A few short weeks ago, the news came out that the incredibly fit, incredibly talented world number one Courtney Conlogue would join the likes of Kelly Slater, Coco Ho, Maya Gabeira, and Laird Hamilton in ESPN‘s Body Issue.
You know the one: it’s photos of athletes doing athletic things with no clothes on. It’s not supposed to be sexual; instead, it’s a celebration of the human body and what we’re capable of when we’re not using sugar and Instagram to slowly turn ourselves into vile, sludge-filled bags full of rancid custard. It’s a nice idea, if it wasn’t for the fact that nudity is inherently sexual in our society. And that’s not a bad thing, it’s just a thing that is true. Sex is good! Appreciating the male or female form because it’s sexually attractive isn’t sexist, it’s normal. Everyone likes sex, even if they hate themselves for liking it. But that’s just the bible talking, and that’s a whole thing I don’t want to dip my pen into.
I’m sure that ESPN is aware of the fact that a large percentage of people who’re interested in their Body Issue aren’t ACTUALLY interested in it to celebrate that human body. Sure, they might SAY that’s why they’re interested, but it’s more likely that, at least at some level, they just want to see someone famous get naked and run around. That’s part of the reason why “behind the scenes” is interesting. What is it that they missed on final edit? Are we going to get some voyeuristic peek? Of course we’re not. But oh, there are outtakes out there. Body parts flopping around all over the place! A poorly timed photo, a leg a bit out of place, an arm not perfectly positioned–yeah, that’s what you’re hoping for. And it’s ok. Just don’t tell anyone!