Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Power Stretch

I pull the clothing catalog out of the mailbox and glance at it.
Some decisions are easy.   I toss the
magazine into the recycling bin. From front cover to back, this company preaches that it's okay to wear tight-fitting dresses with plunging necklines.  And that busty plus thin equals beautiful. Not a message my daughter and I need to hear.

But there's a catalog that always makes it into the house. It's from Athleta, a company that sells women's athletic clothing. Their motto is, "Power to the She." I make a point of sitting on the sofa with my eight-year-old daughter to flip through the pages. The models are athletes in real life, and they are pictured riding surf boards or running or in stretch positions. We try to duplicate the poses.

"Can you do that one?" I ask my daughter as I point to a model who has her foot behind her ear. My flexible little girl is much better than I at holding the pose. I blame my sciatica.

This is what I want my daughter to see -- real, healthy women taking on physical challenges. Granted, the models are slender, and that may be annoying to healthy women who are not as small. And I know the marketing people at Athleta make sure the sports bras and yoga pants look good on these women. They probably digitally enhance the photos just as much as the next company. But at least Athleta focuses on strength and confidence. Their message: what a woman can do is at least as important as how she looks.

I'll take it. Any catalog that promotes a woman's strength and accomplishment is welcome in my house.

Power to the She.

Yes, indeed.

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