February 11, 2007

Bitch ph.D.'s Heroine of the week: Commentary on a NYTimes article on weight and fitness in women's sport:

Paris is a hell of an athlete--"last season as a freshman she became the first collegiate player, man or woman, to collect at least 700 points, 500 rebounds and 100 blocked shots in a season"--and the only reason I've heard of her is because I clicked on a story about women and weight in the NYT? We've got to, as a culture, get our heads out of our asses. Courtney Paris oughta be better-known than Paris Hilton.* Maybe in four years, when she's playing for the WNBA, she will be.

posted by Fence to culture at 05:16 AM - 13 comments

And in case that starts to need a login to access the NYTimes article bugmenot says to use SHAG-MODO as username and password.

posted by Fence at 05:17 AM on February 11, 2007

Courtney Paris oughta be better-known than Paris Hilton.* Maybe in four years, when she's playing for the WNBA, she will be. I think the odds that a WNBA player will be better known than a popular media-whore are slim to nil. That said, I hope her popularity does increase and give people an alternate view of what "healthy" really is supposed to mean. BTW: you can access the same article without worrying about registration by clicking on the Google-linked version at SFGate.com.

posted by grum@work at 10:17 AM on February 11, 2007

Use of the prefix 'media' is superfluous, just my opinion.

posted by tommybiden at 10:57 AM on February 11, 2007

She might become better known than that other Paris but the gist of the article reflects her success in spite of her size,which she inherited from her NFL father. The problem I have is that it while it tells youth that you can succeed in sports if you are young and huge, it also partially legitimizes the obesity epidemic the Western World. I don't feel good for this girl when she approaches middle age.

posted by sickleguy at 12:50 PM on February 11, 2007

Sickleguy, you don't know what you're talking about. If Courtney Paris inherited her size from her father, then it's natural and healthy for her to be that size. Legitimizes the obesity epidemic? Come on! This is a woman who's pulling down rebounds every night, not sitting on the couch scarfing donuts. Inactivity makes you obese. Basketball has the opposite effect. When she approaches middle age, she'll have the advantage of a lifetime of working out and eating healthy to stay in playing shape. I'll just be glad for the day when we can watch sports just to watch great athletes do what they do best, not for the sociological and political messages that athletes' bodies convey. Thanks for the article, Fence.

posted by ridadie2005 at 01:25 PM on February 11, 2007

Hey rid; this is not sociology or politics. If you would have read the Times article you would realize that.Her father,Bubba Parks was thrown off of the 49ers for uncontrollable weight. Didn't we just discuss the fate of football players and the fact that many are either deceased or have serious health issues in their 40s and 50s?

posted by sickleguy at 01:36 PM on February 11, 2007

About a year ago my kid (now 18) weighed around 250. The doctor told him he needed more exercise, so he went out for track (shot put), then football. Between his time in the weight room and in practice, he is now at 285. In his latest trip to the doctor (for a sprained ankle playing basketball) the doctor meekly said, "Well, you are getting some exercise." My kid is not fat, just huge. His grandfather (my wife's dad) was close to 300 pounds, and he lived well into his 80s. Had he not fallen down stairs, he would probably still be alive today in his 90s. My point is that genetics probably have more to do with life expectancy than any other factor. If Ms Paris is in shape, and her ancestors were reasonably long-lived, she will be too. Of course she can't just stop exercising when she stops athletics, but if she maintains her health and nutrition reasonably well, she should be no different from anyone else.

posted by Howard_T at 01:52 PM on February 11, 2007

I bet Jim Fixx would agree with Howard. "Thank god, then, for women's sports, where finally we can talk about and admire women's bodies in terms of what they do" There are many of us out here who find athletic women incredibly more attractive and interesting than the barbie doll-types. I can see sickle's point, some folks just accepting being big because they're lazy and have poor habits. Ms. Paris obviously isn't in that category, but where I live, you cant throw a stone without hitting someone plowing through a pizza, sitting on the couch watching TV, blaming genetics for their chub. So, like anything else, there will be those who only see and hear what they want to see and hear. I think the positives of Paris outweigh (ahem) the negatives. I love those girls in the banner picture of that blog. If I have a daughter I want her to be like that. On edit: I really hope my above comment doesn't come off sounding like it objectifies women, because, believe me, that's not what I mean. I am not like that at all. I just was trying to show that, similar to how all women can't just be compartmentalized, same goes for men.

posted by SummersEve at 03:13 PM on February 11, 2007

Given the previous coverage(which I meant to mention in the OP, but was heading out to the rugby, which no one is allowed mention. I'm in mourning, and so was distracted) of Serena Williams and her being "too fat" I think it is an interesting article. Obviously there are a lot slimmer tennis players out there, but there aren't too many that are better. Just look at some fitness ads to see how being fit is marketed differently to men and women. For men it all about putting on muscle and beefing up. For women, it is all about being slim, leaner and toned. A fact made, I think, in one of the comments on the blog.

posted by Fence at 03:53 PM on February 11, 2007

Howard_T's comment about his kid provides a reason why the numbers on the scale can lead you in unhealthy directions, particularly when talking about young female athletes who are starting to get serious about conditioning and strength training. A lot of things are going on in the body of a young athlete, and it's a bad idea to simply say, "Weight gain bad, weight loss good."

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:39 PM on February 11, 2007

Good for Russell Crowe. Because of the Rabbitohs, I might even get back into League again. But I still won't go an see 30 Odd Foot of Grunt at the Yamba Bowling Club, Russ, even if you build a shrine for Germaine Greer in your backyard.

posted by owlhouse at 03:17 AM on February 12, 2007

First of all Courtney Paris will never be as famous as Paris Hilton. The only way that would be possible is if she made it to the NBA. Second, who cares? As long as she is successful and recognized in her sport it really doesn't matter if she is more famous than anyone else. Its apples and oranges. Third, I have always admired women in sports, problem is not enough people do. Fourth, who is Russel Crowe?

posted by OneLbRibEye at 12:40 PM on February 12, 2007

What an odd discussion- and did anyone find it bizarre that in the article, they listed her weight?

But one piece of information about Paris is not made public by the university: her weight. [...] Courtney Paris' father weighed more than 330 pounds when he was in the NFL He was cut by the 49ers in 1991 when he failed to make their weight requirement of 325 pounds. Overman said he wanted Courtney Paris to lose about 15 pounds, from 240 to 225, so that she could lessen the stress on her body while extending her stamina and the length of her career. (emphasis my own)
Although at 6'4" and built like a brick shithouse- that "female Shaq" comparison made sure looks accurate, if she's been routinely putting up nights were she pulls down in excess of 40/20- I don't even know that 225/240 is that heavy for her. Her dad was in the NFL, her brothers range from 6'4" to 6'8" in height, she's 6'4" herself- let's face it, she's always going to be a big woman! Unhealthy would be expecting her to slim way down to a weight that isn't right for her size and bone structure. I'd hazard that she is, at 19 and playing basketball regularly at a competitive level, far far healthier than almost every SpoFi member.

posted by hincandenza at 01:04 PM on February 13, 2007

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