Last night, the Better Half and I opted for pizza. (Play along with me that this is not a dinner option that we exercise regularly.) When I went to pick it, Lindsey Vonn's rather spectacular wipe-out was being replayed and discussed on the TV.
What followed was one of those rare occasions wherein I am mistaken for a heterosexual. (It happens, people. Typically when I avoid using words like "wherein.")
Pizza guy #1: She better be careful not to do anything to that body.
Pizza guy #2: If she can't keep skiing, I'll bet she could make some money posing for Playboy.
Me: Or they might put her on a box of "Wheaties." *beats hasty retreat*
Correct me if I'm wrong, but Lindsey Vonn has won a couple of medals during these Olympics. One of them was gold. She is considered the best female American alpine skier, right?
Now, I know that this was just a Random Conversation at a local pizza place. I don't think Pizza Guys #1 and #2 are valid proxies for heterosexual guys in general. But neither do I think their notions are completely divorced from social attitudes as a whole.
Nobody (that I'm aware of) thought that Bode Miller would turn to a career in nude modeling after his incredibly over-hyped and disappointing showing in Turin four years ago. (With the exception of disaffected one-time GOP baby daddies, nude modeling is generally considered a poor career choice.) Despite his being a handsome chap, America was and is far more interested in his athletic prowess than his relative hotness.
This is not to say that Lindsey Vonn doesn't have a slew of promising endorsement deals waiting for her, or that she is not deservedly respected as a world-class athlete of the highest degree. To aver otherwise would be absurd. But I suspect that for a lot of American sports viewers (read: heterosexual men), her hotness is the first thing they notice, and respect for her athleticism is a secondary consideration.
What say you, readers? Women, do you think I'm right? Straight men, am I being unfair? Gay men, do you secretly hope that Bode Miller considers nude modeling as a possible career choice? The comments are yours.
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