Lindsey Vonn, Sports Illustrated and Objectification

I don’t do this much over here, but I wrote this for Draft Day Suit and I thought I’d like to talk to you guys about this too. Don’t forget to click more or you will miss Danica Patrick in a bikini.


Last week skier Lindsey Vonn was in the news because some jerk in the media suggested that Vonn would have an advantage in the downhill events because she was carrying extra weight, so I was pleased when I saw this week’s cover of Sports Illustrated because I thought Vonn looked terrific.


See? Adorable. The assholes who said she was fat should feel stupid and mean. She looks great right?

This whole thing should be so exciting, women athletes rarely grace the front cover of Sports Illustrated. Hell, women rarely appear on the front cover of SI unless it is the swimsuit issue. I was very pleased when I saw this, a woman athlete, an olympic sport this close to the Super Bowl! Not that I am knocking the Super Bowl in any way. I love the Super Bowl almost as much as I love bacon but it was nice to see something different for a change.

Sadly, things just couldn’t stay nice. People can’t just shut up and be happy for a nice all-American skier, can they? Nope.

“Oh,” cry the women, “she is being objectified!”

No. She really isn’t.

That is what skiers wear. Yes, the pose is exaggerated but it is photography. The photograph is cool. If you see that magazine cover and think about sex maybe the problem lies within because when I see that picture I think about skiing.

As my friend Laurie put it when we were discussing Lindsay Vonn yesterday, “she can’t win, obviously – she’s either cheating to win because she’s fat or she’s hot bending over.”

Women athletes are objectified all of the time – don’t even get me started on Danica Patrick or Anna Kournakova – this is not one of those times.

Let’s all take a deep breath and be excited for the Olympics and skiing and Lindsey Vonn.

Just to set the record straight.

This is an example of Sports Illustrated objectifying a female athlete.


This is not.


See the difference?

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  1. I would have sworn she was Christie Brinkley.

  2. Lindsey looks fabulous in that picture, and it is not being objectified at all. Gah! Why would those people/women get up in arms when SI actually got it right, for once?

  3. I read about all the hoopla before I saw the picture, and when I actually saw it, I didn’t get all the negative hype. She’s fully clothed and she’s actually skiing! What’s the big problem?

  4. I think it’s a great cover and yes I see the difference BIG TIME!

  5. So is the pole being objectified? :) Is it just me, or is anyone else bothered by “woman skier” – why not female skiier, would they say “man skier?” I always see this…male and woman. Never mind…nice comparison.

  6. Never mind, I thought you said the POLE was exaggerated, doh!

  7. People will always find something to gripe about. I think those people that claim she is being “objectified” need to look back a few years ago when a MALE skier was on the cover of SI, in the EXACT SAME POSE. I don’t recall anyone getting all fired up about that. Also, he was wearing practically the exact same outfit. Irony?

  8. I saw the cover and thought, “Why is Christie Brinkley on the cover of SI?” So yeah, she looks great. But good looking, butt in the air or not, I’m just damn glad to see a woman on the cover who wasn’t sporting a bikini made of entirely of fishing line.

  9. really like bacon too.

  10. Graphically speaking, she fits better way bent over.

  11. This is the first I’m hearing about this. I’m actually pretty shocked that people are saying anything like that. I did NOT see sex when I looked at that cover. Anyone who does clearly had issues. Like you said, is she fat or hot? Girl can’t win.

  12. I was going to click on “more” anyway, but… Bonus. Danica’s getting paid a buttload of money for those pics and bringing recognition to her racing team, which in turn brings better sponsorship. And I don’t see a problem with Vonn’s photo. Isn’t that how downhill skiers position themselves anyway?

  13. I like Danica Patrick the same way I like A.J. Foyt: they both make cars go fast and I get to watch. She looks as silly lying on that car in a bikini as he would.

    I like Lindsey Vonn the same way I like Patrick and Foyt: she goes fast and I get to watch. That photo of her is OK, and it’s what they need to do to sell magazines–show her face–but I’d much rather see a photo of her flying down the mountain.

  14. Okay, so no, she is not actually skiing and (from what I’ve seen) usually (but not always) SI covers are live action shots of (male) athletes.

    Do I think that the shot would be more empowering if it showed Vonn actually tearing down a mountain? Yeah, I do. But, do I think this shot sexually objectifies Vonn? No, I don’t.

    And, I agree with you; it’s refreshing just to see a female athlete highlighted in a magazine known for pretty much ignoring them. So, I say it’s still a victory.

  15. I don’t know who Danica Patrick is. I don’t know who she is but Vonn looks like she’s skiing (or at least posing like she’s skiing for the cover shoot). There’s a controversy about her looking like she’s ready for sex? People are dumb.

  16. Exactly.

  17. I’m glad I’m not the only one up in arms about ridiculous people.

    I think the cover if awesome.

  18. *is* awesome.


  19. Great cover. A whole lot closer to skiing than Danica is to driving her car.

  20. You are SO RIGHT! I can’t prove this, but I’m betting there have been photos of male skiers looking pretty much like this that have passed without comment.

    She sure is a fatty fatty though. Pffffft! (I am going to go kill myself now, because if she’s fat, what am I?)

  21. Also, in looking at the cover, it seems to me that the pose, besides being “skierly” is exactly right as an eye-catching PHOTO to fill the page. And attract attention. You know, like magazine covers are supposed to do.


  22. And since I can’t seem to shut up this morning.

    I pity the moms trying to raise daughters these days. How do you keep them from developing massive body issues with what’s all around them on TV and in the press?

    I saw that Kate Hudson and some other glams were recently called out for their “excessive weight gains”. Good lord.

  23. Can I get an “AMEN”?!?

    (I’m shouting that in my head right now because it would be inappropriate to shout it at work. But know that if I could, I would.)

  24. Hey. See the swimsuit issue?

  25. I am not opposed to either of the pictures above.

  26. No, I don’t think she is being objectified on this cover. Obviously, her and the other Olympians were objectified in the swimsuit issue. So perhaps they were only throwing some crumbs at women through honoring her. Women complain about the swimsuit issue and they will argue, but what about the issue where we featured her in full clothes? SI giveth, SI taketh away. Believe me, SI doesn’t care about women one bit. I have a list of all the advertisers of this edition of SI and I am writing to each and every one of them. I’m particularly annoyed with their objectification of OLYMPIANS this year. These women have great skill and SI reduces them to t&a.

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