The purpose of our blog is to discuss topical issues, stories, and situations, as well as to share what we are up to and new ways for you to get involved. We are always searching for possible answers to the question: Why is a girl's worth culturally and historically relative?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Women's History Month "G": Judy Garland and Golf


Publicity photo of Judy Garland at home in 1944.

Judy Garland was born Frances Ethel Gumm in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, in 1922.  Garland was the youngest child of vaudeville performance artists Francis and Ethel Gumm.  Garland, who was named after both her parents, also shared her family's flair for song and dance. At the age of two, Garland sang a chorus of Jingle Bells during a Christmas show on her father’s theater stage.  After relocating to California, Garland and her sisters were enrolled in the Meglin Kiddies dance troupe.  Garland started in several on-screen shorts for the dance troupe between 1929 and 1935. Garland also toured with her sisters, known as “The Gumm Sisters,” on the vaudeville circuit.  The group soon changed their name to “The Garland Sisters” to be more appealing to the audience.

At the age of thirteen, Garland was signed to a film contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Garland was older than most child stars at the time, but was too young for most adult roles.  Garland’s height (4 feet 11 inches) also did not exemplify the more glamorous persona required of leading ladies of the time. Charles Walters, who directed Garland in numerous films, said she was the “ugly duckling” compared to Ava Gardner and Elizabeth Taylor.  Louis B. Mayer, her studio chief, referred to Garland as his "little hunchback.”  These comments, along with being dressed in child-like clothing and removable caps on her teeth, may have caused Garland to be self-conscious about her appearance for the rest of her life.

Garland made over two dozen films with MGM, including 1939's The Wizard of Oz.  Garland was cast in the lead role of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz at the age of sixteen.  She wore a corset to flatten her curves and bound her chest with tape in order to appear younger on screen.  In 1940, Garland received an Academy Juvenile Award for her performances in The Wizard of Oz and Babes in Arms.

After fifteen years with MGM, Garland went onto sing at concerts and star in a short-lived television series.  Despite starring in several successful films, Garland was not financially secure and had low-self esteem.  She married five times, had three children, and died of an accidental drug overdose in 1969 at the age of 47.


A great wind is blowing, and that gives you either imagination or a headache.
~Catherine the Great, Russian empress 

Until we see what we are, we cannot take steps to become what we should be.
~Charlotte P. Gilman, Novelist and Sociologist

Macho does not prove mucho.
~Zsa Zsa Gabor, Actress

I've learned to take time for myself and to treat myself with a great deal of love and respect 'cause I like me.... I think I'm kind of cool.
~Whoopi Goldberg, Actress and TV Host 

The truth isn't always beauty, but the hunger for it is.
~Nadine Gordimer, Writer and Political Activist


Michelle Wie, a professional female golfer, became the youngest player to qualify for USGA amateur championship at the age of 10. Wie became the first female golfer to qualify for a national men’s golf tournament at the age of 15.  Want to build a career like Michelle Wie?  Young girls can build a career around golf by participating in a girls' golf program, provided at more than 200 sites nationwide, by the Ladies Pro Golf Association (LPGA) and the United States Golf Association (USGA).

LPGA-USGA Girls Golf has spent the last twenty years providing an opportunity for young girls, ages 7 to 17, to learn how to play golf, build lasting friendships, and experience competition in a fun, supportive environment, preparing them for a lifetime of enjoyment with the game.  Young girls learn life skills such as practice, respect, perseverance, and honesty while participating in the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf program.  Some young girls are even jump-starting their careers through this program.  After completing the program as high school students, Ashleigh Anderson, Jennifer Labrie, and Vicky Hurst have gone on to play college golf, direct a golf program, and even become a professional golfer.

The LPGA-USGA program allows young girls to feel comfortable at all skill levels and ages.  Whether the participant is a first time golfer or a semi-professional, young girls are able to build confidence on the green.  Role models, affordable instruction, and camaraderie are three key components to the program’s success according to former participants.

To learn more about women’s golf, please visit Ladies Pro Golf Association and LPGA’s Girls Golf Online.

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