Capstone Challenge 1

The beginning of the Capstone journey was intimidating to say the least. I wanted to choose a topic that not only would keep me engaged and entertained the entire semester, but would also invigorate a conversation within a larger audience. I have landed on the topic with these three driving questions:

  1. What effects does gymnastics have on mental health, specifically anxiety, and sexual assault?
  2. Is the advertising surrounding the sport portraying the sport in a problematic light?
  3. Are the cultural norms connected to gymnastics the root of the problem?

These such questions will allow for an intersection of mental health, sexual assault and the sport of gymnastics. This is something that not only I am passionate about, but I connect with personally. I find this to be an important and relevant societal conversation that I am looking forward to exploring. I am joyful as I begin to think of the proclamations I will be able to make and the voice I will be given in this conversation. I think this is a hot topic in society as of right now, and especially in the gymnastics world. Too many people have too close of ties to make bold statements without treading tumultuous water, whereas I feel these statements need to be made. I think this would stretch beyond just the gymnastics world, however, since such a large portion of society was invested in the Nassar case which was heavily surrounding this topic. I am particularly interested in this topic because it not only would be a positive self-exploration for me personally, but I think it has a possibility of being extremely conducive for positive change in the gymnastics world once it is put out into the world.

2 thoughts to “Capstone Challenge 1”

  1. Hi Serena,
    This seems like such a great topic and one you are genuinely invested in! I really like that it goes a different route than other projects I’ve seen regarding gymnastics/figure skating – which usually go the mental health/eating disorder route, etc. I have never thought about a tie between gymnastics and sexual assault.
    A few questions I had while reading this: What is your tie to the gymnastics world – did you do gymnastics growing up/do you do it currently? What past works (either of your own or ones you’ve come across) will help you or encourage you with this heavy, serious, but important topic?
    And then one last thing…you say, “Too many people have too close of ties to make bold statements without treading tumultuous water, whereas I feel these statements need to be made.” and obviously there isn’t much room to elaborate in this particular setting, but I would encourage you to delve deeper into an explanation and exploration of this statement within the context of both past and current projects surrounding it. What statements have you personal heard/read/experienced? What was their impact on you either as a bystander or as a gymnast yourself? What statements do you feel need to be made, exactly? Maybe providing some examples would be beneficial to your audience! Last but not least, what positive changes do you wish to see in the gymnastics world?
    Overall, this is such a wonderful topic and has the potential to really make a positive change and impact in both the gymnastics world, as well as the sports world in general! I applaud you for tackling such a heavy topic with such enthusiasm!
    Sarah Catherine 🙂

  2. Serena–

    This is such a fascinating topic that I can tell you have a lot of passion for. I relate to your desire to get the conversation going about this topic as I feel the same for my capstone project. It is definitely intimidating but important for society to have someone with prior knowledge and confidence on the topic to initiate the conversation. The question you pose about advertising for the sport stuck out to me as he most interesting. What do you wish to look into about advertising? Aly Raisman did the Aerie campaign which was a movement looking to include all women, yet she also did a nude photoshoot. Is that photoshoot a negative representation of gymnasts? I definitely think your question about the cultural norms of the sport is huge in identifying this issue. I am really excited to see how you proceed with this topic and start your proclamation!

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