Sunday, January 30, 2011

ESPN - The body Soul

Body image is something that gets a lot of press, and deservedly so. Body image gets all this press because society seems inherently geared to favour the beautiful people; those who have the good bodies. There are always exceptions to any rule (or in this case generalisation), but to all intents and purposes the arguments about body image relate to whether or not one conforms to a particular body norm.

For example, the arguments to and fro about whether a "0" size is healthy in models. This argument / debate is normally paired with the use of "+" size models at fashion shows. The world is what it is, and despite the pressures that this world places on us to conform to certain norms, it really is up to us as individuals to find some degree of comfort in our own appearances.

Maybe, it is as simple as recognising that I am never going to be Jay Cutler (of bodybuilding fame, and not NFL football fame) and being comfortable with that; yes, I can go to the gym, I can work our and be otherwise healthy but I am not going to be crowned Mr. Olympia anytime soon (this probably also undermines my world domination plan of moving to California and becoming Governator like Arnold Schwarzenegger).

But, I digress. This post is really about the Body Image issue that ESPN puts out every year. In essence, it is an opportunity for major stars of the sports world to get their gear off and pose naked, albeit with the aid of a few strategic equipment or hand placements to obscure the view of the naughty (or is that "best") bits. So, it is a little short on the full-frontal nudity although it does not take a vivid imagination to fill in the missing bits.

The happy snappies attached on this post come from the ESPN Magazine's Body Image issue over the last two years. I do not have the original magazines. However, I understand that there are more than the few I post here. These images are all available online. I borrowed these ones from The Huffington Post.

The list includes: Diana Taurasi, Amar'e Stoudamire, the USA women's water polo team, Ester Vergeer, Camilo Villegas, Serena Williams, Claire Bevilacqua, Sarah Reinertsen, and Dwight Howard. All-in-all, these people are beautiful people. It was nice to see some "special" athletes make an appearance. All athletes are special in their own right, but it was nice to see a wheelchair tennis player making the body image grade.

I do wonder though whether there are any who criticise ESPN for the Body Image issue? Not because of the intent, but rather the nature of the photographs; reinforcing some kind of perfect ideal of what good body image is. Hmmmm...

Enjoy the images. Feel free to borrow and share (but do credit The Huffington Post if you do).