Sunday, May 20, 2007

Sex, tri (and rock-n-roll?)! Part 1

I must be .... different!

(Well, sex is on my mind right now, so I can't be THAT different)

I have been listening to quite a few podcasts lately. I am trying to learn as much as I can about triathlon and there are a few podcasts out there that I highly recommend (see Tri Sites on the right hand column of the page).

Anyway, I was listening to a GYGO episode (go to feed:// or iTunes) and honestly, I am not sure which episode to refer to, but an interesting subject came up in a letter. The Iron Kahuna had received an email about the greatness of GYGO and that, well, he's HOT! And while discussing this, it was also mentioned that Iron Wil has received many emails about her HOTNESS! (Hot and Hotness are my words, I don't exactly remember the descriptives used in the letters). This was not the first time that there was a reference to the content of emails that Iron Wil receives.

Here is where I am apparantly different. It wouldn't even occur to me to write anything about Iron Wil's looks in a letter or email to her or to anybody else. This is not a statement about her looks, I have been to , I have seen her pictures and she is certainly an attractive woman!

But why would some guy write that in an email to her?

So I was recently thinking about this when, I stop at the local bookstore and pick up the lastest issues of Triathlete Magazine and Inside Triathlete. This month, we have the "Swimsuit issue" and the "Sex issue" of these magazines. I joked with my wife to the effect of "Woohoo, I get a swimsuit issue without the guilt". You see, if I picked up the SI swimsuit issue, Angela would know why I bought it. I never buy SI.

So, I start by looking at the covers very closely (please, don't snicker). Maxine Bahns is on the cover of Triathlete in a swimsuit. She is very attractive and I really do like the suit. What I find interesting is that the cover is not really any different than the month before with Fernanda Keller. They are both attractive women, made all the more attractive (to me) by the fact that they are in good physical shape and the fact that they worked so hard to achieve. Add the fact that the covers show little to no sign of photo manipulation and I have to rank the covers 5 out of 5 stars. When I look at the covers, sex is not what comes first to my mind. I think attractiveness, athleticism, nice eyes, I wish I was in that kind of shape (except in a manly man sort of way, of course).

The Inside Triathlon cover is a bit different, Desiree isn't wearing a top. Even so, look at her arms (yes guys, she does have arms) and she has freckles. Again, no photo manipulation. This is how Desiree looks, she is the real thing.

Back to Triathlete Magazine, I turn the cover and am what felt like instantly assaulted with letters. The Publisher's note starts off with a warning of the "ire of some of our readers", how some call it "trash", or "unable to leave on the coffee table" (do people actually still leave magazines on the coffee table?) and "what does this have to do with our sport?" (Hello, swim,.....swimsuit).

Ok, I get through that! Now its time to enjoy the magazine, learn a few things and even see a few nice bodies.

Not! It seems a few people aren't so happy with the Fernanada cover. A father has to hide this issue from his daughters and a wife who is "personally blessed to have an upstanding Christian husband who was equally appalled". I looked up swimsuit covers on my computer at to see what I am supposed to feel as an (upstanding?) Christian husband. I found nothing!

Call me jaded, but I just don't see it that way. I see pictures of women that I want my son and daughters to see. In this world, they are going to be assaulted with sexual or imagined sexual images of women that are too skinny but with that disgusting flabby tricep shaky thing because they are in poor physical shape. Or they are displayed only for the purposes of sex. Look at Maxim, every issue is a sex issue and the interviews just leave a feeling of hollowness. You have absolutely nothing but that the model, star may be appealing to the eye. And I would bet my bank account that the photos are highly manipulated in Maxim!

Women have to compete with this:

Shouldn't are son's and daughters be seeing pictures of Fernanda and Maxine to see as a positive example of women or as an inspiration on how to look?
(Part 2 coming soon)