amanda Bingson

Marion Bartoli was criticised for her looks following her success at Wimbledon, so she has lost weight (3 stone/ 42lbs/ 19kg), but now admits: “With my current weight, I could never hit the ball with the left and right of my two hands.” She also had to recently withdraw from a Wimbledon invitational because of fears about her health and her ‘gaunt’ physique.

Marion Bartoli Marion Bartoli

So, is it possible to be ‘overweight’ and fit? These articles present some interesting viewpoints:

I’m part of a Facebook group for Athena triathletes (women who weight 165lbs or more, or those who used to be that size). As well as being a supportive community, there are some amazing triathletes who regularly debate whether they want to compete as an Athena or in their Age Group, with both being tough categories. I know plenty of people who are slim, but extremely unfit, so I’d prefer to be slightly overweight, but fit and healthy.


I’ve a lot of thoughts about the place of women in sport and the issues we face, but to write about them all in one post would take me too long. I’m in the process of writing something about my thoughts on women-only races, but would love to hear you thoughts about the issues women face.

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Monday Morning Motivation – I also know the off-side rule

4 Jul

This Girl Can advert

Too often we make assumptions about what people can/cannot do and what they might know. I’ve experienced this when visiting bike shops. All too often the male sales assistant will patronise me and assume that I know nothing about bikes – I might not be an expert, but you can guarantee that I’ll have read up on what I want.

Some great advice that I was given was to assume that someone knows an average amount and then ask a few questions to see whether you need to pitch your discussion higher or lower.

Save

Monday Morning Motivation – Feeling like a fox

20 Jun

This Girl Can advert

You don’t have to look good to feel good! Unfortunately, too often women are expected to prize their physical appearance over the ability to take on physical challenges as brilliantly exemplified by this video:

Save

Monday Morning Motivation – Stare all you like!

6 Jun

This Girl Can advert

One of the most memorable posters in the ‘This Girl Can’ campaign featured Cassie Cava (@onelegdontcare)

In an interview with Marie-Claire, Cassie said:

I’m most proud of the fact that I’ve been able to hold onto that unrelenting belief that things would work out and I could embrace the change.

Just get out there and give it a go. I think that life is far too short to worry about what other people think, and whatever it is that you enjoy, you should get out there and do it.

I know all too well what it’s like to be constantly stared at and if people stare, you should just let them, because it doesn’t matter – you don’t have to be the best. You should just put aside all of those doubts and fears of judgement and failure, put them all aside and just give it a go.

It’s about having the courage to try things out and to get involved with sport and exercise, even if you’re worried about it. I want to confront people’s perceptions and change the way people look at it, because you don’t have to be the person that people think you are. Anyone can be involved in sport.

Cassie is not only an inspirational young women, she’s also talented. Cassie is a paratriathlete on the GB Talent Squad and snowboarder on the GB Parasnowboard Development Team! She also writes a fantastic blog: One Leg Don’t Care.

Save