Wednesday, February 21, 2007

One of these is not like the others

I do not watch The Apprentice but I have been curious about what has been going on this season because this is the season that includes an Olympic athlete chosen by the viewers during last year's Turino Olympics. Hockey player Angela Ruggiero won.

As much as I love hockey and admire Ruggiero, it's still not enough to get me to watch. I only caught the very end of the first episode. And then I watched some clips of Ruggiero online.

Curious, I checked back in to the website yesterday to see if she was still in the game. She is. I also found her profile that includes a bio, pics (including this one), and video. Underneath the pictures is a message board. This in itself is an issue because it implicitly encourages people to comment on the photos rather than just their performance.

Anyway, from the first day they all lined up to meet The Donald it was clear that Ruggiero was not like the other women. Sure, she's blond with a bright smile. But she is not a size 4 and her upper arms cannot be snapped in half like twigs. The woman has muscles. She is the best defensive player in women's hockey. Her 5'10" muscular frame is an asset in her sport.

Unfortunately because she does not fit normative beauty ideals, commenters on the message board have taken the opportunity to question her credentials, her sexuality, and disparage her body.

No one was commenting on her size when she was using it (and her skating and stick skills) to take Harvard to the Frozen Four or the US to three Olympic medals.

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