Once a year ESPN’s magazine convinces some very talented a beautiful people to get naked for their Body Issue addition.
In the mag, the world’s greatest athletes’ pose naked and talk about the skin they’re in.
The new issue (out July 10) includes two out female athletes: WNBA star Brittney Griner and the US’s World cup-winning footballer Ali Kriege
Brittney talked to out sports journalist Kate Fagan about labels and defying gender stereotypes.
I don’t like labels. But [gender roles] are instilled in you as a kid. I was told to pick which one I wanted to be-masculine or feminine. I’m like, well, I kind of want to be both, because that’s who I am. I mean, sometimes I’m feminine, sometimes I’m emotional. And then sometimes-you see me on the court, and I’m hard-core, and then how I dress is masculine. If I put on something “girlie,” I feel very uncomfortable. It feels like something I shouldn’t be wearing. I wore a dress for my high school graduation and it sucked. My mom wanted me to wear a dress so bad. I forced a smile in a couple of photos for her, but I was the most absolute uncomfortable person.”
In her interview, Kreiger says
It’s important to show your vulnerabilities. I’m proud of my body, I’m proud of my sport, I’m proud of being a female athlete. Being naked is just another aspect of that. It’s real. It’s raw. It’s honest.
…I think my confidence came when I turned 30. I don’t know, something about turning 30 has been unbelievable. I just feel a sense of freedom. My 20s were really tough, just traveling and living in different countries and doing all these things, and now I feel like I know what I want and know really what my goals and dreams are and what I want from my life.
A trailblazer by many accounts, Brittney Griner made headlines when she came out ahead WNBA draft (where she was the number 1 pick).
Then, with the Phoenix Mercury she broke the WNBA dunk record, and was named the league’s defensive player of the year. Also, with her phenomenal talent she also won over fans when she helped take the Phoenix Mercury to a championship title in September.
As for other records she became the first out athlete to get a Nike campaign, showing that no, being gay does not harm your marketing potential.
Furthermore, Griner also got engaged to fellow WNBA player Glory Johnson in August, which may not have set any records but it was certainly adorable.
All of this is why Outsports named the University of Baylor graduate the female athlete of the year.
Watch Brittney Griner’s in ESPN Short Film Documentary
A teaser trailer has been released Megan Rapinoe, showing a quick glimpse of her naked shoot. Rapinoe is among many other athletes, who will be baring it all for ESPN’s annual Body Issue.
The sixth annual edition of ESPN The Magazine’s The Body Issue will feature 22 other athletes who all pose nude, including five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams, 18-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps, Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, Texas Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder and Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka.
We somehow manage to raise the bar each year. This year’s collection of exceptional athletes and stunning photography showcases an array of sports and body types. It inhabits our mission to pay tribute to these athletes’ bodies and all they are capable of.”
Chad Millman, Editor in Chief – ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com
Following the tournament, Rapinoe revealed her relationship with a fellow female soccer player to Out magazine. Her courage and advocacy for gay rights earned her a board of directors award from the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center.
The ESPN The Magazine’s The Body Issue will hit the newsstands July 11, is ESPN The Magazine’s annual celebration of the athletic form.
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