Thursday, February 11, 2010
Google Search Results and Winter Olympians on Sports Illustrated 2010 Swimsuit Issue: Are the Feminists or the Beauties Making It More Exciting than the Olympics? by Gloria Buono Daly
From last month to a few days ago, the 2010 Winter Olympics received less than a few hundred thousand Google search results and as of today (February 10th) received 4,350,000 Google search results, less than 24 hours after the release of Tuesdays, Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue featuring bikini-clad Olympian beauties Lindsey Vonn, Hannah Teter, Clair Bidez and Lacy Schnoor. See Google exact search engine results spreadsheet below for detail information of all 32 swimsuit models; this total includes the "fab 4 Olympians." Interesting to note a total of 22,708,040 Google Exact hits for ALL 32 swimsuit models in the 2010 issue with 8.34% coming from the Fab 4 Olympians:
Feminists appear clawing, complaining for attention about Sports Illustrated’s famous Swimsuit Issue (Tuesday, February 8th issue, and on newsstands now) as being sexist due to the treatment of 4 accomplished Olympian beauties posing in what they describe as sexual positions wearing bikini-clad swimwear and half-nude wear. Feminists’ main issue, besides the sexist poses, is why are these Olympians not being recognized for their athleticism instead of their beauty? Is the way SI treats women athletes sexist? Is the sky blue? If these 4 beauties choose to pose, isn't it their choice, their bodies? Wouldn't this net out the "sexist" part since they're getting something out of it too?
SI’s Preview Issue, Thursday, February 4th issue, (the cover photo feminists refer to as a "doggy style sexual position"), to others photographed with crossed legs, lying down, legs opened, etc., there will always be criticism and celebration. OK, I admit, this photo (see left photo) might accent her derriere a bit. Of course SI photographers were having a ball but I’m certain these beauties were also enjoying every moment of their photo shoots. To all feminists, myself included, “isn’t feminism about choice?” These young women are accomplished Olympians, feminists and mold breakers, who have made their own choices. Why can’t they celebrate being both beautiful as well as being one of the best skiers in the world any way they choose to?
From a marketing and communications perspective, the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues have been around for decades and every year this issue brings about controversy, media frenzy, and with all the attention, big money, advertisers, web presence, etc. that comes with it. Yes, feminists and afeminists all know “Sexy Sells.” We cannot ignore the marketing aspect and realize that this is overriding the Winter Olympic Event (regardless of feminists protesting the Winter Olympics). Real feminists know that freedom of choice matters most and that feministic double standards have been downhill since the eighties.
But Now I’m wondering, in light of our tough economic conditions, are more and more feminists speaking out simply to be a part of the action and media frenzy to draw attention to themselves and their causes? In essence doing exactly what they complain the media and Sports Illustrated are doing? Isn't it about time we reach that plateau where feminism means never having to say you're feminist, never having to say your opinion is better than someone who has a different feminine viewpoint? Why does it seem that so many feminists still believe that to be a true feminist you must be a liberal elitist, graduate magna or summa cum laude, read tons of feminist literature, etc.?
Below are some quotable quotes from comments by these Olympians on posing for Sports Illustrated. Since I’m not sure which of the 4 said what I’ve put my guess in parentheses. If anyone knows for sure, please reply and I will correct accordingly. Thanks.:
- “It’s fun to be sexy. Growing up in Vermont in the woods always covered I never dreamed of being half-naked being risqué.” (Clair Bidez?)
- “To pose topless wasn’t that hard cause I was always covered up. I was a little bit nervous though.” (Lacy Schnoor?)
- “We work hard on these bodies and are always covered up in helmets and ski suits…” (Hannah Teter?)
- “I enjoyed the opportunity to be in Sports Illustrated without my helmet and my ski clothes." (Lindsey Vonn?)
For NBC, sponsor of this years Winter Olympics, there was disappointing news. After NBC Today's Matt Lauer interviewed Lindsey Vonn yesterday morning (Tuesday, February 9th) we learned that she may not be able to compete in the Olympics due to a deep contusion to her shin (deep muscle bruise). According to Lindsey, it is excruciatingly painful for her to even put on her boot. According to Chris Chase of Fourth-Place Medal, “this news is just as bad for NBC, which has built a huge marketing campaign around Vonn and her quest to become the Michael Phelps of Vancouver.” The Vancouver Winter Olympics 2010 in Vancouver begins Friday, February 12th. Chase also believes that NBC will lose money on Olympics and will not ever broadcast another? (Blog, Fourth-Place Medal, Chris Chase January 11, 2010.)
P.S. For those curious, here's the sexiest pose of me on the slopes, back in 2002 at Lake Tahoe.