Little girls in pretty boxes by Joan Ryan

Essay by aumockaaCollege, UndergraduateA+, May 2002

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"Little girls in pretty Boxes" By Joan Ryan

In Joan Ryan's essay, "Little Girls in pretty Boxes" Ryan explains the toll professional gymnasts and Figure skaters place on their bodies. She explains how media and culture place humanly unreachable and unhealthy goals in young girls minds.

In our society today bulimia and Anorexia are very popular among teenage girls. Females in general usually have a poor body image. Even very young girls will go to great lengths to feel better about how they look.

Problems with anorexia and bulimia are even more present in Gymnasts and Figure skaters than in the general female public.

Elite gymnasts and figure skaters endure immense ridicule and often-impossible schedules. Girls as young as thirteen are convinced to drop out of school and become a superhero-like figure. By superhero-like I mean, these girls go beyond normal human ability. They push their bodies to the limit ignoring pain, even serious injury.

They stop eating because they are told by their coaches that they look like "cows" or "pigs." They start training everyday up to and sometimes more than eight hours.

The coach is not the only negative influence upon these young girls. Our society today doesn't leave any room for mistakes or differences. Today the slightest bulge on a womans or young girls body makes them fat or over weight, not only in other peoples eyes but also, and more importantly, in their own eyes.

In society today the images of the "perfect woman" have lead the majority of young girls to anorexia, bulimia or binge eating. In some cases these behaviors lead to death.

In order to be a champion these girls have to be extraordinary-abnormally skinny, good-looking, graceful, talented and smart. These sports bring an excessive amount of emotional pain upon...