It’s a truism that if you want to see great representations of women on TV, watch women’s sports. I say this as someone who resisted the strange, overwrought cult of sports for most of my life.
Then I started watching gymnastics and resigned myself to being a cult member.
I love watching gymnastics for many reasons, but most of all, it’s the stories I’m drawn to. Stories of superhuman strength. Stories of all-too-human vulnerability. Comeback stories. Clawing-your-way-to-the-top stories. What’s best of all is that these stories all feature women.
The TV landscape may be getting better, but it still has an overwhelming tendency to put women into ‘girlfriend’ or ‘mother’ boxes. For stories of women who are so much more than either of those roles, you can’t beat women’s artistic gymnastics.