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Olympic Skier Sticks Butt In Air, Causes Controversy

What you’re looking at is the cover of Sports Illustrated‘s special Olympic preview issue. The cover model is 25-year-old Olympic hopeful Lindsey Vonn, an alpine ski racer who is the first woman to have won the World Cup back-to-back. While her wins are typically what grab headlines, now it’s this image, one which some people, many of them women, are saying sexually objectifies this female athlete. According to Dr. Nicole M. LaVoi, writing on Women Talk Sports, women rarely appear on the cover of SI, and when they do, it’s typically as a sex object (see: the swimsuit issue). Writes Dr. LaVoi: “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.” So, does Vonn’s cover depict a skier racing down a hill — or an attractive young woman sticking her posterior provocatively in the air? As Chris Chase points out on Yahoo! Sports, the 1992 edition featured downhill racer A.J. Kitt (a man) with his butt in the air, and no one complained that he was being objectified. What’s the deal? Sounds like it’s OK to objectify men, but not women. Double standard, anyone? [Yahoo! Sports]

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