ESPN body issue is a magazine that comes out monthly. In this magazine, the men and women of professional sports strip down and model their naked bodies. These sports are shown in a vast variety from baseball to ballet to even golf, a sport that is not usual seen as a something that “shapes the body”. Usually these types of images would receive a ton of negative feedback for the female athletes and a ton of positive feedback for the males in this magazine, but I feel the females do not receive as much negative feedback because it is showing another side of the female. It is showing that a female can be beautiful too, muscle and all. In this magazine, the women are not so much displayed as sex objects and not seen in derogative terms; also not being placed in positions that are only appealing to a male eye. I believe this magazine puts men and women on an equal stage. It shows that a woman can be naked while showing power and dominance rather than a submissive and soft image.
This magazine is not made to promote any brands or products it is promoting the physique of these athletic bodies. I believe that this steps out of societies gender roles, or just completely gets rid of the ideas all together. A woman cannot be seen as having “too much muscle” or being “too masculine” in these photos, because the magazine is showing the athlete body and what it can do while performing within a sport.
But, if one were to not look at the female pictures at the same time as the men, one might get a sense that the male pictures show hegemonic masculinity, showing a dominant power. One also might say that the women are showing a sense of feminism. They have the right to show off what they worked extremely hard for and they should be held to an equal standard as men. This is the only time that these female athletes are able to show people all around the world that they too are great, because female sports are not highly televised. But, everyone reads ESPN, especially if it is on the shelf of a grocery store check-out line (who wouldn’t pick that up?!!)
These athletes are redefining sexy. Sexy comes in all sorts of different shapes and sizes. Breaking the social construction that society has built for a female (and even males) because in the magazine they show people like Prince Fielder (a larger baseball player). But, he is great at the game he plays and does not have to obey the standards that society gave males in order to be successful at what he does.
Sorry about all the nudity 🙂