ESPN’s Body Issue and the Naturist


Maturism and ESPN

The Full Vermonty

Screen Shot 2019-03-10 at 9.14.14 AM A cover of ESPN’s Body Issue

I’ve always been two minds about the ESPN Body Issue. The positives are that they show strong bodies designed to complete impossible-seeming tasks. Though they are all athletes, not everyone has a 2% body fat composition, so they manage to celebrate the human form, but not just one type of human form. And they are unabashed that this is not a swimsuit issue; those bodies – well-known “models” from the world of sports – are nude.

The negatives derive from how they frame the issue. Each year, they promote these as “Bodies We Want.” On the one hand, this could be a throwaway line. But on the other, it fetishizes a certain type of body – the strong, athletic, heavily worked-out body – as the ideal, the one worthy of our gaze. And admiration. It can be a backhanded way of contributing to body…

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