An Open Letter to Weight Watchers

oprah-weight-watchers

Dear Weight Watchers:

Thanks to your new spokesperson, Oprah Winfrey, you’ve been getting more airtime and press than usual recently. I’ll add my voice to those, like MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry, who feel compelled to look beyond the pitch for a weight loss program and call out the unintentionally harmful messages — subtle and blatant — you’re sending to women and girls.

“I worry, as a mom and as a woman, about the messages our daughters receive if they think a woman as phenomenal as you is not enough unless she is thin.

Who you are, what you have accomplished, how you have influenced and altered the world is all so much more important than your dress size. There is not one thing that you have done that would have been more extraordinary if you’d done it with a 25-inch waist.”
Melissa Harris-Perry

As a mother of a teenage girl and as the founder of a business dedicated to empowering girls in sports and in life, I see the focus on the weight number as a trap.

Like a ball and chain, the notion of a magical goal number on the scale weighs us down and keeps us — women and girls — from achieving our dreams. How many times have we said or heard, “If only I weighed less, I’d be able to [insert goal here]?” Make the team, get into a better college, have more friends, be more successful, be more beautiful, be happier.

My goal is to free girls from the emotional baggage of social expectations on weight and body image. There is no one right or perfect body type; women and girls come in all shapes and sizes. They are all powerful and beautiful.

Oprah has power and influence and is respected worldwide for her business acumen, acting talents, philanthropy — for her humanity. She has earned all that and more because of who she is — not because of the number of pounds she weighs or the size clothing she wears.

But rather than blame Oprah, I’d like to offer a possible solution to Weight Watchers. In this new year, I urge the company to rebrand and refocus its mission and message. Success in life isn’t about watching your weight. Success in life is about emotional and physical well-being; life is about actualizing your potential.

Instead of a fellowship around the scale, how about a fellowship of activity and wellness? Instead of selling prepackaged processed foods, how about promoting nutrition information and healthy cooking classes?

Most importantly, Weight Watchers, I encourage you to change your messaging. While you have male and female members, the vast majority of your messages are aimed at females and feed the toxic media messages about body image that bombard women and girls daily.

What I wish you would say, in a national advertising campaign, is what so many of us say to young women and girls every day:

“You are an amazing human being. You are enough as you are. Be healthy so you’ll live a long life. Follow your dreams and go after the big goals you’ve set. The world needs you — regardless of your shape or size. And I believe in YOU!”

 

Sincerely,
MaryAnne Gucciardi, Founder and CEO of Dragonwing girlgear

Honoring Dr. King’s Legacy

 

On this day honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I will take the time to read his speech from The March on Washington in 1963, often called the “I Have a Dream” speech.

As always, I am moved by the eloquence and power of his words. I am grateful for the efforts, sacrifices, and courageous acts — large and small — that have resulted in expanded civil rights for millions in our country. And I am reminded of the work that remains to be done — work that I and WE need to do — to help make Dr. King’s dream a reality.

mlk

If you would like to read Dr. King’s speech from the March on Washington or any of his other works, you can find them online at The King Center.

New Year, New Gear for Athletic Girls

 

Relax we've got your new athletic gear for girls

 

In this month of new beginnings, we’re delighted to introduce some fabulous new products for sports girls. Now’s the time to discover the Dragonwing Difference of perfect fit, soft & snug stretch, high tech wicking fabric, and I-don’t-even-know-it’s-there comfort, all designed just for girls.

TAP photos for more info and to shop.

Game On Headbandsoft, stretchy, non-slip (thanks to double strips of silicone on the inside) to keep hair out of your face, so you can focus on your game. In 5 great colors.

GameOne Sports Headbands for Girls

 

Keyhole Sports Bra — now in Chartreuse with Azure Blue trim! Super comfortable, soft and snug, double thickness for coverage, moisture-wicking and antimicrobial — what more could a girl want?!

Keyhole sports bra for girls, now in chartreuse green with azure blue trim

 

Winter Bundle: girls leggings plus 2 sports bras for $100 (savings of more than $15). Stay warm, dry, and comfortable!

Leggings for girls plus 2 sports bras for $100

 

The Best Thing a Girl Can Say About a Bra

 

Most people don’t talk much about their underwear. And if you’re a preteen or teen girl, it’s likely you really don’t want to talk about your bra, especially your first bra, with anyone.

That’s why we’re always thrilled when we hear that girls love their Dragonwing sports bras, not just because of the perfect fit but because it’s so comfortable that they aren’t even aware of it. In fact, the most frequent comment we hear is some version of “I forgot I was even wearing a bra.”

That’s what Diane P. wrote to tell us after she bought her daughter our Racer Sports Bra in black with teal trim.

“My daughter says she doesn’t even realize she has it on because it doesn’t dig or irritate her skin. She is super sensitive so that is saying something.  I will be ordering another one soon…. Thanks again.  Love the product.”

 

Review of Racer Sports Bra for Girls: My daughter says she doesn't even realize she has it on.

 

What are YOU or your daughter looking for in a bra? Please tell us in the comments.

 

Recovering from a Climbing Concussion

I celebrated my 14th birthday in December by doing a mock regionals and our gym’s first ever lock-in. Those were great, but, hands down, this has been one of the hardest months for me.

On December 7th, I went to climbing class with a great attitude considering it was the last push before regionals. Our coaches decided to have us on ropes. My friend Iza and I were partners, and she was leading a tricky route. When she was at the third clip going for a small crimp, she fell. The heel of her foot whammed into my head, but fortunately I was still able to catch her.

Rock climbing teammates
Not being able to compete because of a concussion was tough, but my teammates and coaches were awesome!

At first we laughed and giggled, after five minutes, I found myself sitting on the bench, feeling very lethargic and sleepy and holding an ice pack on my head. My coach Tim made a great call and recommended my mother pick me up and take me to the emergency room. I was dizzy and very slow walking on our way in to the ER. As soon as we explained my injury was from rock climbing, the medical team took it a bit more seriously and ran me through some tests, balancing and remembering numbers.

As soon as they said I had a mild concussion, tears started pouring down my face. I knew what was going to happen – that I’d have to miss regionals. I knew in the back of my mind I wouldn’t be able to compete, but I didn’t want to let it come true.

I stayed home from school for three days. I needed the rest, but I was very sad even thinking about climbing. I’d spent the whole season working up to this one competition, and now it was all wasted. On Wednesday, I went to climbing class because it’s a team sport. It was hard being in the background watching everybody else climb. Again my amazing coaches helped me get through this hard time and put positive thoughts in my head.

By Friday, I was sadly still having headaches and made the call to not compete on Saturday. I attended the event and watched my teammates compete. They did an amazing job!

I was back to normal the next week and was cleared by my doctor to start lightly climbing again. Now it is winter break, and it feels great to relax and enjoy winter here in Colorado. I wish all Dragonwing girls happy holidays and a wonderful start to the New Year.