Preview ESPN's Body Issue 2012

If you're a sports fan, or even if you just like toned and tan bodies, you're going to want to pick up the next issue of ESPN (hits newsstands Friday). It's filled with some pretty sexy images of the United States' favorite athletes in nothing but their birthday suits. The photography in this issue is by far better than last year's issue and while each of these images is highly suggestive, each photograph was captured tastefully.

What do you think? Obviously they appeal to our sexual desires but do they paint an unrealistic vision of the human body? Or do you think they are beautiful works of art? Let us know in the comments below.

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38 Comments

Carl Heyerdahl's picture

Really interesting. I personally view them as exquisite fine art. I think that nude photography is one way to overcome our fear of body images. Sure they are exceptional bodies, but they worked extremely hard for them,  why not show it off?

I think they are works of art. These are not models that have been photoshopped to death. These are real people who are at the peak of their lives by working hard and sacrificing a lot to get to where they are.

Miguel Ferrada Gutierrez's picture

SO 
beautiful works of art

From what I can see, it doesn't appear that they over processed and airbrushed these pictures.  It's not like we're talking about Photoshopping crows feet off of Julia Robert's face.  These people actually look like this because they're some of the best athletes in the world.  I think this is great.

Bla, bla, bla ... freaking SEXY!!!!

Corey Fox's picture

You mean Aksana Masters?  

Wes Shelley's picture

How could it be an unrealistic vision of the human body when they are actual human bodies. I'm so sick of that debate.

Mr Blah's picture

They are humans bodies of the elite in sports... so yeah, it's not your average joe that will, or could look like an Olympic athlete...

But i feel you!

Rafael Vodovosoff's picture

i think they are pieces of art. the only critic is that there is too much variety in concepts as photographers that took de pictures, and it doesnt follow a  determined look, they go from carefull studio shots to natural light underwater images

Mike Kelley's picture

That Maya Gabeira shot is just incredible, but I've always been a sucker for duck-diving shots.

Republic311's picture

you mean a sucker for nude pics of women,..just be honest

daveterry's picture

Come on people, really? You think since they are sacrificing their life for sports they should "show it off?" (I found especially humerous Carl's wish to overcome "our fear of body" comment.)

First off, the article itself states "they appeal to our sexual desires" so thats why nudes are appearing in an ESPN mag and not say, Playboy or some other nude mag/site. They are simply competing for readership. This has been done before. Time did it by putting Jamie Lynn's partially exposed brest on their front cover. It's got the "wow" factor. It captures readers. They buy mags. People get rich.

Heres a question for you: why does this site advertise for ChickPixx?

Mason Lauer's picture

I think there still is a difference between pornographic material and erotique material. These pictures do have an erotique and sensual appael, but are tastefully made with a link to each sportsmans/womans sport (except for some). For me, pornographic material involves a very explicit view on genitalia or intercourse without much room for interpretation or imagination, whereas nudity/eroticism/sensuality is a more subtle visualisation leaving more room for interpretation/imagination. Off course, some images can be though dough.... 

So in my opinion: yes, there will always be a difference between porn and news photography.  :) 

daveterry's picture

Perhaps you missed the keyword "eventually."  I understand the difference you mention.  

My point is that subtly these images have moved from private view to public view.  My young nephew / niece walking down the street with me can easily view them.  Internet feeds (RSS, Yahoo news, Zite for iPad, etc.) are prolific and are often un-filterable.   
You can argue the merits of allowing/not allowing young people, old people, whoever, to see not see images of nudity.  Point is: Today there is no choice whereas before there was. (Check magazine archives for examples.)

Really my question still remains: Eventually will there be no distinction between sports/news/whatever photos and pornographic material?

...dave

Mr Blah's picture

If you can see the difference betwwen porn, and art nude, I pity you.

DO you seriously see ONLY sexual desires and not beauty in a nude body? and can you differenciate the two?

If not, you have a very narrow way of seing photography and art....

daveterry's picture

These were not my words. I only quoted the original article which said "Obviously they appeal to our sexual desires."  
(See above for my concerns about publicly featuring nude bodies.)...dave

Mr Blah's picture

Was talking to Mason...

Kevin Baert's picture

I even forgot about this thread... :) 
 
at Simon: I DEFINITELY see the beauty in a nude body, it's the first thing I see, before ANY desire, sexual or other. I don't get the point you are trying to make, but am interested in understanding though. I'm quite taken by your last sentence. 
I was trying to explain that, for me, there IS a difference between pornographic material and nude art photography. I think we're on the same par here, just misunderstood each other. :) 

at daveterry: The world around us is always changing in ways we can not always control. The only thing to do is try to make your children understand everything and try to put in a perspective which lies in your convincion. Your hypothesis may or may not be true. What's more important to me is the effect it can have and this lies more in ones own hands then one could/would think. Teach your children how you want them to deal with it, tell them how you see it and why, etc. But that's only my convincion, it's not the truth and certainly doesn't have to be yours...  ;-) 

And with respect to everyones opinion I'd like to say I love these series, especially Maya duck diving. It's no more about the nude body, it's more about the beauty of a wave, the place a human takes in that setting. Surfing is so hard (I do it myself) and once you've got beaten down by a wave, you have nothing but awe for the power and beauty water can bring. For me, it's the combination of frailty (a nude female body) and power (the wave and Maya as a surfer) that makes this photo a winner. 

My apologies for possible writing/spelling errors, I'm no native english speaking person (I'm actually Belgian) :) 

Abe Robinson's picture

They should use these instead of the images of the USA Olympic team

Aputure's picture

Your lead image is actually a Brazilian athlete. Her name is Maya Gabeira and she charges the biggest waves in the world! There's a little video feature on the photoshoot here: http://espn.go.com/action/surfing/blog/_/post/8149363/maya-gabeira-naked

These are awesome!

www.lyanbernales.com

Nicholas's picture

Far superior athlete images that this previous olympic ones. Beautiful. 

Werner Rolli's picture

I like these pictures - I think they are pieces of art, there's nothing pornographic about them. I hate it when people scream "porn" every time they see some exposed skin. Of course magazines make money. That's what they are designed for. They better make money so they can pay their journalists and photographers. 

Hunter Harrison's picture

I absolutely love these. Especially the ones of surfer Maya Gabeira. The tones and "caught moments" are gorgeous. I would literally hang the diving one on my wall.

Jorge Moro's picture

So f'ng pathetic.  What a disgrace to the Olympians and the US overall.  Anything for a damn buck I suppose.

Mike Lesaski's picture

...Seriously?  A 'disgrace'?  To the entire UNITED STATES?  Hate to break it to you bud, but the US is way behind the rest of the world when it comes to being mature about our bodies.  It's skin.  Deal with it.  These are presented maturely and artistically.  It's beautiful to see how bodies can look when trained in different ways for each of these different sports.

Honestly, it's a shame there's still so many people like you out there today.

Ken Conrad's picture

 Mike, the "shame" is people like you. You're so addicted to porn you want anywhere anytime.
What does this have to do with sports? Nothing. So why do it?
Because people in the US are so far behind the rest of the world in maturity.
It's a disgrace that in 2012 we have professional smut apologists like you out there. I thought people grew out of that in high school.

Shannon Wimberly's picture

very cool!!!! Beautiful......this makes more sense to me than the mass nudity tree thingy....if i had a bod like some of these.... hell yeah i would show it off!!!!

Mr Blah's picture

All those comment about nudity and selling out their skins, and yet the US is the #1 producers and can't be that far down the ranks in terms of consumption...

Hipocrytes...

Liza Mae's picture

Love it especially the surfer one.  There is always something about underwater photography that intrigues me.

George Socka's picture

If you've got it, flaunt it. And make a buck off it too. I say.

Espo's picture

Ashton Eaton==painful photo

Espo's picture

ok, but really:  The studio shots are actually a little disappointing. I really like the contextual shots of the "athlete in their element"  it captures so much more personality and passion, those stand apart much more than the others which, really, could be any body with a screen behind them.

DiabloPix's picture

funny comments. Don't like it? Don't look! I love these images, the olympics were done naked anyway in the past (and should be today :-)
Of course these athletes love showing off their body, and why should they not? They work very hard to look like that, they are proud of it.
People that have a problem with nudity live in the wrong century anyway, and those that complain about only "super models" and toned athletes being shown, well, car magazines aren't full of rusty clunkers either and food mags don't show off crummy burgers in cheap buns. Who on earth wants to see a flabby untrained, regular Joe or Jane in a magazine? Personally I have a mirror for that.

Jerome van Passel's picture

I agree with Espo, I like the ones of the athletes in their elements the ones of Maya Gabeira are really beautiful as well as Carlos Bocanegra, while imho Oskana Masters is a bad example of using Photoshop and changing the background,.

John Godwin's picture

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RUSS's picture

Oksana Masters  ,an amazing woman!

Mike Macdonald's picture

I'm really not a fan of the one of Rob Gronkowski. Something about it doesn't work for me. It feels badly composites. The shadows feel wrong. Is it just me?