Stick-thin, Stripper shoes, and Slick bodies: My Random Reflections on Miss Universe 2014

2D9652267-tdy-miss-venezuela-131109-04.blocks_desktop_large by Pavel Golovkin for AP

It might be because I am 30+ weeks pregnant and I was so tired after a dinner out with my husband I fell asleep before it even fully aired (full disclosure: given the time change and tape delay I actually looked up the results before I even went to dinner), but I found this year’s […]


An American Girl: Every Day is a Competition

Bonnie McKee, An American Girl

In the midst of my book tour, I heard a song on the radio for the first time. I almost pulled the car off the road. Here’s the song: (In case you missed it, you can see the lyrics here; warning that the song is pretty catchy, which is not surprising given that Bonnie McKee […]


The Costs (Financial and Emotional) of Youth Sports

Boston Sports Parents by Zohar Lazar for Boston Magazine

The big sports story in Boston this week is of course the World Series. But it’s also significant that this week it’s not Boston-based parents who are the subject of the bad sports parent story making national headlines. As I’ve written about before in Boston Magazine, youth sports in Massachusetts tend to be extremely competitive […]


Confessions of a First Time Academic Author on Book Tour


Before my book, Playing to Win: Raising Children in a Competitive Culture, came out, people kept asking me if I would be going on a book tour. My response was always to laugh because these days if you aren’t Daniel Silva, Alice Munro, or Malcolm Gladwell, no one is rolling out the red carpet for […]


My Thoughts on Miss America 2014: The Return to Atlantic City and Other Pageant Controversies


It’s been a little over two weeks since Nina Davuluri was crowned Miss America 2014. After an initial media burst, interest has faded a bit– though she is still in the public eye more than I might have expected. Also, thanks to the French ban on child beauty pageants, a proposed ban in Quebec, and […]


When you write a book, you end up writing even more!


I had heard that writing a book is only part of the bigger picture when a book comes out– and people were right! “Properly” promoting a book is a full-time job, and often you are asked to write even more. While I haven’t been writing original content for my blog so much these days, that’s […]


I not only get to write books these days, I also get to write ABOUT books


Books are my life these days– and I wouldn’t have it any other way! If I’m not reading or writing about my own book, I’ve been enjoying writing about *other* people’s books. As a non-fiction writer I especially appreciate the clear prose and narrative, but research-based, focus in books like Emily Bazelon’s Sticks and Stones. Here’s […]



Book cover

Well, it’s here. The culmination of years of research, writing, and revising. Everyone can now buy my book at a variety of outlets and in a variety of ways. I even got to celebrate with friends and sociologists in NYC at my official book launch party a few weeks ago (see pictures here). Oh, and […]


Reflections on Preview of Playing to Win from The Atlantic: Soccer Isn’t for Girly-Girls?

Famous_Amos via flickr Pink soccer girl

For a writer there is no greater feeling than people reading your work, sharing it, and thinking about it. I got a great taste of that feeling earlier this week when part of Chapter 4 of Playing to Win: Raising Children in a Competitive Culture was excerpted at The Atlantic. The full title of Chapter […]


Move Over Child Beauty Pageants: Another Summer of Dance (on TV)

Tucker Knox, SYTYCD

Last year I proclaimed my love for the summer of dance– and it’s true again this year! It’s also been a summer full of “morning” sickness for me, which means less time to write and more time prostrate in bed trying not to move. But one of the perks of being in bed so much […]