“I don’t know, I’m just so, I guess… disenchanted by the whole thing,” a twenty-something young man walking the opposite direction was saying into his cell phone. As our family hurried into the Essex Junction Exposition, weighted down with an impressive assortment of snacks, hats, blankets and sunscreen, I didn’t have much time to ponder this statement. After all, we had an urgent roster of tasks to accomplish in the next 30 minutes— 1. Register, 2. Visit Bathroom, 3. Find Our Schoolmates, and 4. Get Daughter’s Hair And Face Painted in Garish, Girly Colors— in that order.
We were walking with the stream-like flow of hundreds of other families and seemingly ka-jillions of young Vermont girls into the fairgrounds for one of the most highly anticipated events of our Spring: the Girls On the Run 5K.
For those of you without girls in third grade or older, I will explain that Girls on the Run, along with its partner program for older girls Girls on Track, is something of a phenomenon. The idea, as I understand it, is to combine exercise and healthy living with self-esteem to prepare girls for the onslaught of negative emotions and body image that await them as tweens, teens, and young adults. “Education and preparing girls for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living,” is the motto posted on the banner of the non-profit’s website, which boasts “more than 150 Girls on the Run councils across the United States and Canada.”
But wait, it gets better. On the “Our Program” page under “Vision” the final goal listed is “to assist in nothing less that a complete transformation in the way girls and women perceive themselves and their place in society.” Continue reading Throwing the Tiger out with the Bathwater