Location

Parker-Reed, SSWAC

Start Date

1-5-2014 10:00 AM

End Date

1-5-2014 11:00 AM

Project Type

Poster

Description

There are strong societal norms around what it means to be a woman and be an athlete. These norms get reinforced so much that female athletes internalize these ideas to the point that they begin to change their habits to better fit the demands of society. Being an athlete at a high level creates physical pressures for young women, but the extra mental pressures forced upon them can be detrimental both mentally and physically. The months I spent researching female athletes at Colby were intended to help answer several questions. The first was what pressures female athletes felt that they faced and where they came from. The second was to understand how women internalized these pressures and monitored themselves and others to either accept these standards or reject them. The third was to see how these pressures affected women in regards to health related issues. By choosing to become an athlete at the collegiate level, women put themselves at an increased risk for physical harm to their body, either by the dangers of the sport or through excessively working out and counting calories. Through the pressures placed on female athletes to be both the ideal women and the ideal athlete, they are forced to make difficult decisions regarding their health. Young women take these pressures and ideals and internalize them to the extent that they control what they do to their body. Female athletes monitor each other through competition and judgment, which can influence each others actions. However, they also monitor themselves in order to comply with the standards that society has put in place for them. By policing others, female athletes internalize this idea of the norm, which in turn polices themselves.

Sponsoring Department

Colby College. Anthropology Dept.

CLAS Field of Study

Social Sciences

Event Website

http://www.colby.edu/clas

ID

64

Included in

Sociology Commons

Share

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May 1st, 10:00 AM May 1st, 11:00 AM

It's Just a Number: Influences of Body Image Pressures on DIII Female Athletes

Parker-Reed, SSWAC

There are strong societal norms around what it means to be a woman and be an athlete. These norms get reinforced so much that female athletes internalize these ideas to the point that they begin to change their habits to better fit the demands of society. Being an athlete at a high level creates physical pressures for young women, but the extra mental pressures forced upon them can be detrimental both mentally and physically. The months I spent researching female athletes at Colby were intended to help answer several questions. The first was what pressures female athletes felt that they faced and where they came from. The second was to understand how women internalized these pressures and monitored themselves and others to either accept these standards or reject them. The third was to see how these pressures affected women in regards to health related issues. By choosing to become an athlete at the collegiate level, women put themselves at an increased risk for physical harm to their body, either by the dangers of the sport or through excessively working out and counting calories. Through the pressures placed on female athletes to be both the ideal women and the ideal athlete, they are forced to make difficult decisions regarding their health. Young women take these pressures and ideals and internalize them to the extent that they control what they do to their body. Female athletes monitor each other through competition and judgment, which can influence each others actions. However, they also monitor themselves in order to comply with the standards that society has put in place for them. By policing others, female athletes internalize this idea of the norm, which in turn polices themselves.

http://digitalcommons.colby.edu/clas/2014/program/96