Feb 5, 2010, 10:45 AM EDT
So what do you think of this week’s Sports Illustrated cover, featuring U.S. skier Lindsey Vonn seemingly cooing to the reader: “Come knock down a few slalom gates with me, handsome.” This will sell a few issues, although I would have gone with the Pope wearing a papal toque. But like just about anything these days, the Vonn photo is causing a bit of controversy. Why must SI objectify women, asks the site WomenTalkSports? (I link to a post at Yahoo’s Fourth Place Medal due to the fact that the WTS post is down as I write this).
Vonn is first a GREAT athlete, but she also represents norm of feminine attractiveness. The combination of athleticism and attractiveness make Vonn the likely poster girl of the US Olympic Team, and the media hasn’t disappointed in constructed her as such.
Not to be left out, Sports Illustrated is featuring Vonn on their Feb. 8, 2010 cover. For those of you who follow SI Covers, know that female athletes are RARELY featured on the cover.
Over the last 60 years researchers have shown that about 4% of all SI covers have portrayed women.
When females are featured on the cover of SI, they are more likely than not to be in sexualized poses and not in action-and the most recent Vonn cover is no exception.
I have no problem with the Vonn cover, but then I’m not a woman: Although I occasionally dress as one for Mardi Gras. And I’m not sure which “researchers” came up with the 4 percent figure, but that must be a great job. Sitting around the lab perusing Sports Illustrated all day: “Anna Kournikova! Found another one, Larry!”
If true, the four percent number is rather shameful, though. You’d think SI would at least find enough filly racehorses to up that percentage a bit.
But really, once SI gave us this cover, it was announcing that pretty much anything goes, right?
Let the Lindsey hype begin: Vonn is Sports Illustrated cover girl [Fourth Place Medal]
Lindsey Vonn’s SI Cover Photo Controversy [eCanadaNow]
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