DEN4(part2) - Brittney Harris Responding to: "Little...

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Brittney Harris Responding to: “Little Girls in Pretty Boxes” by Joan Ryan Subject: Chapter Two through Epilogue 24 April 2007 Record React “An elite gymnast’s career is a race against time and nature.” (pg.66) “Their bodies must be perfectly lean. Their hair must be perfectly coiffed, their behavior perfectly polite, their movements perfectly precise. Both sports grade on a scale that begins at perfection and drops with each mistake.” (pg.139) “She learned, as elite gymnasts do, to seal her emotions in little boxes and store them somewhere dark and deep.” (pg.57) “Put your hair in a bow. Don’t talk back. Forget the pain. Lose weight. Be tough. Be quiet. Smile pretty.” (pg.60) “Like stress fractures and torn muscles, vomiting was simply another unavoidable insult to her body would have to tolerate if she was going to survive in elite gymnastics.” (pg.75) “They are the pink ballerinas inside a child’s jewelry box, always perfectly positioned, perfectly coiffed. They spin on demand without complaint. When one breaks, another pops up from the next box. To close the lid is to close down that part of our soul that still wants to believe in beautiful princesses and happy endings.” (pg. 243) Gymnasts learned their way to stardom early because of the demanding physical requirements. They learn their roles even earlier. A role is set of expectations, rights, obligations, and behaviors associated with a particular social position. In this business you must be skinny and beautiful to get anywhere. There were certain rituals that girls went through to stay able to participate. A ritual is a regularly practiced action. The girls would regularly binge and purge while becoming bulimic and anorexic so they could stay the ideal weight and look of a gymnast. These were the basics of their status as a gymnast. A status is a recognized social position. The
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This note was uploaded on 04/12/2008 for the course SOCL 203 taught by Professor Lewis during the Spring '07 term at Christopher Newport University.

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DEN4(part2) - Brittney Harris Responding to: "Little...

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