Thursday, February 11, 2010

It's All Downhill From Here


US Women's Alpine skier Julia Mancuso announced that she's starting her own line of lingerie under the name 'Kiss My Tiara' and plans on giving away 1000 pairs of thongs and short shorts to friends, family and competitors during the Vancouver Winter Games. Mancuso won the gold in the women's Giant Slalom at the 2006 Olympics in Turin and bronze for the same event in the 2005 Alpine World Ski Championships in Bromio, Italy.

Mancuso, an enthusiastic surfer as well as skier, is no stranger to being photographed in very little. The gold medalist endorsed Lange ski boots and became the company's first 'Lange Girl Athlete's' back in 2006. Earlier versions of the 'Lange Girls' were professional models clad in the company's ski boots (and not much else) instead of professional athletes.

Elsewhere, Mancuso's more conservatively dressed teammate Lindsey Vonn drew criticism from some netizens for her appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated.


When females are featured on the cover of SI, they are more likely than not to be in sexualized poses and not in action-and the most recent Vonn cover is no exception.

Which apparently goes to prove that there's a subset of people out there who will attempt to manufacture outrage over just about anything. Umm....I'm not Alpine Ski expert, but I would have to assume that position and skintight outfit play a rather large role in increasing a skiers downhill speed. Good Lord- it's not like Vonn is posing on a bearskin rug with a wide array of scented lotions and S&M toys lined up prominently in the foreground. If they're truly concerned about exploitative imagery and sexualized poses, I wonder how come they didn't bother working themselves into such a lather over Mancuso's work with Lange. I mean....cripes, it's not as though there's this hue and cry from the general public saying 'If only somebody could save us from the omnipresent hazard of magazine covers featuring photos of attractive female athletes!'. If they could work up the energy to shift their offended little eyeballs a few inches down and to the right, they could see that SI is already calling her 'America's Best Woman Skier Ever'. Come to think of it, I wish the same purveyors of sanctimonious hissy fits could work up the same outrage when the Taliban launches mortars on a girl's school in Afghanistan or something.

But with all this sound and fury, I do find myself in the somewhat rare position of looking forward to the Women's Alpine skiing events.

Just a reminder that the Olympic opening ceremonies are Tomorrow [along with Truck Day in Boston!- NANESB!]

[Hat tip to The Lonely Conservative on the Vonn piece]

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