Sports Illustrated Cover of Lindsey Vonn Causes Controversy
With the winter Olympics approaching, Sports Illustrated chose skier Lindsey Vonn for its cover — an understandable choice, considering, as the cover says, Vonn might be the best female American skier ever.
But what about that picture? Nicole LaVoi, associate director of the Tucker Center for Research in Girls' and Women's Sports at the University of Minnesota thinks the posed portrait wouldn't have been the choice had it been a male on the cover:
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.
Yahoo!'s Chris Chase (Note: Man!) doesn't see what the big deal is, saying that the tuck pose is a natural skiing position.
LaVoi's point, that with such a minuscule percentage of SI covers featuring women, and a large number of that small percentage being the Swimsuit Issue, obviously women are often portrayed as sex objects on the SI cover.
It's not really out of the ordinary for SI to use cheesy posed portraits, as the Vonn cover is, however. Check Stephen Colbert's cover. Or Derek Jeter's. Or Shaq and LeBron. Or the Players Championship preview. Or Urban Meyer and his shades. Hell, this cover with Jevon Snead and Daverin Gerald on it is more sexual than Vonn's.
The fact is, SI often uses these portraits on preview issues. There are only so many positions a skier can get in for a portrait that don't look kind of sexual, especially in the form-fitting unitard.