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?

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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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Tags: espn magazine kids body image sports role models

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Comments

Comments on "Parents react to ESPN Magazine's 'Body Issue'"

Louise Rentz October 13, 2013 | 11:57 PM

ESPN magazine is sold @ some schools for fundraising. There are many boys and girls who like sports and would be thrilled to receive it as a gift. Publishing an issues that is considered to be inappropriate for younger children by some, seems like a bad business decision on the part of the publisher. In fact, I was considering purchasing a subscription for my 11 year old grandson and did a "search" to check out whether it would be appropriate. I agree with those who say to leave the BODY shots for another publication.

Louise Rentz October 13, 2013 | 11:55 PM

ESPN magazine is sold @ some schools for fundraising. There are many boys and girls who like sports and would be thrilled to receive it as a gift. Publishing an issues that is considered to be inappropriate for younger children by some, seems like a bad business decision on the part of the publisher. In fact, I was considering purchasing a subscription for my 11 year old grandson and did a "search" to check out whether it would be appropriate. I agree with those who say to leave the BODY shots for another publication.

Craig McElvain October 08, 2010 | 11:25 AM

You can experiment with your own kids! ESPN & Disney did not ask my permission...if I had recourse to sue them- I would The issue is not your view of porn versus mine, it is -do you have the right to jam your view down my throat ? Craig McElvain

Megan October 22, 2009 | 9:12 AM

This puritanical American obsession with feigning disgust over the human body is sad and unnatural. The photos in this issue are beautiful - and not in any way "porn" as the one father says, soft or not. Perhaps if parents got over this fear of something everyone has - a body - and started acting like it is natural and not a big deal, kids wouldn't grow up with the kind of ual misinformation that leads to at 12, STDs and unwanted pregnancies. Yet another reason why we're the laughing stock of Europe.

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