Smoke and Mirrors: A Critique of Women Olympians' Nude Reflections

Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 6 (2):232-250 (2012)
In this essay a selection of images of women Olympians who have opted to pose nude in calendars, in Playboy magazine and in mainstream men's magazines is critically analysed. It is argued that when women athletes pose nude, their talent and incredible skill are trivialised because they are sexually objectified. Based on Nussbaum's theory of objectification, a continuum is developed to analyse the said images. The analysis highlights theories of sexualisation, heteronormative culture, and homophobia which are entangled within the apparent justifications for posing nude. These are rejected in favour of the objectification critique
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