WNBA star Chantelle Anderson has shared her thoughts about a much-debated topic: “Can a woman realistically expect [to] be seen as a great athlete AND a sex symbol?” Often I find that what she says agrees with my own views; and ultimately, we arrive at pretty much the same conclusion:
it’s a great thing that men’s magazines are stepping away from the stick skinny models and not only featuring curvier women like Beyonce and Kim Kardashian, but also tall, lean, muscular women like the Team USA Olympians that did the cover shoot for FHM in 2004. As long as the pictures are classy and not raunchy, I don’t have a problem with it at all.
Not always, but quite often, the clamor over some perceived objectification of female athletes betrays a “sex is dirty” mentality. Objectification, held to such strict interpretation, takes place millions of times a day, in many facets of life beyond those only of a sexual nature. To focus so heavily on instances associated with libido is fitting only if one has a Puritan’s worldview.
Thus I share Chantelle’s opinion: I see no reason to think that a woman can’t be seen as strong, athletic, and sexy all at once. Moreover, that would be a welcome change.
Sex is inescapably a part of life, rather like food. And while true that now we typically eat in a civilized manner-with forks and spoons as opposed to hands, for example-when last I checked, we still make a big deal of eating. In moderation-that is, minus tangible harm and vulgarity-celebrating our sexuality is no more “wrong” than celebrating our ability to prepare and consume a fine meal.