The Katniss and Merida Effect

Every year for the past five years, I’ve signed my kids up for the local summer rec classes. This year, just like the past three years, my eleven-year-old son has taken archery. For the first two years, there were one or two girls in the class of twelve. Last year, there were four. I thought that was a lot. This year, my son is in the minority. Big time. Out of twelve students, nine are girls. A two-to-one ratio.

I can only attribute this to two recent movie/book characters: Katniss and Merida. Katniss Everdeen has made archery cool for the teen and preteen crowd of girls. She is deadly accurate, able to provide for her family with her mad skills, and, let’s face it, makes archers look uber alluring. Who wouldn’t want to look like Jennifer Laurence? I know I would.
MeridaMerida is a feisty princess who would rather be tromping off into the forest than attending to her royal duties. There is definitely a rebel inside that head of massive curly red locks. Her archery skills are so good she shows up all the boys who have come to compete for her hand. Every 8-12 girl I know, including myself at that phase, loves to upstage the boys at anything, especially at anything physical. Plus, whenever she wants to get away from it all, she takes her bow and rides off on her horse to some fabulous adventure.
Just a little bit of pop culture spilling over into my everyday world. Maybe my eleven-year-old can learn to flirt a little while he’s in the class. The odds should be ever in his favor. But, he’d better be a gentleman. Because if he isn’t, I’ll be after him faster than my two-year-old streaks down the hall after bath time. But I probably won’t need to do anything. After all, these girls are all well-armed and perfectly capable of taking care of themselves. Go Katnisses and Meridas.


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