Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Perversity Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

So, everyone got that Olympic fever yet?!?  I'm not much of a sports fan (I can't stand ice skating, as I don't think it's a real sport.  It's athletic, but not a real sport.  You know who wins a race because someone crosses the finish line first.  You know who wins basketball because someone scores more points than the other.  You know who wins ice skating because a bunch of people with agendas tell you who wins.  That is a problem for me.  Oh, and that covers gymnastics and diving, too), but it's pretty much the only time we Americans can see curling on TV.  There are some inspirational stories, like Apolo Ohno going for a record number of wins.  There's interesting movie trivia -- did you know that Frozone in The Incredibles is actually modeled on speed skater Shani Davis?

And then there's the "...wat?" moments.

Since I don't pay much attention to sports, I didn't hear until today that there was controversy about an American athlete, Lindsey Vonn.  I know she's a skier, and I know she's cute.  That was pretty much it.  So I hear people talking at work about how some people are protesting her appearance on the cover of the current Sports Illustrated as being exploitative.

You know, the same Sport Illustrated that has a yearly issue with nearly naked or truly naked but strategically covered, painted, and airbrushed women with swimwear.  Nope, that's not what everyone's saying is exploitative, the skier on the cover is.

So I decided to check out the controversy.  You can see the cover here.  It's a mock action shot.  Because, you know, if you try to take a picture of an actual skier in action in this pose, all you'll get is a blur.

Apparently, some people are looking at the downhill racing pose Vonn is in and are saying it is sexually suggestive.  As opposed to, say, the pure and wholesome clothes worn by the girls doing gymnastics.  Remember that picture of the celebratory hug by the female beach volleyball players?  The attention that garnered was taken completely out of context, but there was nothing they could do.  If people are determined to to see something sexual, you could dress a woman in a burka and they'll still see it (when I was in high school, one kid got around the school rules of no cheesecake photos on his locker door by putting up pictures of women in bras and panties from a Sears catalog.  I had to give him an E for Effort).  This also ignores that sports and sex are pretty much intertwined.  Cheerleaders at games.  Danica Patrick.  Fitness competitions that are less about athletic stamina and more about modeling.  This seems relatively harmless to me, and is certainly plausible to say is a sporty shot instead of cheesecake.  Why focus on this?

Besides...maybe I've just seen too much porn and run into too much Rule 34, but I don't really think this is all that sexy.  Is she cute?  Yes.  Is she pretty?  Absolutely.  But something that inspires the same feelings in me that Kylie Minogue and Jessica Alba do?  Nope.  Not even close.  If we want to see women in poses that excite our sexual imaginations, we know where to find them.  And a celebrity puff piece about a skier is not the first stop on the train.

There's real exploitation out there, folks.  Focus on the real problems, will ya?


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 6th, 2010 08:45 am (UTC)
Okay, this is me being the walking id that I am... Looking at that cover and considering her appearance, would I do her... yes. BUT, I also have a sneaky suspicion that the pose has nothing to do with it. She is good looking and appears to have a nice physic. Appears to, I can't really tell. I further suspect, that I would feel the same way regardless of her pose.

Now, for this to truly be a provocative cover, it would require A) that she have a surprised look on her face and be partially covering her "O" of a mouth with her hand, and B) that a male skier was coming up behind her looking slightly out of control with his arms flailing back and his hips pushed forward, with the shot having been taken right as he ran into her. Now THAT is provocative. The actual SI cover is a hot Olympic skier wearing regular ski gear in what appears to be a downhill tuck.
Feb. 6th, 2010 01:18 pm (UTC)
Well, she is an athlete. Having a nice body is kind of a side effect. Well, usually, anyway....

You are right. I'm going to ask you to think about good sexy art.

I'm also going to ask you to keep your hands where I can see them. Thank you for your co-operation, citizen.

Now, the good stuff, not the "amateur fumbling around at home with their Nikon" stuff, there is an element of some sort of naughtiness, that this shouldn't be happening, because it's naughty. Not wrong, just naughty (Betty Page was an expert at this, conveying naughty without making you feel like a creep for enjoying it). It can be fun naughty or just naughty, but naughty is a key element, that maybe you shouldn't be looking at this.

Looking at the picture, there's nothing naughty here. Hell, Vonn isn't even doing anything more flirty than smiling with her hair moved to the side so you can see her face. It's friendly, not naughty. I would also add that, if you look closely, you can tell she's on a level surface and they tilted the picture to make it look like a slope (check out the hair).

"Sexy" involves crossing the social boundaries and creating an intimate personal space. It's seduction. Anyone who sees this as seductive probably has a tough time going through the world where regular attractive people aren't covering themselves up to protect the viewer's waaaaaaaaay too delicate sensibilities.
Feb. 6th, 2010 10:56 pm (UTC)
There are people actively searching for reasons to get pissed off at something. Were I too have heard the same sheep bah-ing about this cover of SI, I would ask them where the outrage was for the Swimsuit issue. If they started, "b-b-b-but..." I would have simply called them fools and walked away.

There are some people who are just plain stupid.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

Latest Month

June 2019


Powered by LiveJournal.com