I find it amusing when people in the media seem to get very anxious over the topic of what women athletes wear while playing sports during The Olympics.
How many inches of text have been devoted to the beach volleyball women's bikinis and their ilk every four years? There's also much written about the tendency for top female athletes to gleefully strip off their uniforms to pose in men's magazines. I have a few thoughts on that that topic:
First, beach volleyball is a "sport" that I will never take seriously or ever want to watch.
Second, although I think an accomplished female athlete posing nude or near nude in a wank mag is tasteless (images of Dana Patrick's truly tasteless shots on the hood of a car come to mind,) I really don't care what someone else is doing with her body.
Third, I wonder why so much ink is devoted to beach volleyball uniforms when track & field stars have been wearing variations on the same outfit for years. I really do believe that the mindset of the general populace is that dark skin can't be sexualized so it doesn't matter how much skin is exposed in track (unless the track star in question is Amy Acuff, the white high jumper who has also posed in men's mags.)
One thing that really stuck with me from my youth was something an elementary school teacher of mine told our 2nd grade class. She brought in stacks of National Geographic magazines for some project and later told some of the kids who were giggling over the nude photos that they shouldn't laugh because that kind of skin can't be naked which made everyone shut up for a moment. It was one of those times that I got a twisted feeling in my stomach but didn't really know why.
Now, I confess to being a body gawker myself. I am simply amazed at the beauty of the female athlete's bodies and the weeks following the Olympics usually find me dusting off my running shoes in pursuit of something a mid-section that doesn't jiggle. Do I want to see black athletes in magazine like FHM or Maxim, not really but I do wish that in discussions of enviable celebrity bodies that take place in black media, that these super heroines would come up more than Halle or Buffie the Body.