NEW YORK — “Play like a girl” was the breakfast table mantra at Bandier on Wednesday morning.
Self magazine had gathered a group at the activewear boutique for a panel discussion around the familiar phrase, which is also the titular theme of its July issue. As attendees sipped on breakfast — mason jars of almond smoothies and juices from Indie Fresh — Self editor in chief Joyce Chang led a conversation that was focused on cultivating and celebrating positive self-image for women in sports and the workplace. Sharing their experiences within the industry were Equinox president Sarah Robb O’Hagan, Olympic medalist and pro hockey player Hilary Knight, and model and NBA style consultant Damaris Lewis.
Lewis, on the impact of social media on self confidence in the modeling industry:
“I think that social media is a blessing and a curse….How many people do you meet who are confident on Instagram who aren’t confident in the real world? As far as the industry goes, there is a power level that has been turned off that we need to turn back on. I think it’s going to start with confidence, and it is going to start with playing like a girl.”
Knight, on being told by a coach to gain 15 pounds while training, in order to become a faster and more powerful athlete:
“It was really hard to put on weight and gain that much weight, but it was harder to accept the weight on my body. You’re told you’re supposed to look a certain way….I realized I need to actually own my own body and be OK with it, and now that I’ve done so many things in the hockey world, I’ve created a stage to really inspire others to do the same thing.”
O’Hagan, on how women and men work differently within teams:
“On the field, but also more in the workplace, [women] play differently in teams. And I think that’s a good thing actually. I do think that women are so naturally good at collaborating, and making sure that everyone’s on the same page. Whereas for whatever reason, I think for men, it’s easier to just keep going, ‘I’m in my corner and getting stuff done.’ In the world we’re now living in, with the pace of change and innovation, you actually need both sides.”