The Portrayal of Female Athletes in Film Essay

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The Portrayal of Female Athletes in Film Portrayals and stories of women in sport and film are varied and unique to the woman, but some common threads can be found throughout these films. Understanding the culture of sport and how women are depicted as athletes in movies shows how society at large views women. The perseverance and strength of women athletes in unjust or unfair situations regarding their sport is a very important and all too common theme. Often in movies with women athletes, are breaking a mold or breaking assumptions about women. Such is the case in the three movies I will examine further: Bend It Like Beckham, Girl Fight, and Love and Basketball. Another main theme of women in sport and film is the unifying nature of…show more content…
Her mother wishes she would espouse a more feminine lifestyle instead of doing 'masculine' things like run, sweat, be competitive, active, and play sports and interact physically with boys. In Girl Fight, many of the same issues are touched upon, and a few new ones are added. Diana, the protagonist whose struggle is to train to be a boxer in a poor neighborhood and to live in a world that expects very little of her. The dimension of a boyfriend is added into this movie, as opposed to Bend It Like Beckham, where the love story takes a much lesser role. She has to wrestle (no pun intended) with how to balance her growing athletic career with her loyalty to her boyfriend, who is also a boxer. She eventually has to fight him in the ring, perhaps symbolic of the greater fight she has to deal with being a female boxer in a male boxer's world. She also quite literally fights with the other major male influence in her life, her abusive father. Symbolic also because her mother, most probably feeling there was no other way out, felt she needed to commit suicide rather than live in an abusive relationship and in a world with few opportunities. Rather than fighting, her mother gives up, where Diana confronts and beats (literally and physically) the odds stacked against her. Love and Basketball also spoke to the theme of women athletes being required to make the choice between a personal and a professional life in order to be successful. Monica and her boyfriend, both
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