Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Billies

I forgot to blog about this year's Billies held a couple of weeks ago in Beverly Hills. In addition to BJK herself, good pal Elton John showed up to entertain, Sharon Stone, Geena Davis, and various assorted sports celebs were on hand.
I always thought it was unusual that there's this big awards event whose name is meant to invoke other big-time awards events but they only give out about four awards. The Billies celebrate positive media coverage and representations of girls' and women's sports. For example, this year the MTV series MADE won a Billie in the Breakthrough and Innovation category. This doesn't exactly thrill me because it seems to laud the whole series rather than the few episodes in which girls are "made" into athletes. Some of the episodes are hideous examples of conformist (to heteronormative femininity) behaviors. (See, for example, any of the ones were the outsider girl want to be made into prom queen or homecoming queen or the popular girl or a cheerleader.)
I think the Billies should expand their scope and give awards to athletes and activists and organizations who have made strides in promoting girls' and women's sports through various means throughout the world. (Damnit! That's what I should have said to BJK in the Cleveland airport!)
An important note about this year's Billies: like BJK's World Team Tennis, they went green. The end of the article at the Women's Sports Foundation website (money generated from the event goes to WSF programs) noted this:
Special thanks to the Giant Steps Foundation for helping make this year's The Billies a completely green event. Programs were printed on post-consumer recycled paper, energy was wind-powered, and fair trade coffee and an all-organic menu were served.
Unfortunately none of the media coverage of the event (outside of WSF's own press release) mentions the greening of the awards.

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