Female athletes and ESPN

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espn diana taurasi
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ESPN mostly features men on the covers of their magazines, but when females are chosen for the cover of the magazine they are usually feminized and/or very sexualized. When men are on the covers of the magazine they are usually shown with very stoic and strong expressions, whereas the women are either somewhat exposed or in a very sexualized and inviting pose; Also the men are usually shown dressed in the attire of the sport in which they participate while the women are put into dresses or other more feminine clothing. I wonder why that is?

2 Comments

I would argue a bit with the point you're making here. Looking at the covers of other ESPN Body Issues, the men are just as sexualized as the women. For instance, take a look at this picture of Camilo Villegas http://iacas.org/asm/fimgs/camilo_villegas_espn_body_issue.jpg. I think the fact that women are required to cover their breasts is interpreted as being a form of sexual invitation because that is how that position is perceived in our society. However, if you look at the picture of the woman with the boxing gloves that you posted, she is just as "stoic" as many of the men you would find in an ESPN magazine; the only difference is that she is being required to cover her chest. I cannot speak for the clothed models because I haven't checked that out, but I think the scales are pretty even in these "Body Issues." I find that very interesting, though, because I would have expected it to be the opposite; I would very much have thought what you were saying would be the case here. For me, I guess the bigger question is why ESPN is able to get away with sexualizing men's bodies in the same way as women's bodies are sexualized. Is it because they are athletes, and bodies are essentially "the tools of the trade?" Do the magazine writers consider this sexualization? It seems to me how this exchange occurs is that the writers of the magazine would be simply providing a display of the accomplishments (the bodies) of the athletes and the sexualization is something they know will sell but do not acknowledge. Most anyone who looks at these magazines first has a sort of sexual response. Then the reader is somewhat confused (since it's ESPN) if that's the goal here or not. Food for thought.

I don't think the link I posted worked. Well, if you go on Google Images and search "ESPN Body Issue Camilo Villegas" you will find it right away.

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