Bronze Strigil with Handle in Form of a Girl

  At just 40 centimeters, this figure is unassuming next to the momentous collections at the British Museum. Surprisingly, this bronze strigil is a symbol of girlhood strength. Long before bath bombs, shower gel, and dry shampoo, girls were using a much different tool to get clean. A strigil is a curved blade used to scrape dirt, oil, and sweat off the body, typically after exercise. The curves in the blade were designed to go along the curves of the body and to be scraped across the skin after a scented oil was applied. It sounds bizarre, but it’s really not too far away from all...

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Olympic Girls: Nellie Kim

Nellie Kim made history at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal – not only did she win four medals but she also the first woman to score a perfect 10 in the floor exercise and on the vault. For Nellie this was a journey that began while she was still in school, along with her siblings she took gymnastics classes. Nellie had to work harder than everyone else in order to succeed in gymnastics; she was once told by Larissa Latynina that she would have “no future” in the sport. Over the next few years she would prove her doubters wrong. She achieved success in a number of junior competitions...

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Olympic Girls: Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce

This Friday (August 12th) Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce will take the track in Rio looking to make history. She will compete in the 100m sprint heats aiming to win the title for a third consecutive Olympics. Jamaica has a long history of having successful track and field competitors and so Shelly-Ann began competing in athletics while she was still in school. Her first big event was the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. At this event she went in under the radar but ended up making a big splash – she ended up winning gold in the 100m in an impressive time of 10.78 seconds which was the second fastest time...

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Olympic Girls: Babe Didrikson Zaharias

Today’s athletes tend to focus on one sport in order to excel at it – Mildred (Babe) Didrikson Zaharias managed to excel at three diverse sports. Mildred was born in 1911 and would go on to claim that she earned the nickname ‘Babe’ because of the number of home runs she hit during a baseball game aged 4! Babe’s basketball career began with her first job; she worked for an insurance company in Texas who also had an amateur basketball team. She was the star of this team and led them to success at the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) in 1931. The following year she also competed at the event which...

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Olympic Girls: Katie Taylor

Long before the London Olympics in 2012, Katie Taylor was on track to becoming Ireland’s greatest ever boxer. If she wins gold in Rio she will go down as one of Ireland’s greatest ever athletes. Katie began boxing at the age of 11 in St. Fergal’s Boxing Club in her hometown of Bray, Co. Wicklow. Her father, who himself was a former boxing champion, began coaching her and her brothers and four years later she participated (and was victorious) in the first ever sanctioned women’s boxing match in Ireland. She has won 19 medals in different competitions over the past 10 years including winning...

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Olympic Girls: Jessica Ennis-Hill

In Rio next month, Jessica Ennis-Hill aims to make history as the first British woman to successfully defend a track and field title at the Olympics. She won the gold medal at the London Olympics on a night that was known as ‘Super Saturday’. The London Olympics were the first Games that I was really engrossed in; I had just finished college and so had a lot of time on my hands and living in Ireland there was no time difference to contend with. For me, Jessica winning the 800 meters was the highlight of the entire Games. She went on to inspire people everywhere to become more active, whether...

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Olympic Girls: Jenny Thompson

The beauty of the Olympic Games is that it is an amateur event. Sure, many of the top athletes have million dollar endorsement deals with athletic companies and some participate in professional competitions throughout the year (tennis and basketball being two prime examples). The Olympics are different – there’s no prize money and people compete for the honour of representing their country and to achieve personal goals. Afterwards some of the competitors go on to have incredible careers, others choose to go back to a normal life, this week’s Olympic Girl is one such person. Jenny Thompson...

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Olympic Girls: The Fierce Five

In the build-up to the 2012 Olympic Games, the American Olympic Gymnastics team was described by Sports Illustrated as “America’s Game Changers”. Considering the five girls were all still teenagers (between 15 and 18) this was a lot of pressure to place on their small shoulders. But instead of buckling under the pressure, the Fierce Five, as they were ultimately dubbed, all thrived – the team ended up winning the team gold as well as a number of individual medals for the girls.   Gabby Douglas: Gabby began her gymnastics career at the age of 8 and she was so dedicated to the sport that...

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Jackie Mitchell Makes her Mark in Baseball History

On April 2nd, 1931, Jackie Mitchell made her mark mark in baseball history when she struck out two of baseball’s greatest players in succession: the New York Yankees’ Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, the deadliest hitting duo in baseball history. To her further achievement, this feat took only seven pitches. In reference to this, Tony Horwitz wrote in the Smithsonian Magazine that, ‘Of all the strange baseball exploits of the Depression era, none was more surprising than Jackie Mitchell’s supposed feat.’ Jackie Mitchell (1913-1987) is famous for being one of the first female pitchers in...

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Holiday Gift Guide for Awesome Girls!

With so much on offer in so many different stores throughout the holiday period it can be tricky to find the perfect gift for any awesome girls in your life. To help you out I have put together a couple of age appropriate lists of girl-empowering gifts to give this holiday season. Age 0 – 6 1. Periodic Table Building Blocks This set of 20 solid wood building blocks features all the elements of the periodic table. Just because they might be too young to read doesn’t mean they are too young for science! 2. Doc McStuffins Plush Doll This cuddly doll is perfect for any aspiring doctors based on...

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