(Texas Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder, Alexei Hay/for ESPN The Magazine)
Anyone who questions whether Prince Fielder has a proper athlete's body never watched him play with his clothes on. Trust me, he's an athlete. He grew up hitting balls out of Tiger Stadium in Detroit, every part of that body came from baseball. There's no pretending there. That's a baseball player's true gorgeous self.
When the photo came up in my Facebook feed, I had a moment of elation similar to what I felt when Mick Jagger burst on to the stage at Alpine Valley in all his prancing, hyperkinetic, electric glory. It was, and this makes me sound so shallow and of such limited world experience especially when compared to people who've met the Dalai Lama and travelled the world, the most remarkable moment of my entire life. Start me up. Indeed. It's not like I saw the face of God or anything like that. I want to enter that disclaimer now lest someone at my funeral should stand up and say, 'Hey, you know Jan said the best moment of her life was seeing Mick Jagger do Start Me Up." What would that say about me as a person. Dreadful.
I don't want the second great moment at my funeral to be the recounting of my reaction to seeing a naked Prince Fielder but frankly there could be worse things. Talking about my appreciation for this photo would reveal my deep love of baseball, don't you know, honed by going to oh, well, say 20-25 baseball games a year and for many of those years sitting behind home plate at Miller Park surreptitiously studying the asses of Major League baseball players from all over the United States, Japan, and the Caribbean nations. I love catchers. There's a reason for that and it's not their big gloves.
In my mind, there isn't enough of this. Not enough of 'turnabout is fair play.' If men everywhere are looking at beautiful women and appreciating them just for what they see without knowing whether they're motel maids or physicists, or caring, then I should be able to look at an amazing guy's body or a guy's amazing body also without caring if he's a multimillion dollar athlete or the guy who might change the oil in my car.
I think it's my right. Reverse sexual objectification. Bring it on.
Being a feminist doesn't mean you can't appreciate what the world has to offer. Like this photo. I consider it a gift. Maybe not from God but from someone. I say thank you.
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