This is Alex, then, age 10. The photo below hers is Hope Solo, world renowned athlete, #1 goalie in US and International Women's Soccer. Uncanny, isn't it?
Hope Solo has been Alex's idol since forever. Out of the 8 years Alex has played soccer, 7 of them have been as the goalie. There are soccer posters covering her walls, including those of Hope. So when we heard Hope would be on "Dancing With the Stars," something we'd never watched before, we tuned in. We waited. And we watched.
The segment with Hope began, with her stumbling around in the unfamiliar heels, dancing. She went thru the physical transformation first, with the big hair, the makeup, the dress.... a pink sparkly feathery number, backless and cut-to-the-ass-crack, "And," Hope explains to the camera, "with the sleeves specially designed to camoflauge my muscular arms." Um. Oh. Let me just say, Alex- age 12- worked all summer on her upper body strength, to have arms just like that. The look on her face when Hope said that still haunts me. Needless to say, that's when we stopped watching, and had a long talk about what we had just witnessed.
I've always taught my girls never to allow someone else to treat you in a way that degrades you. Ever. Now, thanks to this, we have another rule. Never allow anyone to talk you into degrading yourself. Ever. What a fiasco. Was any thought at all given to the millions of young girls that would be tuning in to watch their idol on this ridiculous show? Apparently not.
I can't help but think this was probably a 100% success for some people. There is now one less-powerful woman in the world. And millions of little girls have a brand new shadow of a doubt when it comes to setting goals for themselves in the wonderful wide world of sports. I'm really pissed off to feel this way. As women, we cannot afford to take any more steps backwards. Our daughters deserve better. The women our sons or daughters grow up to marry deserve better. We deserve better.
Final score? Oppression 1, Hope Solo.. Zero.