Skip

ESPN Body Issue 2012
July 10, 2012 10:07 AM   Subscribe


 
brb, gonna go work on my quads and glutes
posted by 2bucksplus at 10:13 AM on July 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


These are gorgeous and I need to rethink my summer plan of drinking bourbon by the gallon and eating potato chips in front of the tv.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:17 AM on July 10, 2012 [21 favorites]


For some reason I find the thought that someone poured a bucket of mud all over that guy to get that shot amusing.
posted by NathanBoy at 10:18 AM on July 10, 2012


Great portfolio. That's how you photograph members of the US Olympic Team!
posted by ericb at 10:19 AM on July 10, 2012 [10 favorites]


I am so turned on right now.
posted by Strass at 10:19 AM on July 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


"I'm pretty much a normal person's size - just stretched out."

- Tyson Chandler (7'1", 240 pounds)

These are gorgeous - I love the one of the gymnast upside down on a pommel horse thing.
posted by rtha at 10:21 AM on July 10, 2012


These are gorgeous and I need to rethink my summer plan of drinking bourbon by the gallon and eating potato chips in front of the tv.

Yes, alternate between bourbon, vodka and long island ice tea. Vary the flavor of potato chips and throw in some pretzels every now and then.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:21 AM on July 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


My god, Abby Wambach is stunning.
posted by rtha at 10:21 AM on July 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


For some reason I find the thought that someone poured a bucket of mud all over that guy to get that shot amusing.

On a related note, reviewing these, I had the thought that it's somebody's job to wax Rob Gronkowski and wasn't sure how I felt about that.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:23 AM on July 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


My god, Abby Wambach is stunning.

Oh right, they have names.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:25 AM on July 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


Nice bodies. Silly, silly photos.
posted by davebush at 10:26 AM on July 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Another photo of New England Patriot's Tight end (hehe) Rob Gronkowski is the cover image for the issue.
posted by ericb at 10:26 AM on July 10, 2012


> These are gorgeous and I need to rethink my summer plan of drinking bourbon by the gallon and eating potato chips in front of the tv.

Replace the potato chips with kale chips and you're golden! Very low-carb and yet all salty and crunchy.
posted by rtha at 10:30 AM on July 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yes, alternate between bourbon, vodka and long island ice tea.

The Gronk will be happy to join you.

Rob Gronkowski: 'Yo Soy Fiesta' ['I am the party'].
posted by ericb at 10:32 AM on July 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's dismaying that there wasn't more hair shown for either sex.
posted by oddman at 10:32 AM on July 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's a better world where straight and gay, male and female porn is all shown jumbled together.
posted by Keith Talent at 10:37 AM on July 10, 2012 [34 favorites]


Those glutes are pasties.
posted by jonmc at 10:37 AM on July 10, 2012


So, was it all artful posing and tucking, or were the dangly bits Photoshopped out?

and

Why do we have to have posing, tucking and Photoshopping?
posted by the sobsister at 10:38 AM on July 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


These are photo spreads that comic book and video game designers should be forced to look at over and over again until they get the point that athletic people, especially women have different body types.

Of course they'll just go right back to tracing porn, but at least they'll have no excuse.
posted by happyroach at 10:41 AM on July 10, 2012 [21 favorites]


There was one photo* where I was all "Hey, what's that weird thing on her hip? Is she wearing some kind of...Oh. Legs. She's wearing prostheses because she doesn't have any legs. Wow."

*Oksana Masters
posted by rtha at 10:41 AM on July 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


I love the one of the gymnast upside down on a pommel horse thing.

I want to go to there.
posted by fuse theorem at 10:47 AM on July 10, 2012


Now even my body issues have Body Issues.
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:47 AM on July 10, 2012 [12 favorites]


What, no photographs of Bartolo Colon, CC Sabathia, and Prince Fielder?

WE WANT THE REAL BODIES.
posted by xmutex at 10:48 AM on July 10, 2012 [14 favorites]


Naked people, okay, whatever, but I thought the photos of the sailing were really interesting.

My mental image of competitive sailing was a little more involved than throwing back a few on a party barge, but not much. That looked intense.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:50 AM on July 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Dammit Cloud King, I'm trying to have ice cream for breakfast over here.
posted by spanishbombs at 10:50 AM on July 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Makes balls jokes.
posted by chavenet at 10:54 AM on July 10, 2012


The second sailing photo was awesome!
posted by OmieWise at 10:56 AM on July 10, 2012 [8 favorites]


SHOW THE PENISES
posted by mrgrimm at 11:03 AM on July 10, 2012 [8 favorites]


I clearly need to take up competitive sailing. Instead, I went and ate a bunch of peanut butter brownies, utterly depressed.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 11:04 AM on July 10, 2012


Eating disorders here we come?

Back in the day, there weren't so many images of perfect people available. Now they are all over and people have a distorted sense of what is normal. Things like this don't help.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:08 AM on July 10, 2012


I have long felt that everything about the Olympics would be more interesting if competitors were naked.

I think so even more now.
posted by kinnakeet at 11:09 AM on July 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Why do we have to have posing, tucking and Photoshopping?

Because unless you are also an adult film star, your friends, family, and local townspeople are unlikely to have ever seen your genitals, and that arrangement is working out pretty well for everyone so far.
posted by hermitosis at 11:09 AM on July 10, 2012 [56 favorites]


These athletes, all muscular and powerful, seem to me to be undermined by their posing and how they have to cover up their private parts. It looks unnatural and as if they were ashamed of their bodies, which of course they shouldn't be.
posted by cazoo at 11:09 AM on July 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Eating disorders here we come?

Eating disorders won't get you anywhere close to having a body like any of these people. These amazing athletes intake far greater calories every day than anyone here. And they work really damn hard at what they do. The great thing is that they're not working hard to look like this, that's just an awesome byproduct.
posted by matt_od at 11:12 AM on July 10, 2012 [18 favorites]


On preview, what matt_od said.

Eating disorders here we come?

Come on. (1) There's no way you can not-eat your way to these bodies. (2) These are the top athletes in their respective sport, not exactly "normal."

I wonder how much photoshop/makeup they had to use to get mask tan lines.
posted by bread-eater at 11:13 AM on July 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


So much cheese. What ever happened to tasteful nudes?
posted by palbo at 11:14 AM on July 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Back in the day, there weren't so many images of perfect people available. Now they are all over and people have a distorted sense of what is normal. Things like this don't help.

Shades of Harrison Bergeron, yo.

Echoing what others have said - this isn't 'normal' in the slightest. This are top tier athletes in a sports magazine. These people have devoted countless hours to training and improving themselves.

It's something we should aspire to ourselves, not react negatively.
posted by unixrat at 11:16 AM on July 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


So much cheese.

Oh sure, shame me some more.
posted by schoolgirl report at 11:16 AM on July 10, 2012


A lot of athletes have eating disorders. Anorexia is particularly prevalent as people try to lose fat weight while keeping muscle. Sports where weight is an explicit issue, like wrestling or boxing, have an even greater prevalence. I knew a guy who was clearly anorexic a decade after his (successful) college wrestling career ended.
posted by OmieWise at 11:17 AM on July 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Eating disorders here we come?

Man come on. How about just gym memberships here we come? Jeezy peezy.
posted by xmutex at 11:18 AM on July 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


These athletes, all muscular and powerful, seem to me to be undermined by their posing and how they have to cover up their private parts. It looks unnatural and as if they were ashamed of their bodies, which of course they shouldn't be.

Came here to say this. Fantastic photos (thanks for posting), but it seems so silly to edit out another part when the whole thing is about bodies and how wonderful and beautiful and fascinating they are. Not that I need boobs and balls and labias (labiae?) flying everywhere in photos like this, but they shouldn't have to hire a crack team of cover-up artists just to make these fabulously beautiful personobjects "decent."
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 11:22 AM on July 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


My mental image of competitive sailing was a little more involved than throwing back a few on a party barge, but not much. That looked intense.

I used to live in Marblehead, MA., one of the prime sailing centers in the US.

My two housemates worked for one of the top sail and boat makers. They were also team members representing the US in the Pan American Games and the Olympics. They were in separate Olympic sailing classes. I often went out on one of the boats for their practice runs ... serving mostly as ballast below, or riding the rails. For those solo class sailors they can get going real fast and have to counter the boat by leaning out quite far ('hiking') when its heeling under speed, as is Anna Turnicliffe in that photo. There's a lot of physicality and strength required in competitive sailing.
posted by ericb at 11:23 AM on July 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have long felt that everything about the Olympics would be more interesting if competitors were naked.

Athletes in the Ancient Olympic Games often competed naked.
"The athletes usually competed nude, not only as the weather was appropriate, but also as the festival was meant to celebrate, in part, the achievements of the human body. Olive oil was used by the competitors, not only as a substitute for soap for washing, bathing, and cleaning, but also as a natural cosmetic, to keep skin smooth, and provide an appealing look for the participants." *
posted by ericb at 11:27 AM on July 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Compare and contrast.
posted by mkultra at 11:34 AM on July 10, 2012


These amazing athletes intake far greater calories every day than anyone here.

How Olympic Athletes Get Their Fuel
If carb-loading were an Olympic competition, U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps would probably medal there, too. His day starts with three cheese-tomato-onion-fried egg sandwiches, an omelet, three powdered-sugar-covered slices of French toast, a bowl of grits and three chocolate chip pancakes to top it off, according to news reports.

Phelps told reporters earlier this week he was instructed to eat between 8,000 and 10,000 calories every day. Other news reports put the total as high as 12,000 calories.

This sounds extreme, even to some dietitians. But Olympic athletes' nutritional needs do vary widely according to their sports and body sizes, and swimming for long periods of time will naturally burn a lot of calories, experts told CNN.

... Shannon Miller, 31, the most decorated gymnast in U.S. history and winner of seven Olympic medals, told CNN Friday that she didn't have any "off-limits" foods while in training. Her breakfast would be two waffles with butter and syrup, and her working parents would order Chinese food or pizza once a week.

"I knew I needed to eat in order to have energy, but at the time I really didn't think about it too scientifically," she said. "It was very simple: If I was hungry, I ate."

Miller retired after her medal-winning performance at the 1996 Olympics. She attempted a comeback in the 2000 Olympic trials but injured herself. She will perform in the 2008 Tour of Olympic Superstars.

"After I retired, I immediately hit puberty and it was tough. My entire body changed," she said. "I went from working out over 40 hours a week to nothing, and kept eating the same amount of food. It took some time, but I figured out an 'everything in moderation approach' that works for me." Still, Miller said she didn't think too much about her eating habits when she was training. She enjoys eating, and had favorite and least favorite foods.
Olympic Diets
The diet for an Olympic athlete can vary quite a bit depending on his sport. At one extreme, you have cross country skiers, male and female, who need to eat 4,000 to 5,000 calories per day to thrive. At the other extreme, an Olympic ski jumper needs to be 5' 11" or taller but also super skinny at 135 lbs or less. Required to restrict calories, ski jumpers are prone to eating disorders. But within the extremes, the diets for most Olympic athletes resemble diets that would work for most non-athletes.
Daily caloric intake obviously varies based on the sport.

I remember watching a PBS documentary about the Tour de France cyclists. It was stunning how much food and liquid they consume in a day. You sure to burn up a lot of calories in that grueling event.
posted by ericb at 11:36 AM on July 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


That one doesn't surprise me - they're covering distances that would require substantial amounts of gasoline, and a cheeseburger is somewhat less volume-efficient.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:40 AM on July 10, 2012


How beautiful! I love seeing people who are amazingly good at whatever their chosen thing is. I love how tailored these people are to their particular sports.

Makes me want to go run for miles or ride a horse or swim in the ocean.
posted by chatongriffes at 11:47 AM on July 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Man, I wish I had these earlier this week when I was studying for my anatomy exam. Those are some well-defined muscles of the upper and lower limb!
posted by ChuraChura at 11:55 AM on July 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


they're covering distances that would require substantial amounts of gasoline...

So, alcohol is closer to the mark, really.

Drinking bourbon by the gallon is back on the menu!
posted by -harlequin- at 11:55 AM on July 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


"After I retired, I immediately hit puberty"

Words I never in a million years thought I'd read together.
posted by mkultra at 11:58 AM on July 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Not that I need boobs and balls and labias (labiae?)

"Labia" is already plural. The singular is "labium".

carry on
posted by King Bee at 11:58 AM on July 10, 2012


carry on my labium ...
posted by uncleozzy at 12:02 PM on July 10, 2012 [9 favorites]


carry on my labium ...

For there'll be cake when we are done.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:15 PM on July 10, 2012 [16 favorites]


A lot of athletes have eating disorders.

Sure, jockeys, ice skaters, gymnasts, wrestlers, maybe cheerleader, i.e. anything where (as you say) keeping your weight artificially low gives you advantage.

Blame those sports and how they operate, not athletics and athletes in general for looking good healthily.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:16 PM on July 10, 2012


carry on my labium ...

For there'll be cake when we are done.


Lay your weary eggs to rest...
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:27 PM on July 10, 2012 [7 favorites]




that second sailing picture is so, so, so beautiful. I kind of want to make it my desktop wallpaper.
posted by KathrynT at 12:29 PM on July 10, 2012


A lot of athletes have eating disorders.

Tim Green's book, The Dark Side of the Game: My Life in the NFL, had an anecdote that there were two types of NFL players: the guys that couldn't gain weight and the guys that couldn't lose weight. He was one of the former, with a high metabolism, constantly trying to stay bulked up.

He'd be sitting at the table trying to NEVER STOP EATING and next to him there's a guy playing the same position trying desperately -- desperately -- to remain satisfied with plain broiled mackerel. If either of them loses discipline in either direction, they're goners.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:30 PM on July 10, 2012


These are gorgeous. Thanks for posting.
posted by isogloss at 12:33 PM on July 10, 2012


There's a couple glaring omissions. I didn't see any professional bowlers.
posted by slogger at 12:38 PM on July 10, 2012


I'll be in my bunk.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:50 PM on July 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


This is really terrific. These people are like tiny little Gods.
posted by kbanas at 12:56 PM on July 10, 2012




Beyond my initial admiration of all these immensely talented and determined athletes, my second thought was 'Damn. Look at those butts.'

Welp got to work on the glutes hard tonight.
posted by zennish at 1:09 PM on July 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Challenge accepted. The Bodies of Metafilter, 2012. Let's all get nakers and take pictures. Wait no.
posted by notmydesk at 1:17 PM on July 10, 2012 [10 favorites]


This is a hell of a lot more interesting to look at than the SI swimsuit issue.

Of course, I may not be their target audience.
posted by Madamina at 1:17 PM on July 10, 2012


Those were neat, but some of the effort that went into hiding everyone's genitalia could have gone into less silly poses.
posted by Forktine at 1:19 PM on July 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


the guys that couldn't gain weight and the guys that couldn't lose weight. He was one of the former, with a high metabolism, constantly trying to stay bulked up.

This reminds me of my sophomore summer in college, when the US national rowing team was on campus to use our facilities (and, you know, the river). I worked in the cafe where they came to breakfast in the morning. The men's lightweight rowers would basically have a coach standing over them at the salad bar to make sure they didn't put too many raisins or nuts in their salads, while the women's (heavyweight? regularweight?) crew team would line up at our sandwich bar and order two sandwiches, and then move to where you order omelets and order 4-egg omelets packed with everything, and so on. I always felt really bad for the guys.
posted by rtha at 1:21 PM on July 10, 2012


Previous issues:
ESPN Body Issue 2009.

ESPN Body Issue 2010.

ESPN Body Issue 2011.
There's a couple glaring omissions. I didn't see any professional bowlers.

Here ya' go: Kelly Kulick, Bowler.

'Other' sports -- and body types -- represented from previous issues:
Biba Gollic, Table Tennis.

Byambajav Ulambayar, Sumo Wrestler.

Alex Solis, Jockey.

Suzy Hotrod, Roller Derby.

Steven Holcomb, Bobsledder.

Jeanette Lee, Pool Player.
And, take a look at Apolo Anton Ohno's incredible thighs and legs. Wild.

This photo of the Women's Water Polo team is fantastic.
posted by ericb at 1:27 PM on July 10, 2012 [11 favorites]


Hermitosis' Comment is so awesome that it deserves to be turned into a Red Meat cartoon.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:36 PM on July 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


Those last 3 links (Ohno's legs & the entire polo team) are totally fabulous, ericb. Thanks.
posted by Jody Tresidder at 1:36 PM on July 10, 2012


Those cover up poses (polo team) are just stupid. If you don't want to show your tits or cock ... hey, I've got an idea: wear clothes!
posted by mrgrimm at 1:40 PM on July 10, 2012


Challenge accepted. The Bodies of Metafilter, 2012. Let's all get nakers and take pictures. Wait no.
posted by notmydesk


That's not the first time its been considered, actually.

posted by blaneyphoto at 1:41 PM on July 10, 2012


Before drawing conclusions about what the Elite Athlete looks like, I would strongly suggest following up these pictures with the athletes in these photographs, which show a wider (and more realistic) variety of athletes at the top of their field. Many of the athletes are still gorgeous for sure--but it's hardly the cookie-cutter viewpoint you get from ESPN's feature.
posted by schroedinger at 1:50 PM on July 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Cookie-cutter? I haven't had a chance to look at this year's issue yet (work), but prior Body Issues I've read were laudable in how far they went to avoid cookie-cutterdom; I think it's 2010 that had a side-by-side comparison of silhouettes of athletes from various sports that really emphasized how there's no single set of “perfect” proportions.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:54 PM on July 10, 2012


This photo of the Women's Water Polo team is fantastic.

It's a modern day "The Birth of Venus." One can only imagine Sandro Botticelli's take on it, reproducing it in tempera on canvas.
posted by ericb at 1:55 PM on July 10, 2012


Also, I love, love, LOVE that Paralympic athletes are featured in these spreads. Awesome.
posted by KathrynT at 1:58 PM on July 10, 2012


I disliked the tasteful poses mainly because the women couldn't be in as many action shots. Of course the sailing pictures and a few others were awesome, but mostly I noticed a lot of men showing body movement and a lot of women just standing there in ways that covered both the privates AND their breasts.

I want us, as a society, to at least get to the point where women's breasts are no longer a thing. However, as an unwanted and extreme, but ultimately still satisfactory, alternative I will accept no longer having to view men's nipples except in the cases of porn, tasteful art, nude beaches, Pride walks, New York, and as a support for women's breastfeeding.
posted by DisreputableDog at 2:05 PM on July 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


I can't blame ESPN for it, and honestly it's kind of refreshing to have an issue of a dude-oriented sports magazine that specifically revels in the naked male form. But seriously, WE'VE ALL SEEN NIPPLES. The boob taboo is one of the western world's silliest inventions.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:12 PM on July 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I want us, as a society, to at least get to the point where women's breasts are no longer a thing.

Getting there, as previously seen on Mefi.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:23 PM on July 10, 2012


Rob Gronkowski photo shoot [video].
posted by ericb at 2:24 PM on July 10, 2012


I was feeling strangely adequate today. This did the trick. Thanks!

Seriously the fact that I can't discount these beautiful people as overtrained over-sexed photoshop victims doesn't help.
posted by tempythethird at 2:25 PM on July 10, 2012


The boob taboo is one of the western world's silliest inventions.

Sillier than the penis taboo? Pinterest lets you post boobies. I doubt you can get away with penises, especially if erect. That's "violent" material there.

Before drawing conclusions about what the Elite Athlete looks like, I would strongly suggest following up these pictures with the athletes in these photographs, which show a wider (and more realistic) variety of athletes at the top of their field.

"This photoshoot serves as awesome reference reminding us artists that strong bodies come in all kinds of shapes and sizes and muscles show up in different ways. It also helps us keep in mind that not everyone who is fit is also lean. There’s often a layer of fat over the muscles, making them less visible for some."

I don't think that's a fair description of those pictures. 90% of the athletes are very very lean, and most of the ones that aren't have a reason for their heft (e.g. NFL lineman, sumo wrestler, and hammer thrower). No, Tara Lipinski does not have six-pack abs, but she is still remarkably lean.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:30 PM on July 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


That horse is tasting that jockey's head!
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 2:32 PM on July 10, 2012


Carry on my labium ...

For there'll be cake when we are done.

Lay your weary eggs to rest...


Sticky thighs no more...
posted by lazaruslong at 2:32 PM on July 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


I didn't recognize a single one of these athletes, including Abby Wambach (who is from Rochester), but these are still wonderful photos.
posted by tommasz at 2:41 PM on July 10, 2012


So what happened to the Men of MetaFilter calendar? Didn't pan out?

Alternately, MeFi Magazine could have a 'page 3 guy.'
posted by modernserf at 3:01 PM on July 10, 2012


Seriously the fact that I can't discount these beautiful people as overtrained over-sexed photoshop victims doesn't help.
posted by tempythethird at 2:25 PM on July 10 [+] [!]


if the stories about the (well-deserved) Dionysian excesses of Olympic Villages are true, the "over-sexed" part will emerge as soon as the athletes finish their events and are released from their training discipline (swimmers finish earliest) and let loose on each other to fraternize in multiple cross-sports and cross-national ways (though probably ot for those with restrictive national cultural oversight) ways.
posted by Bwithh at 3:03 PM on July 10, 2012


Abs are so over rated. Those intercostals in the gymnast & sailing shots are pretty damn impressive.
posted by yoga at 3:06 PM on July 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


I thought that if I was a kind and decent person and lived a good life, I'd never have to see Rob Gronkowski naked. And you took that away from me.
posted by samofidelis at 3:37 PM on July 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


ESPN: The Magazine is so much better than Sports Illustrated that I'm sometimes amazed the latter is still in business.
posted by box at 3:55 PM on July 10, 2012


These are great, but I'm disappointed that this Olympian wasn't included.
posted by homunculus at 3:59 PM on July 10, 2012


[insert naked fencing joke here]
posted by Dr. Zira at 4:14 PM on July 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've been waiting to see ESPN and NSFW in the same sentence.
posted by Rashomon at 4:32 PM on July 10, 2012


So what happened to the Men of MetaFilter calendar? Didn't pan out?


Yeah, I had my props all set up and evrything.
posted by jonmc at 4:38 PM on July 10, 2012


For some reason I find the thought that someone poured a bucket of mud all over that guy to get that shot amusing.

No need to imagine, ESPN has the footage.

Related media here.
posted by jamincan at 4:41 PM on July 10, 2012


I think this is my favorite picture from the issues. it's like they Photoshop-shrank his torso.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 5:05 PM on July 10, 2012


I caught a back full of coral and sand once and lost the skin on my back from shoulders to hips, and the memory so vivid even 15 years later that those images of naked surfing give me the heebies.
posted by strixus at 5:27 PM on July 10, 2012


Just looking at the Laser sailing photos make me miss the sea - and makes my abs ache in memory.

We used to train by sitting at a park table, hooking our feet under the bench on the other side, and leaning back until parallel with the ground. We would stopwhen we fell down.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:49 PM on July 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


These are gorgeous and I need to rethink my summer plan of drinking bourbon by the gallon and eating potato chips in front of the tv.

“[Slitscan's audience] is best visualized as a vicious, lazy, profoundly ignorant, perpetually hungry organism craving the warm god-flesh of the anointed. Personally I like to imagine something the size of a baby hippo, the color of a week-old boiled potato, that lives by itself, in the dark, in a double-wide on the outskirts of Topeka. It's covered with eyes and it sweats constantly. The sweat runs into those eyes and makes them sting. It has no mouth, Laney, no genitals, and can only express its mute extremes of murderous rage and infantile desire by changing the channels on a universal remote. Or by voting in presidential elections.”
posted by thewalrus at 7:09 PM on July 10, 2012


Beautiful and inspirational.

I like the way they hide the genitals, it’s often clever and with a sense of humor. I can see genitals any time. It may not have occurred to some people that maybe these athletes did not want to show their genitals to the world. I’m not sure why some here are personally offended by that. Do you think they owe you that?
posted by bongo_x at 7:30 PM on July 10, 2012


I look at these photos and I experience something akin to awe regarding the human form. This is the beauty that classical sculpture wanted to desperately capture from aging's grasp and time's cruelty.
posted by jadepearl at 7:37 PM on July 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yes, what lovely machines we are.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:39 PM on July 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


I disliked the tasteful poses mainly because the women couldn't be in as many action shots.

At least the ladies didn't have to land naked in the long-jump sand. That was one action shot that made me feel bad for the athlete.
posted by vytae at 7:58 PM on July 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


My mental image of competitive sailing was a little more involved than throwing back a few on a party barge, but not much. That looked intense.

I recreationally sailed a Copperhead, which is roughly the same class and rigging as the boat in the pictures. In a stiff wind, every muscle is employed in hiking to prevent capsizing during a narrow or close reach. It can be totally exhausting.
posted by Mental Wimp at 8:02 PM on July 10, 2012


Laser, Lark and J/24 sailor here.

Also, Frostbiting during the Fall/Winter in Marblehead Harbor.

Boston Yacht Club vs. Corinthian Yacht Club vs.
Eastern Yacht Club.

Eastern -- represent here.
posted by ericb at 8:59 PM on July 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I know one of the people in these pictures personally and have known him since he was in his teens, so it is more than a little odd to see him naked. It's a weird world we live in.
posted by Peach at 9:19 PM on July 10, 2012


Cookie-cutter? I haven't had a chance to look at this year's issue yet (work), but prior Body Issues I've read were laudable in how far they went to avoid cookie-cutterdom; I think it's 2010 that had a side-by-side comparison of silhouettes of athletes from various sports that really emphasized how there's no single set of “perfect” proportions.

To me they all seemed to fit the cookie-cutter stereotype of an athlete--extremely lean and toned with virtually perfect proportions. Perhaps that was not the case in other issues but in this one that is what I saw. ESPN is selling a magazine, and gorgeous people sell magazines as well as feed into the cultural idolization of athletes. But to imagine these are good representations of what all top athletes look like is as disingenuous as flipping open an issue of Vogue and assuming that's what most women look like.

This thread is full of people expressing dismay over their own bodies compared to these athletes. It's really worth remembering that form and function are not always married in the way the media would have you think. Especially for women--the heavier athletic woman is generally wholly unrepresented in popular media outside of "Gosh she is huge" and I know not a few female athletes who suffer over feelings of inadequacy about their bodies for it.
posted by schroedinger at 9:20 PM on July 10, 2012


Based on past photos of things like Torry Holt's hand and John Force's knee, I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt until I see the actual magazine.
posted by box at 9:57 PM on July 10, 2012


My god, Abby Wambach is stunning.

But her Gatorade commercial makes her look kinda psycho.

My biggest Olympic crush was Cassie Johnson, skip of the US curling team in '06. Covered from head to toe.

As for summer, there's always some cute softball players.... Wait, what?
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 12:09 AM on July 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


It must be nice to be Hope Solo's neighbor.
posted by homunculus at 12:29 AM on July 11, 2012


I wish the future would get here - I want my body transplant.
posted by deborah at 1:11 AM on July 11, 2012


"I wish the future would get here - I want my body transplant."

Do you realize how much more expensive and time-consuming these sports models are to maintain? Kiss watching TV goodbye.

I'm happy with my nice family model. It's gets the job done, with much less maintenance, and turns the right heads (i.e. my wife's.)
posted by oddman at 6:22 AM on July 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


This thread is full of people expressing dismay over their own bodies compared to these athletes.

That's sort of not ESPN's problem. The idea that so many people can't admire extreme examples of physical fitness without wallowing in insecurity says a lot about how our culture has changed. Seems like a matter of time before we cancel the Olympics entirely because they make so many people feel bad about themselves. Or add more events that seem attainable to everyday people, like parallel parking, or the 90 meter dog walk. Don't want to alienate the audience watching from home!
posted by hermitosis at 7:24 AM on July 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Back in the day, there weren't so many images of perfect people available. Now they are all over and people have a distorted sense of what is normal. Things like this don't help.

Given the obesity epidemic sweeping this country (and other westernized nations), it seems like this is exactly what we should be showing more of.
posted by gyc at 8:23 AM on July 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


That's sort of not ESPN's problem. The idea that so many people can't admire extreme examples of physical fitness without wallowing in insecurity says a lot about how our culture has changed. Seems like a matter of time before we cancel the Olympics entirely because they make so many people feel bad about themselves. Or add more events that seem attainable to everyday people, like parallel parking, or the 90 meter dog walk. Don't want to alienate the audience watching from home!

Uh, that is not what I was saying at all. Of course it's not ESPN's problem. As I stated in my comment, ESPN's job is to sell magazines. As additional commentary to this article over the customary oohing and ahhing I was pointing out that these bodies aren't necessarily representative of what top athletes look like.

Given the obesity epidemic sweeping this country (and other westernized nations), it seems like this is exactly what we should be showing more of.

Does it work like that? I'm pretty sure psychologically that is not how it actually works.
posted by schroedinger at 9:18 AM on July 11, 2012


Er, sell magazines should be "sell articles/adspace/etc" . . .
posted by schroedinger at 9:26 AM on July 11, 2012


I can see genitals any time. It may not have occurred to some people that maybe these athletes did not want to show their genitals to the world.

Hey, guess what? If you don't want people to see your genitals? Put on some pants!

Also, "I can see genitals at any time" ... of world-class bodies like these? It would be nice to see the small or large or average-sized genitalia that accompanies these freakishly beautiful bodies. It would definitely make them more human.

Do you realize how much more expensive and time-consuming these sports models are to maintain? Kiss watching TV goodbye.

Not to mention the diet. Oy vey, not soy vay.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:41 AM on July 11, 2012


Alternately, they could have done like they did in 2009 and just put on briefs and/or a form-fitting sports bra for poses where the naughty bits couldn't be reasonably covered, rather than avoiding those poses altogether.

(And I do agree that there need to be more weightlifters/sumo wrestlers/CC Sabathias in these.)
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:45 AM on July 11, 2012


Hey, guess what? If you don't want people to see your genitals? Put on some pants!

Well, the tradition of "tasteful" nude photos is pretty well established, and usually requires one to cover one's genitals... WITHOUT wearing pants. I'm sure there were people who were approached for this spread who declined to appear even "tastefully" nude. Out of the ones who were pictured, some maybe would have been comfortable showing their junk, but for the sake of uniformity and established decency standards, that didn't happen.

The fact that you have a personal anatomical curiousity about their bits doesn't mean much in the face of what is basically a fairly well-trodden photographic conceit.
posted by hermitosis at 11:48 AM on July 11, 2012


If you'd like to see athlete dongs, there's plenty of leaked pictures out there. Check out Greg Oden!
posted by Cloud King at 11:50 AM on July 11, 2012


Alternately, they could have done like they did in 2009 and just put on briefs and/or a form-fitting sports bra for poses where the naughty bits couldn't be reasonably covered, rather than avoiding those poses altogether.

Yeah, why did Boticelli obscure most all of the genitals in his 'The Birth of Venus'?
posted by ericb at 12:32 PM on July 11, 2012


Ah, memories of U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft having the nudie parts of two statues in the Great Hall of the Department of Justice covered with drapes, spending $8,000 in the process.
posted by ericb at 12:40 PM on July 11, 2012


Oy vey, not soy vay.

I count the start of my life from the day I discovered Soy Vay.
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:43 PM on July 11, 2012


Well, the tradition of "tasteful" nude photos is pretty well established,...

What? When did this happen?

This seems like a back-formation of prudery to me.
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:45 PM on July 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, why did Boticelli obscure most all of the genitals in his 'The Birth of Venus'?

Posing the women like Venus instead of like athletes is the whole issue there.

(It also creates problems with the dude-photography, but creative tucking affords way more options than totally obscuring two regions of the chest.)
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:48 PM on July 11, 2012


What? When did this happen?

Has it not been common in Western classical art to cover genitals with whatever the era's version of the fig leaf? Sometimes the fig leaf is the subject's hands or hair or pose. Sometimes it's literally a fig leaf.
posted by rtha at 12:51 PM on July 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


These are stunning, but man, those awkward hide-my-junk poses gotta go.
posted by rhiannonstone at 1:29 PM on July 11, 2012


What a piece of work is a man, How noble in Reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and admirable, In action how like an Angel! in apprehension how like a god, the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals.
posted by rmd1023 at 2:59 PM on July 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Has it not been common in Western classical art to cover genitals with whatever the era's version of the fig leaf?

Mostly during prudish times and places, such as now in 'Murrica. Some of those fig leaves were painted on or placed later, as the prudes were scandalized.
posted by Mental Wimp at 5:55 PM on July 11, 2012


Yeah, why did Boticelli obscure most all of the genitals in his 'The Birth of Venus'?

Answering that question, especially the "most" part, is an illuminating exercise...
posted by Mental Wimp at 6:00 PM on July 11, 2012


« Older I find myself reading more just so I can use all...   |   Grandma's Sitting in the... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post