Some kinds of sexism kind of liberating

There is a great article in Canada’s National Post, A Weighty Issue at the Olympics: Swimmer Leisel Jones is Fit not Fat. It documents the policing of women’s weight in the context of the Olympics. Swimmer Leisel Jones, the Brazilian women’s soccer team, heptathletes Louise Hazel and Jessica Ennis-and the British women’s beach volleyball team have all been called “fat.” I must say that in an odd way I’ve been finding the media’s scrutiny of the bodies of the women athletes competing in the Olympics liberating. First, there’s the debates about gender testing and body policing. Because we all know real athletes can’t actually be female. But there is also the attention paid to the size of the bodies of women athletes, rather than to their athletic achievements and performance. You see for years I’ve wanted to look like the recreational athlete I am, to have people see me and recognize the hours and effort I put in. However, I now see that’s completely unrealistic. If the media are going to harp on about the weight of women who have qualified for the Olympics, the rest of us don’t stand a chance. Athletes aren’t built like fashion models. Surprise, surprise. Clearly a healthier attitude is to give up noticing what the rest of the world thinks because clearly lots of the world is far out of tune with the reality of what athletes look like.