The Olympics have an illustrious history including historical events taking place during their weeks long events. From Hitler opening the 1936 Olympic games to the terrorist attacks in the 1972 Munich games. The 31st Summer Olympics kicked off officially on August 5th. The Rio Olympics, while being the first South American country to host, has been bogged with controversies and protests. This Rio Olympics are set to etch its own history, but hopefully not for a devastating event but for its progress. Continue reading “I’ve Got that Rio Fever by Anjeanette LeBoeuf”
What I’m Wearing to the Pool and What it Means, by Sara Frykenberg
Recently a FAR colleague sent us writers an article entitled, “Toward a New Understanding of Modesty,” and asked if any of us would like to comment on it. I dove at the chance, pun intended. Not only did the article address the politics of swimwear (a kind of clothing I spent nearly a third of my life wearing everyday, swimming competitively for eight years), it also discussed the swimsuit designs of Jessica Rey – a former Power Ranger, the white-suited one to be specific.
The article’s author, Katelyn Beaty, explains that Rey believes, “that the now-ubiquitous bikini hurts women” because it encourages men to see women as objects to be used. Beaty states, “Rey has a mission: to get as many women as possible in one-piece swimsuits.” This mission immediately perked my attention. As a Power Ranger, Alyssa (Rey) is all too familiar with the utility of a shining, stretchy body suit. Armored head to toe in white, pink and gold lycra and spandex, sporting a skirt over her leggings, Alyssa defeats many monsters in the Power Ranger universe.
But fantasy aside, the utilitarian nature of swimwear is often overlooked in deference to “sexiness” and fashion. Bikinis are featured in most fashion magazines as the standard for bathing beauty, as is the ‘ability’ (or supposed ‘right kind of body’) to wear a bikini, aka the elusive “bikini body.”
Continue reading “What I’m Wearing to the Pool and What it Means, by Sara Frykenberg”
Olympic Inspiration: My Athletic Mirror by Sara Frykenberg
What I realized was that my ability was different from hers and that I really could, as in ‘I had the ability to,’ decrease our time. I carried our arms differently; and it surprised me. I’ve never forgotten this sudden sense of myself and of my own power.
Watching the Olympics this week, I found myself very inspired… and very reflective. You see I was once an athlete. Not an Olympic caliber athlete, but an athlete none-the-less. I swam competitively for eight years. My events were the 100 and 200 freestyle and the 200 and 400 Individual Medley. I started swimming in 8th grade. I worked out 30 hours a week through my last two years of high school; and I was relieved when I started swimming for an NCAA division one team in college because the NCAA limited workout hours to *approximately* 20 per week—so I had more time to study. I was a swimmer and I was completely dedicated to my sport.
But as I got older, my times slowed and I no longer felt successful; so I began to deny myself the title “athlete.” It’s still hard for me to claim this title (even when applying it to the past) because my body has changed so much, as has my competitive drive. I am more comfortable identifying as an academic. Plus, as therapy and my feminist academic studies helped me to realize, I had often used my swimming to physically punish myself, literally. Continue reading “Olympic Inspiration: My Athletic Mirror by Sara Frykenberg”