Magazine better suited to objectify women


Soon, Sports Illustrated will send out its swimsuit edition, assaulting the sensibilities of those subscribers who apparently never watch television.

The larger part of the equation, however, is the way the issue contributes to the objectification of women. We could go on, but Jena Janovy of The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer spells it out much better:

"The magazine doesn't adequately cover women's sports to begin with. Aside from having nothing to do with sports, the swimsuit issue is just shameless pandering to male readers. When the issue makes its way into our homes each year, it reinforces all those long-standing stereotypes and negative messages about what constitutes beauty, how women are valued and what place women hold in our society. ...

"Women have gotten the message our entire lives. It's better to be tall, thin and pretty than it is to be athletic, fierce and competitive."

To which Mr. Flip can only add an affirming nod. (But that Vendela looked really hot, didn't she?) warns Carmelo Anthony that celebrity romance can be hazardous to an athlete's career. Baltimore's Anthony recently became engaged to MTV VJ LaLa Vasquez.

According to, here are five couplings that marked a career slide:

Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren: "Sure, it could be a myriad of factors -- other golfers improving, complacency setting in, whatever -- but does it seem odd that since entering the highly visible relationship (doesn't get much bigger than a blond swimsuit model) he hasn't shown up when it's major time?"

Pete Sampras and Bridgette Wilson: "Peter the Great had won Wimbledon four years running. Then, he made his relationship official sometime in June, and the streak was summarily snapped. We're not saying the marriage slowed the career of arguably the greatest male tennis player in the history of the sport, but ..."

Barry Zito and Alyssa Milano: "Since the term 'dating' is extremely vague these days, let's be generous and say [since the two started] 'hanging out' ... [Zito] went 4-4 the rest of the season, with four no-decisions (his team lost three of those games]. His ERA hovered around 4.00, the worst of his career."

Nomar Garciaparra and Mia Hamm: "Is Mia a celebrity? Well, she's a high-profile athlete, so the Nomar-Mia union qualifies. ... He was benched in Boston; then booed and banished. His final numbers ... were un-Nomar-like, and even though he only played 81 games, when you double his output, they still pale in comparison to what he's used to putting up. ... Pick the place to lay the blame: the Achilles' injury, the trade or the marriage. The curse lives -- the relationship hex, at least!"

Jason Sehorn and Angie Harmon: "Here's the trajectory: March 2000 engaged; January 2001 lost the Super Bowl; June 2001 got married; never was the same player."

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