Over the last few days links to a Salon article have come up in my fb newsfeed. So with a little digging I found the original NY Times article. My immediate response is would this ever happen in an article on men’s sports! My guess is the editor would have laughed him right out of the room, probably taking is press credentials as he left. I don’t mind being impressed when someone who is vertically challenged makes it in world of sports, because it means they’ve done the work to get there and have proven their skill level. I’d have thought by now with Serena more than proving her skill level that her “body type” and “body image” would be not part of the conversation. Given the comments by other athletes this is clearly not the case, their concern for body image, not everyone can be model thin and “girlie”, it is an unreasonable expectation of genetics.
What I’m impressed with is that these women have made it. They have worked hard, played hard, learned how to practice, practice, practice. They’ve learned how to move through defeat, because you know they don’t always win and show up for the next big game. They don’t give up. They listen to coaches, watch other players and look for ways to improve their skill. They do the work.
Who gives a rat’s ample booty what their body looks like? Some of these women are “older”, meaning in their 30’s, and still competing! We all know our bodies change, our metabolism changes over the years and these women are still doing the work and competing! Think about this too, Misty Copeland was just named principle dancer at 32, in a field of 20 somethings. This woman show up to do the work! I’m more impressed with all of these women showing up to do the work than their body type.
As quilters, it’s the same thing our body type doesn’t matter. We’re quilters. We can show up to quilt every.single.day. There are teachers, authors and pattern writers who will help us but ultimately we have to show up and do the work to complete the quilts we want to complete. We have to show up. We have to do the work. Nobody is going to write the book for me or make the quilts for the book (well that’s not true I’m sure I could get help with that). Nobody is going to quilt my competition quilts for me (yes, yes there are quilters for hire and I think they’re amazing). There are no tips, tricks or hints that will ever improve my skill unless I show up at the mat, ruler in one hand, rotary cutter in the other and do the work. My machine quilting skill will only improve when I practice, with the good stuff, and learn how to balance tension, learn about color and take the risk of putting my work out there for others to see.
I think it’s important that we change the discussion from body image and type to Wow this woman has some serious skill! Let’s forget what our bodies look like and improve our skills, recognize the skills in other quilters, other women, and do the work to get where we want to go. Let’s show up like Serena, Maria, Misty, and every single quilter who works in the industry in one way or another. Quilters come in all shapes and sizes, just like quilts.