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Parents react to ESPN Magazine's 'Body Issue'

Sarah Walker Caron is an award winning journalist, freelance writer and editor. She lives a happy life in Maine with her two children, where they love to hike, visit the beaches and have lots of silly fun. Check out her food blog at Sara...

Did ESPN Magazine go too far?

ESPN Magazine's latest issue is just hitting newsstands, but it's already causing waves with some of its readers. The sports magazine, considered by many families to be 'safe' reading for everyone, took a bold step with its 'Body Issue,' which features nude athletes in poses that keep the private areas covered. So, what do parents think?

Tastefully done

Not everyone, however, is upset by the issue. Some parents say that the tasteful photography and relevance is good, not gratuitous.

"It was fascinating to see how much physiques differ from sport to sport, and I didn't feel like the special issue was prurient (unlike the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue). I've left it out on the living room table for a week, but the kids (7 and 5) didn't show much interest in it," says Chris Yeh.

Good for discussion

For some parents, the issue has been a jumping off point to talk about the human body, differences and other issues. Mom Kate McCauley, who has two sons ages 11 and 14, said that she was happy to see pictures of strong women, people with prosthetics and more. "What a great opportunity to talk at the dinner table about the stories they read in the articles and athletes they don't always hear about. Back to the DC United picture -- the athletes talked about being embarrassed for their parents to see them. We talked about that. My husband's observation was that it was not overly sexualized, which is a good thing," says McCauley.

Some other parents agree. "It's good to have a healthy perspective of the human body and appreciation for art, sculpture, and photography that depicts the human body in beautiful ways. Likewise, opportunities such as this enable parents to have frank and open discussions on the importance of respect. ESPN's photos were beautiful and showed a wide variety of body types and were strategically shot using body parts and props," says mom of three Malinda Wood, whose sons are age 20, 18 and 16.

Tell us: What do you think of ESPN Magazine's "Body Issue?" Comment below! 

For more on promoting a healthy body image:

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