Steph Gilmore poses naked for ESPN Magazine's Body Issue. Photo: Luis Sanchis/ESPN

Steph Gilmore poses naked for ESPN Magazine's Body Issue. Photo: Lewis Sanchis/ESPN


The Inertia

Last year, Kelly Slater did it. So why not Steph?

“That’s what she said.”

In this month’s ESPN Magazine, 23-year-old, 4x World Champion Steph Gilmore poses nude for the masses and dissolves a few insecurities along the way.

“In the last few years, I’ve learned a lot about how to treat my body and how to value it,” Gilmore told ESPN. “I got to a point where I didn’t stress about my insecurities.”

Head over ESPN to to see more of Steph Gilmore naked and read the full interview.


  • $teeze

    Key move of story by The Inertia… from sideline of front page with no photo, to main story with photo. Obvious, cheap trick, guys… I expect more. Don’t get lazy. Keep this up and I’ll pull my subscription.

    • Matt O’Brien

      huh?!?

      what are you rambling about?

  • Al Baydough

    Wow.

    And to the prudes I say: a woman should be neither denied nor reduced to her sexuality. Stephanie is much more than just a meat puppet. The Inertia is doing a better job at striking a balance on this topic than any surf media outlet I have encountered.  And I still think that Nike’s offering, Leave a Message, was more reductive than supportive with only Carissa’s and Lakey’s segments being the exceptions. In a surf video the bikini-clad ass wiggling shouldn’t take center stage. Every time I think of that vid my mind is on sex more than surf. The context of the feature on Steph doesn’t blur those distinctions as much as it keeps it in the proper perspective. Where it works to be sexy, be sexy and where it is appropriate to display the athleticism keep it focused on just that. Imagine how guys would respond if Kelly and Dane made eyes at the camera and intentionally sexed up their appearances when riding waves. It would be a joke. Most surf “dudes” didn’t/don’t have any issues with Pam Anderson being in Baywatch but when Slater had his brief dalliance on set he sure took some heat. Will male surfers ever collectively own up to their own raging case of hypocrisy?

    Nudity/sexuality ain’t the issue so much as proper context is. I call this proper. Good for her. And good for Slater, too.

  • Stu

    Cari S must be up in arms….

    • Cori S.

      nope

  • http://makingfriendswiththeneighbours.blogspot.com/ Rebecca

    Except in Kelly’s photo, he;s running and active and moving and muscular, while in this – Steph is posed like a beach bunny, reclining and waiting for something.  Generally, I really like the ESPN body issues and I don’t have a problem with admiring beautiful bodies (and Steph looks gorgeous here), but the way this has been posed seems kind of predictably gratuitous to me. 

    • Al Baydough

      I get your point but did you happen to notice several of the other female athletes were photographed in a similar fashion? And though Slater was shot running he was entirely out of his element. BTW, did you see the outtakes? They shot Slater and many of the other men in a variety of widely differing locations and poses, some athletic, some not at all. 

       Here’s a news flash: I’m a photographer. I don’t do boudoir or any nudes because my primary client base is family oriented, not because I’m opposed to the form. However, I  am asked by women if I shoot nudes and/or bodoir/erotica because, as I’ve learned, many perfectly grounded, secure women enjoy the experience of being photographed in a sexy fashion that flatters them. Many want a record of how hot they were once because they know it won’t last. Most importantly, it just makes them feel good. Take Betty Page for instance. When she was doing those shoots she had no issues. It was the barrage of spite, hate, jealousy, Biblical prudery (which is utter hypocrisy when you consider that the Bible is perhaps the most misogynistic tome ever written), and simple primitive small-mindedness that ultimately sent her into hiding. 

       Not everything that comes out of Gloria Steinem (or Cori S. – both of whom I respect) is gospel to all feminists. There is no consensus among all liberated women about what constitutes a woman’s freedoms. And that’s precisely as it should be. True feminism allows every individual woman to make her own individual choices without being pressured by anyone. If that choice involves wanting to be tastefully photographed in the nude then more power to her. Anyone who has a problem with simple nudity in its proper context definitely has a problem – with themselves. 

       Leave a Message very clearly objectifies its subjects, there is no way to deny that. This shoot did nothing of the sort; the reader had informed consent and everyone was made aware of precisely what they were in for: naked athletes (who were still covering/hiding their nipples and nethers). Proper context is always the key. 

       God (assuming such an entity exists) didn’t make clothes, we did. And I doubt it was out of shame as much as envy and jealousy – the byproducts of insecurity. If we were all physically attractive and well endowed we’d only wear clothes when we had to. 

       And if you’ve never surfed naked you’re missing out on a good time. Just be sure you’re in good company.  

      • Cori S.

        From a recent interview I did that applies: 

        “Women are sexual beings. We should no more hide this sexuality than we should parade it around perversely. There is a fine balance to be had between a healthy sexuality and one that is objectified and controlled by a sponsor or any other person. Just as we women, need to own our stories, so too must we own our bodies, our sexuality. Being only sexual, having only sex appeal, is limiting in just the same way that being asexual is limiting. Celebrating the complexity of being a woman, having this modeled to the youth in an empowering way, showing a healthy body image that has sexuality and style… I’m all for it! We need to be able to parse these fine balances and complexities ourselves, and to define them, instead of being pulled constantly between the black and white of “whore” and “virgin” as we so often are.”

          

        • Al Baydough

          Absolutely. And in the majority of the images I have seen of Gilmore she has been portrayed as a woman who does infinitely more than simply sell her body as a sex object. In fact, I don’t recall very many images at all of Gilmore sexing it up. Let the law of averages speak for itself.

          • Cori S.

            yup.

  • peter lean

    Hot ass  ,or just  hot

  • Nate

    Extremely disappointed in Stephanie. Inexcusably bad example to girls around the world. Poor response to Carissa Moore winning the World Championship. I am scared for her future and that of all female surfers as Stephanie has just made female surfers the newest flavor of sex objects. Personally, I think she should publicly apologize to the surf community and to all the girls that look up to her.

    • Stu

      Signed, Wendy Botha…

    • Sebastian

      While you may be disappointed in Stephanie’s decision to pose for this pic, condemning her by saying that she “…has just made female surfers the newest flavor of sex objects” is ridiculous. Where have you been for the last 50 years of  surfing history? The issue is far more complicated that any one person (or any single sport for that matter).

    • Whaaaat!!!??

      Ah, yes, just what women want – nay! need: another man deciding how, when, why and as what they can or cannot portray themselves.  

    • Al Baydough

      Hawaiian women surfed naked. 

       And why are you harping on Steph butt not Slater? You need help. 

    • Matt O’Brien

      Nate why don’t you publicly apologize for YOUR Remarks – clearly you have no idea what you are talking about. next you will call women surfing in bikinis “sexist” – give it a rest. Stephine Gilmore is a class act and shows some skin – waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaabulance on the way to help you….

    • Kyle

      My point of view is this – i would by far rather have my daughter see Steph in this manner, rather than the indignified female examples that are rammed down our throats in practically every other medium outlet. 

      I think to look at a female, who has worked + sacrificed to be become a world champ – with an atheltically tuned body which has evolved to suit her craft — i dont mind my little one seeing that. Objective discretion is key

      • pedro_pononui

        You’d rather your daughter see a naked woman in this way than in a different way.

        So to defend something, you compare it favorably to something worse?

        In all seriousness, you could apply that logoc to anything and end up a happy person.

    • Bystander

      I agree with you Nate. This is pure and simple all about the sex, cause otherwise (if it were about athleticism and celebrating the beauty of bodies) why weren’t the athletes wearing clothes that were just form fitting? A shorty wetsuit would have worked a treat, and it also would have allowed them to be more creative with the photography and poses (I don’t mean sexually!). She and the other athletes in this feature are cool and gorgeous, both men and women, but shooting them naked overlooks that and focuses on nudity. Consider this: people think that Steph and Kelly look gorgeous and hot in these pics – would you still be oggling over them if they were fully clothed but in the same poses? 

      • pedro_pononui

        These sports media companies are using “athletics” as a cover for distributing what is normally just called porn

  • Al Baydough

    Solid.

  • Florida_bandit

    Good for You Steph !!! It’s wonderful to see that she’s Not Afraid to show her Beauty.  I mean that in a Sincere Way:  Not by any means in a Sexual Way.  Stephanie is a Beautiful Person with a Gorgeous Body ….. So Why Should she be ashamed to show it off.  She’s not Flaunting herself in any way at all.  She’s just being Totally Natural.  There’s nothing wrong with what she did.

  • Oblawsurfer

    She kind of looks like a lioness at rest. The stategically placed  hair pretty much removes any explicit or implied sexual message. Tastefully done and takes nothing away from her skills in the water.

  • Lancemusa

    Smoking Hot Looks, Body and Athlete. The complete package. The human body is beautiful. Who are these people in the world that cannot enjoy the beauty of life.

  • Ire Jay

    sigh……… If you fools this is what surfing is about. you are all a bunch of kooks!!!!!!!!
    NIKE are you kidding me. what the hell does NIKE have to do with surfing? we don’t use shoes when we surf, well not in HAWAII. Nike is in this business because they know all these punk ass kids who call them selves surfers are gonna buy their crap. Nike has no business in our culture. It’s companies like Nike who is ruining our culture and lifestyle. Screw you guys for turning something I love and respect into some corporate nonsense. Please this person is just a tool. She is being marketed really well just like alana. Do I think they are great surfers? no, there good. but not great. I could careless about how many surf meets you won or championships you amassed I really don’t care what you look like. These female surfers you glorify will never be great! What do they contribute to our life style or way of life? NOTHING! My great surfers of all time male and female. Duke Kahanomoku, Andy Irons, Jerry Lopez, Chuck Knoll, Robert August,Rob Machado Kalia Muniz, and the Great Rell SUNN… See these are all great surfers, They give back to the community, they mentor kekei’s they respect the ocean and how it provides for us, and they all Have the ALOHA SPIRIT! Something all these surf companies don’t and will never have. KOOKS!