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Little Girls in Pretty Boxes

Little Girls in Pretty Boxes is a made-for-television movie based on the book about gymnasts and the extreme difficulties they encounter at the upper echelons of competition.  Elite gymnastics results in many sacrifices for all involved, both physically and mentally, but how how much is too much?

Release Year: 1997
Length: 96m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase the book from Amazon.

Aggression: Aggression is depicted in a few ways throughout the movie: both in the parent-to-parent relationships with one another while viewing their daughters and in the coaching style with the athletes.

Anxiety: The coach tries to put them under constent anxiety so they will cope better with it, and some handle it better than others. The girls are constantly reminded of who is at the top and that if they are there, they may not be remain for long.

Commitment: The girls are reminded on a regular basis about how much effort that they need to put into their gymnastics to pursue their goal. Parents make a huge commitment to follow their children in their efforts.

Confidence: In one of the last scenes the coach yells at Katie for not attempting the Yurchenko. You can not bail out on skills; you must have the confidence or you will get hurt.

Eating Disorders: Katie reduces the amount she eats. She says that she won't eat her dinner and if she does, she will just throw it up because losing three pounds means gaining a foot in height in her tumbling.

Goal Setting: The coach puts a lot of outcome oriented goals on the athletes: win or else that's it.

Going for your Dream: All the girls hope to make it to the Olympics. They give up much to pursue their dream, including leaving behind their home and family.

Injury: In the end the star athlete has a career ending injury, which in turn leads to the thought that Katie was being pushed too hard.

Keeping Sport in Perspective: When they decide to go home Katie's mother realizes that her job is to be a mother. She does not want Katie to become hurt in order to be win in a sport. Her life is more important.

Parents/Family: In order for Katie to move her entire family must make a sacrifice and do so. However, her relationship with her family is part of the key to her success.

Substance Abuse: The girls put their bodies through so much and in turn suffer pain they must push through. Dana Parker, the star athlete, offers Katie prescription medicine to help her battle through pain.