Thursday, August 18, 2016

You Can't Hate The Pretty Girl

I hate the Olympics for all the reasons I stated here. I'm just not sure you can be a good person and root for such an awful occasion.

Still, I find myself recording events, skipping past the awful commentary to get to the races, explaining to kids that they have watch Michael Phelps because he is the greatest swimmer they will ever see, and rooting along with my kids for the "pretty girl" - gymnast Laurie Hernandez. Before you jump all over me, we don't emphasis looks. I'll mention that a particular act seems hard, or that the athlete must have practiced a lot and worked really hard to accomplish something. That is my parenting style: I compliment the work, effort and time it took to do something. I didn't come up with the nickname.

We were watching gymnastics and one of the kids said "she is pretty." It was probably my daughter, because she is always noticing people's eyes and marking them as "pretty." And as kids will do, that comment morphed into Hernandez being "the pretty girl." Even though I'm fairly sure they called all of the gymnasts on the United States team "pretty" at one point.

Rampant sexism and body image/definition of beauty concerns. Chalk that up to another reason to hate the Olympics, I suppose. I won't judge.

At least Hernandez wins the gold in the pretty girl olympics, I guess. She also managed to avoid being trashed for not showing the appropriate amount of respect during the medal ceremony and wasn't called the saddest gold medalist in Rio, so there is that.

The Olympics have almost run their course, and I really hoped to have come up with a smart sounding reason for my change of heart. Maybe it was the kids. Maybe it was perspective. Maybe it was the changes in the socio-economic interplay between Russia and the United States?

Something.

Nothing.

That is what I can tell you. Truth be told, we watched gymnastics and some swimming and a little tiny bit of diving and ... that was it. So I can't even blame the kids. They almost don't care what is happening at the Olympics.

Except for the pretty girl.

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