May 27, 2008

Harkleroad fulfils naked ambition with Playboy shoot: I had a hard time picking the category for this one, since it's not all that much about tennis, and spofi doesn't have a category for salacious. A 61st-ranked women's tennis player's who wasn't doing anything else at the moment further fuels the controversy of mixing court and camera.

posted by irunfromclones to culture at 01:45 PM - 115 comments

Athletes posing nude for publicity or a little extra dough? That happens all the time. God bless her, she's a fine looking woman, etc. What you don't see as often is a professional athlete who's remarrying at the age of 23. That's a whole nother thing.

posted by chicobangs at 02:03 PM on May 27

Pictures or it didn't happen. Oh come on, you know somebody had to say it. Certainly nothing new. If I recall the Australian womens team... Football I think? Did a calendar of themselves nude. There was also that volleyball player whose name I forget who posed for Playboy a few years ago. Back when I used to follow tennis I can think of several players I wish had posed for Playboy...

posted by Drood at 02:11 PM on May 27

Pictures or it didn't happen. Oh come on, you know somebody had to say it. Drood, I clicked the link just knowing that there weren't going to be any good pics. I refrained from saying anything just so I wouldn't be the first one. But that doesn't keep me from being a lecherous pig. Back when I used to follow tennis I can think of several players I wish had posed for Playboy... I betcha John McEnroe wasn't one of 'em. But who's to say. I mean, not that you swing that way. And not that there's anything wrong if you do. Just keeping it all open-minded and inclusive. All righty, then.

posted by THX-1138 at 02:44 PM on May 27

Playboy is "the world's most famous glamour magazine"? Whodathunkit.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 03:04 PM on May 27

It's my worst nightmare raising a daughter that my daughter will find activities like this (e.g. posing in playboy, working at Hooters, being one of the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders) as anything but utterly distasteful. Serena's framing of the activity as something that requires courage was far too kind.

posted by bperk at 03:24 PM on May 27

Playboy is "the world's most famous glamour magazine"? There are other Glamour Mags? Since when?

posted by BoKnows at 03:35 PM on May 27

Playboy is "the world's most famous glamour magazine"? Really? I thought it was just the worlds most famous ad space.

posted by freeze_over98 at 04:01 PM on May 27

I don't know, bperk. There are way worse things than doing some nude modeling. She's living right, she's taking care of herself, she's got a fiance who thinks she's the bomb, and you have to admit, even though she's not top-twenty material, she still has a decent job that pays very well and allows her to see a bit of the world. My cramped little glass apartment forbids me from casting too many stones on this one.

posted by chicobangs at 04:10 PM on May 27

spofi doesn't have a category for salacious Maybe it needs one.

posted by graymatters at 04:26 PM on May 27

My cramped little glass apartment forbids me from casting too many stones on this one. Oooooh, Chico. Do tell.

posted by owlhouse at 04:35 PM on May 27

Better yet, send photos.

posted by yerfatma at 04:36 PM on May 27

"the world's most famous glamour magazine" Are the articles that good?

posted by irunfromclones at 04:41 PM on May 27

I'll check it out, but only for the articles.

posted by drumdance at 05:04 PM on May 27

It's my worst nightmare raising a daughter that my daughter will find activities like this (e.g. posing in playboy, working at Hooters, being one of the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders) Don't forget, you want to keep her from any dancing that involves a pole. Back when I used to follow tennis I can think of several players I wish had posed for Playboy... Me too. I used to have a man-crush on Martina Navratilova

posted by smithnyiu at 05:11 PM on May 27

it looks as though we're going to have to wait until July 13th to see those photos...should be all over the web by 5:00 PM that day. It's my worst nightmare raising a daughter that my daughter will find activities like this (e.g. posing in playboy, working at Hooters, being one of the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders) My daughter can work at Hooters, and pose in Playboy if she wants, but it'll be over my dead body that she becomes a Cowboy Cheerleader...oh the shame that would bring on our family name.

posted by dviking at 05:53 PM on May 27

Don't forget, you want to keep her from any dancing that involves a pole. You have a problem with the Polka? Racist. Playboy is "the world's most famous glamour magazine"? Whodathunkit. Oh please. So, you're saying there's something more glamourous than sitting around buck-ass naked in a bathtub filled with tepid bubble bath, working a pair of nipple clamps all day to keep The Girls at attention, and having your privates airbrushed? I think not.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 06:16 PM on May 27

I'll check it out, but only for the articles. On a hunch I looked at the June edition, and the words on every page were just random, incomplete sentences. Mostly english, some latin. Some french (probably because the french language looks so cool). So I looked through my collection back to 1985 and they are all the same. I am aghast.

posted by smithnyiu at 07:23 PM on May 27

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetaur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.

posted by Joey Michaels at 08:30 PM on May 27

Lorem ipsum blah de blah blah yah you say you buy it for the articles, you're not fooling anyone you know, nunc tempus erat id augue... (edit: oh my god, Joey hit the Post button about a nanosecond ahead of me)

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:32 PM on May 27

We rock.

posted by Joey Michaels at 08:35 PM on May 27

Amazed she made it in, as she doesn't meet Playboy's normal requirements (ie huge fake boobs). Interesting article from Times Online about life on the women's tour, featuring our lovely and liberated Miss Harkleroad.

posted by Bonkers at 08:46 PM on May 27

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetaur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Not sure, but did you mean: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. I think I have the issue (Sept 03, maybe?) with the above caption. Great articles.

posted by BoKnows at 08:52 PM on May 27

I read it because the pages were dripping with text appeal.

posted by worldcup2002 at 09:04 PM on May 27

On a hunch I looked at the June edition, and the words on every page were just random, incomplete sentences. Mostly english, some latin. Some french (probably because the french language looks so cool). So I looked through my collection back to 1985 and they are all the same. I am aghast. The weirdest thing about all my back issues, all the pages seem to be stuck together. I don't understand it.

posted by tommytrump at 09:04 PM on May 27

The weirdest thing about all my back issues, all the pages seem to be stuck together. I don't understand it. Scientific reason: you masturbated, holding the magazine in your left hand. Try a new technique. I am amazed this thread lasted two posts before it completely degenerated.

posted by smithnyiu at 09:23 PM on May 27

Well, it was either degenerate into "hurf durf boobies" or explore the socio-political factors that contribute to sex-related commerce vis a vis female athletes. All things considered, "Hurf Durf Boobies" is more fun.

posted by Joey Michaels at 10:47 PM on May 27

I am amazed this thread lasted two posts before it completely degenerated. I think the word "completely" is a bit strong in this instance. It got close with the "bio-glue" reference, but just how far into high brow conversation was a discussion about a tennis player posing all nekid and such supposed to go? I mean, there was latin and stuff. That's snooty, 'aint it? (And BTW, do we really havta wait til July for the girlie pics?) ((Josh, do your math))

posted by THX-1138 at 10:54 PM on May 27

I'll check it out, but only for the articles. posted by drumdance at 5:04 PM CDT on May I like the cartoons myself.

posted by steelergirl at 11:06 PM on May 27

It's going to be hard to top my favourite "female athlete in Playboy" memory (safe for work photo) As a teenager in the 80s, she was a sultry Commie goddess.

posted by grum@work at 11:14 PM on May 27

THX: I betcha John McEnroe wasn't one of 'em. But who's to say. I mean, not that you swing that way. And not that there's anything wrong if you do. Just keeping it all open-minded and inclusive. I was thinking more along the lines of Jennifer Capriatti, Steffi Graf, Gabriella Sabatini etc...:) grum: AWESOME choice my friend. Katarina is a goddess. No desire to see McEnroe schlong... He was a big enough dick on the court:)

posted by Drood at 11:29 PM on May 27

I used to read it for the articles. Then I went blind.

posted by JJ at 04:18 AM on May 28

Ba-dum-tish!

posted by Drood at 04:19 AM on May 28

Anybody remember the movie Sneakers where the blind guy really did read it for the articles?

posted by apoch at 05:54 AM on May 28

apoch: yup. Good movie. Lots of stars in it too. This thread? not so much.

posted by scully at 06:09 AM on May 28

So we're not stars? bperk did have something not-lowbrow and cogent to say, and I didn't respond because about all I could think of was, "what bperk said".

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:15 AM on May 28

Did you know that literacy in Europe expanded significantly after the bubonic plague when the linen used to make ladies underwear was recycled into a cheap replacement for paper? Therefore you're able to read the articles precisely because ladies removed their underwear.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 10:23 AM on May 28

I had bubonic plague once. Thought I'd never get over that shit. what lbb said

posted by smithnyiu at 11:20 AM on May 28

I realize my opinion is the minority one, but I really disagree with bperk's hardline stance on this. It smacks of Junior Anti-Sex League.

posted by chicobangs at 11:46 AM on May 28

God Bless the Internet! No where else could anything sooo pointless and uninteresting turn out to be sooo funny, entertaining and time consuming. EVEN THOUGH I could care less about some barely ranked tennis player, Playboy or the idea of them together, I couldn't help but read just about every post here! I Thank you, My boss thanks you! Keep up the GREAT WORK!

posted by emancipated107 at 11:49 AM on May 28

I couldn't help but read just about every post here! What do you mean just about every post here? Whose did you skip past? It was me, wasn't it?!!! Curse you, emancipated107!! (And grum, just the cover?)

posted by THX-1138 at 12:27 PM on May 28

I realize my opinion is the minority one, but I really disagree with bperk's hardline stance on this. It smacks of Junior Anti-Sex League. Not really. I just wouldn't want my daughter to see any value in being seen as nothing more than an object of a whole bunch of stranger's sexual fantasies.

posted by bperk at 01:53 PM on May 28

I was thinking more along the lines of Jennifer Capriatti, Steffi Graf, Gabriella Sabatini etc...:) ....Martina Hingis. bperk, I absolutely respect your values, but if it came down to it, I'd rather my daughter do a shoot in Playboy than work for some other sleaze magazine or club.

posted by BoKnows at 01:59 PM on May 28

Just because the woman is an athlete does make this a sport-related story. Just my opinion. I like boobies as much as the next bloke, I just don't see value in this post. Sorry.

posted by scully at 02:13 PM on May 28

bperk, then don't have kids. We're all objectified for something, be it our bodies, or our ability to do some task, or something. We're all whores, selling our time, energy and selves to someone, and some of our attributes are exploited by others for their own personal gain. The best you can do is get a good price for yourself. I just don't see, if she wants to show off the musculature and tone she's spent literally her entire life perfecting, how there's any inherent shame in that. Perfecting that body has been her life's work, and it's paid off handsomely for her even before this. Why wouldn't she do this?

posted by chicobangs at 02:23 PM on May 28

I'd rather my daughter do a shoot in Playboy than work for some other sleaze magazine or club. Glad that that False Dichotomy is settled.

posted by yerfatma at 02:24 PM on May 28

Glad that that False Dichotomy is settled. That's a little bit of a stretch, yerfatma. I was responding to bperk's post about what he hopes his daughter holds value in. Included in my post also were the words: but if it came down to it*, I'd rather my daughter..... *"IT" meaning, that those would be the final two choices. Thanks for pulling only half my post and using it for your benefit though, at least I know you're reading them.

posted by BoKnows at 02:47 PM on May 28

bperk, then don't have kids. We're all objectified for something, be it our bodies, or our ability to do some task, or something. I think that bperk wasn't speaking about objectification in the larger sense, which admittedly ain't no chicken delight, but about sexual objectification, which is even more warping and limiting than other types of objectification. Clearly, we're not all objectified in that way.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 03:05 PM on May 28

Not really. I just wouldn't want my daughter to see any value in being seen as nothing more than an object of a whole bunch of stranger's sexual fantasies. Please forgive, but you may find yourself at odds with what you want for your daughter and what your daughter wants. As much as a parent does their best to instill the values they hold near and dear, it seems that in many cases, their children will find a way to mess up Mom and Dad's best laid plans. I certainly wouldn't suggest that your own child(ren) would get into the nekid picture business, but unfortunately for attractive females, they often find themselves the unwilling object of men's fantasies. Perhaps some decide that getting paid for it at least makes it worth the attention. I agree; I hope that my own daughter would a)wait til marriage before sex b)stay away from the sleaze industry i.e don't let nobody take no dirty pikchers and c)get a good education and a decent career. Yet my oldest daughter decided to get pregnant and not get married, run around with a slew of jerkwads, forgo the education thing and work dead-end jobs, and saddle herself with a laundry list of personal problems. That wasn't in daddy's plan, but she is an "adult" now. I can't live her life for her. I can just complain and lay on the guilt. Like any good parent. Oh yeah, and take care of my grandson. I told my daughter that I get a do-over now. I got a bunch of kids. When it comes to raising them, pratice makes perfect. Which isn't to say that if some other person's daughter (of age certainly) is going to share her pics, who am I to look away? (lecherous pig)

posted by THX-1138 at 03:31 PM on May 28

I can't help but wonder if this won't be perceived by many as a step backwards for professional female athletes. Is she a model or an athlete? Are the two careers mutually exclusive? It may have been a wise move to improve her future modeling chances, but how does this help her tennis career? Does it reinforce negative perceptions or stereotypes of female athletes. Will the WTA consider sanctions for this behavior? stung by terrapin's accusations, clones struggles to emphasize sports over boobies

posted by irunfromclones at 03:35 PM on May 28

chico, I just disagree with you on so many levels. First, getting paid to use some skill set you have developed is not the same as getting paid for allowing people to ogle and fantasize about your naked body. Second, if a woman wants to show off her physique, then great. Pose naked in a muscle magazine or something. That's not what Playboy is about. It's about turning women into sexual fantasies and objects of sexual desire. Third, I hardly think Harkleroad got to where she is in tennis because she dedicated her life to perfecting her body. That's just the objectification of her that is the problem. Her goal was in all likelihood to be the best tennis player she could be, not perfect her body so that she could be the object of lust for men she doesn't even know. Finally, I was not at all talking about shame. I would hope that she is not ashamed. I just wouldn't want my own daughter (who I already have, so your advice is too late) to participate in her objectification. I would want her to present herself as the whole person that she is and not some caricature of herself that others wish her to be.

posted by bperk at 03:36 PM on May 28

Wow, where to start. First, getting paid to use some skill set you have developed is not the same as getting paid for allowing people to ogle and fantasize about your naked body. If your body is your skill set, and for Harkleroad it almost definitely is, then the two are virtually identical. Second, if a woman wants to show off her physique, then great. Pose naked in a muscle magazine or something. That's not what Playboy is about. It's about turning women into sexual fantasies and objects of sexual desire. And nude layouts in muscle magazines aren't? Also, your point may have held water when Playboy was the closest thing to porn most men could get, but that hasn't been the case for 30 years. Frankly, Playboy is tame and quaint compared to even other lad's magazines these days, let alone actual porn. And if you're getting shots like this taken and published, there's nowhere in the business that's more professional or better paying. Nowhere. Third, I hardly think Harkleroad got to where she is in tennis because she dedicated her life to perfecting her body. Really? I'd say that's exactly what she's been doing. She's been working out, getting strong, staying nimble, working on her physical and mental self, for many hours a day, every day, since she first decided tennis was fun. That's all she's been doing. If she wants to get paid for all that hard work in more than one way, then I'd say that's a good thing. And if you weren't talking about shame, then why are you saying this is so horrible? This isn't a caricature of her. It's her. I saw a half-hour interview with her on the Tennis channel last week. She said she was doing this (aside from the money) because this is as good as she's ever going to look in her life, and she wanted to commemorate the hard work she's put into herself. Her family and fiance are on board with this, and see the upside. She's a professional tennis player. If she wasn't okay with being looked at, she's in the wrong business.

posted by chicobangs at 03:57 PM on May 28

THX You, my friend (clearing my throat) are the reason I am here in the first place.

posted by emancipated107 at 04:02 PM on May 28

Thanks for pulling only half my post and using it for your benefit though, at least I know you're reading them. My pull-quote didn't change anything fundamental. Can you describe a situation where those would ever be her only two options? McDonald's stop accepting applications?

posted by yerfatma at 04:10 PM on May 28

Oh. Sorry about that, e107. Please enjoy your stay. Try the veal. Or, if you're a vegan, try the hummus.

posted by THX-1138 at 04:10 PM on May 28

THX-1138: "I got a bunch of kids." emancipated107: "You... are the reason I am here in the first place." Don't think I'm not piecing this all together. That's not what Playboy is about. It's about turning women into sexual fantasies and objects of sexual desire. I think our history as a species would have been somewhat short-lived if we weren't all (men and women) objects of sexual desire already. OK, maybe not all.

posted by JJ at 04:29 PM on May 28

chico: If your body is your skill set, and for Harkleroad it almost definitely is, then the two are virtually identical. Well, no, her body isn't her skill set. In her case, it's a manifestation of her hard work, and the vehicle through which she exhibits her skill set, but the two are different. And, "getting paid for allowing people to ogle and fantasize about your naked body" is a long, long way from getting paid to allow people to appreciate your skill. She may feel comfortable putting herself on display because she's proud of her body and the work it represents, but it represents something very different to the average person who will look at those photos. The former is appreciation of hard work, the latter is sexual objectification.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 04:46 PM on May 28

I have to believe that she knows and understands that difference. This isn't the 16-year-old Harkleroad who wore something half a size too small at Wimbledon and became some kind of next-wave lolita. This is a full-grown adult who managed to get through that potentially traumatic ordeal, and has come out the other end with a reasonable amount of playing skill, what is by all accounts a fairly well-adjusted mindset, and apparently an ability to make her own decisions. I guess my problem with your viewpoint is that it presupposes that she's being victimized by the people around her. She's been dealing with this stuff more than most of us have, and she's a grown woman who doesn't necessarily need the money or the attention. She's making this decision from a position of strength. Now, it's possible that she's just talking a good game, and she's being coerced into it by someone. But the evidence doesn't bear that out, and if she wants to do this, for whatever reasons she has for doing it, I'm not prepared to look down on her for making that decision. Whoever this "Average Person" is you're talking about, they clearly don't have a seat at Ashley Harkleroad's decision-making table. Good for her. I wish I was that strong.

posted by chicobangs at 04:59 PM on May 28

I guess my problem with your viewpoint is that it presupposes that she's being victimized by the people around her. She's been dealing with this stuff more than most of us have, and she's a grown woman who doesn't necessarily need the money or the attention. She's making this decision from a position of strength. I'd say she's making the decision from a position of choice, which is not the same as making it from a position of strength. As for looking down on her, you're concocting a bit of a strawman there. I read a really great article once, an answer to the Dworkin argument on porn, which made the point that if a grown woman in full possession of her faculties said, "I'm going to make a sex movie because they'll pay me a thousand dollars a day," we can disagree with her decision on some level, while still accepting that she has the ability to make it. At the same time, the fact that a certain choice is permissible doesn't force us to agree that it's all hunky-dory. I agree with bperk, that if I had a daughter, I would want her to have not only another choice, but the clearheadedness and sense of values to take it.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 05:54 PM on May 28

My pull-quote didn't change anything fundamental. Can you describe a situation where those would ever be her only two options? Nope. Hence the word "if". McDonald's stop accepting applications? You tell me.

posted by BoKnows at 05:59 PM on May 28

I read a really great article once, an answer to the Dworkin argument on porn, which made the point that if a grown woman in full possession of her faculties said, "I'm going to make a sex movie because they'll pay me a thousand dollars a day," we can disagree with her decision on some level, while still accepting that she has the ability to make it. I'd certainly agree with that, LBB, with one exception. I would draw a major distinction between sex movies (porn) and Playboy. And if you do consider Playboy porn, where do you draw the line? Is the S.I. swimsuit issue porn? Or is Maxim? It's all sexual exploitation. And, for me, that's where the line gets blurry. Would we criticize Ashley for appearing in the S.I. swimsuit issue? Or Maxim? If you appear in the S.I. swimsuit issue, you're a model. If you're Jessica Alba posing for Maxim, you're an actress. But if bare boobs are involved, then it becomes something else. And that's why Chico's Junior anti-sex league comment resonates with me. All that being said, I'd prefer that my daughter-to-be not pose nude for Playboy. But there is a long list of things I'd prefer my daughter not to be, and that's not really near the top.

posted by cjets at 06:19 PM on May 28

cjets: I can't speak from firsthand knowledge of any of these publications, but you say "[i]t's all sexual exploitation". Given that, I wouldn't draw the line. Sexual exploitation under the veneer of art, or athleticism, or whatever, is still sexual exploitation, and whether they show boobs or not, it's still sexual exploitation. I think the Junior Anti-Sex League remark was off the mark, since it presumed that bperk would also draw such a line, and I see no evidence of that.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:11 PM on May 28

Nope. Hence the word "if". Jesus.

posted by yerfatma at 08:15 PM on May 28

Given that, I wouldn't draw the line. Sexual exploitation under the veneer of art, or athleticism, or whatever, is still sexual exploitation, and whether they show boobs or not, it's still sexual exploitation. For better or worse, sexual exploitation is an accepted cultural norm from beer commercials to those slutty little bratz dolls. to Danica Patrick in the S.I. swimsuit issue. I can certainly understand wanting to change the cultural norm but it's hard for me to single out Ashley because she's appearing in Playboy, which given the level of sexual content available, is more or less mainstream.

posted by cjets at 08:31 PM on May 28

Oh, now look what you all have done to the thread about bare naked ladies. Arguments, latin, wiki definitions, talk about parenting. Sheesh.

posted by THX-1138 at 09:40 PM on May 28

I know what you mean, THX-1138. I read SpoFi for the naked women, too. Thanks for spoiling it, you erudite and eloquent people.

posted by worldcup2002 at 10:28 PM on May 28

yerfatma, I guess my post should have been: Better yet. Send photos. That indeed, is brilliant. Since you avoid putting your opinion regarding the FPP, it can't be questioned, leaving you the ability to jump on someone else. Interesting style. I wonder how many of those 6000+ posts are simply attacks on others without an opinion of your own?

posted by BoKnows at 11:30 PM on May 28

how many of those 6000+ posts are simply attacks on others without an opinion of your own? Can someone please punch the spofi siren button so the rest of us can get to the shelters in time?

posted by irunfromclones at 01:12 AM on May 29

I think the trouble can be traced back to the lack of a link to the yet to be released photos. (sorry)

posted by THX-1138 at 01:21 AM on May 29

cjets: For better or worse, sexual exploitation is an accepted cultural norm from beer commercials to those slutty little bratz dolls. to Danica Patrick in the S.I. swimsuit issue. I can certainly understand wanting to change the cultural norm but it's hard for me to single out Ashley because she's appearing in Playboy, which given the level of sexual content available, is more or less mainstream. I don't think it's a matter of singling out. Singling out by whom, exactly, and when? As you say, the undesirable trait of sexual exploitation manifests itself in many ways in our culture. When and where it does, it gets challenged by those who have the wit to recognize it and thick enough skin to deal with the inevitable responses of, "Aw jeez what's yer problem, it's just a bratz doll, ain't no sexual exploitation ya god damned feminazi!" That's not singling out -- it's just recognizing an example of a larger phenomenon.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:06 AM on May 29

I agree with bperk, that if I had a daughter, I would want her to have not only another choice, but the clearheadedness and sense of values to take it. But... isn't that exactly what she did? Take that choice, with a clearheaded sense of values, with all the facts at hand, all of that? Unless you mean "values" to infer that no one in their right mind would make the choice she did. (Despite numerous examples to the contrary, many of which are posted upthread.) Is that what you're saying, LBB & bperk? That Ashley's decision to allow pictures of herself while undressed to be published could not possibly be the right choice? and don't bring the word feminazi into this conversation. No one in thinking company uses that rude and stupid word anymore.

posted by chicobangs at 07:08 AM on May 29

I wonder how many of those 6000+ posts are simply attacks on others without an opinion of your own? All of them.

posted by yerfatma at 07:11 AM on May 29

Is that what you're saying, LBB & bperk? That Ashley's decision to allow pictures of herself while undressed to be published could not possibly be the right choice? Yes and no. Once again, it is not the nudity. I have no problem with nakedness. It is the sexual objectification. Whether Playboy does that more tastefully than some other mag is irrelevant to me. And, I don't really make a distinction between Playboy and Hooters either. But yes, I think that no one who recognizes the very real problem that women face dealing with sexual objectification would make this decision without very compelling circumstances. I'm certainly not suggesting that Harkleroad isn't capable of making that decision (though there are many stories about the pressure that women are put under to get these photos). My concern was that I hope that despite our cultural norms of oversexualizing women my daughter recognizes that this is an ugly aspect of our culture and doesn't want to make a cheap buck off of it.

posted by bperk at 09:32 AM on May 29

All of them. Apart from that one. OK. All of 'em.

posted by JJ at 10:11 AM on May 29

That Ashley's decision to allow pictures of herself while undressed to be published could not possibly be the right choice? For some, the decision's only acceptable when it matches the decision they'd make.

posted by wfrazerjr at 10:39 AM on May 29

I don't think it's a matter of singling out. Singling out by whom, exactly, and when? Isn't that what this whole FPP is about? Ashley decides to pose naked and everyone weighs in on whether it's right or wrong. When and where it does, it gets challenged by those who have the wit to recognize it and thick enough skin to deal with the inevitable responses of, "Aw jeez what's yer problem, it's just a bratz doll, ain't no sexual exploitation ya god damned feminazi!" I hate the bratz dolls. That's why I singled them out in my earlier post. And if we are going to single something out, I'd much rather worry about the sexual objectification of pre-teen girls than that a 23 year old decides to show her boobs. We live in a crass society where sexual exploitation is the norm and everyone wants their 15 minutes of fame. To me, the question isn't why did she pose for playboy. It's why wouldn't she pose for playboy? Again, it's not a matter of whether I admire or approve of her decision as much as it is simply a recognition of what's going on in this country.

posted by cjets at 11:06 AM on May 29

Chico: what bperk said. wfrajerjr: please remove that stick from the fecal matter. You're making the classic mistake of accepting the neocon redefinition of the word "values" as meaning "neocon mores". In fact, I was using the term to refer to one's sense of what something is worth -- see my example from the article on porn, about a woman deciding it's worth it to her to be in a sex movie for $1000. Or, if you prefer, a man deciding that a $39.95 DVD player from Wal-Mart is a "good value". It's a much larger discussion that really ought to take place outside the context of sex, which tends to muddy the waters. cjets: Isn't that what this whole FPP is about? You'd have to ask the person who posted it, wouldn't you? The subject was raised; I commented. How am I "singling out"? I hate the bratz dolls. That's why I singled them out in my earlier post. And if we are going to single something out, I'd much rather worry about the sexual objectification of pre-teen girls than that a 23 year old decides to show her boobs. Ok, so I guess in your vocabulary "singling out" is synonymous with "using by way of example". That doesn't agree with my sense of "singling out", but if I go by your usage, what's so wrong with "singling out", then? What's wrong with using an example to illustrate a trend? We live in a crass society where sexual exploitation is the norm and everyone wants their 15 minutes of fame. To me, the question isn't why did she pose for playboy. It's why wouldn't she pose for playboy? Because, in fact, not everybody wants their 15 minutes of fame, or wants it so badly that they're willing to pander to a pack of wankers -- tasteful or not -- to get it.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 11:41 AM on May 29

SpoFi: Pandering to a pack of wankers.

posted by worldcup2002 at 11:49 AM on May 29

The subject was raised; I commented. How am I "singling out"? In general, she's being singled out, LBB, I'm not talking specifically about you. I realize that my posts have primarily been a dialogue with you but I am trying to respond both to the FPP and the other posts as well (even if I don't quote them). Ok, so I guess in your vocabulary "singling out" is synonymous with "using by way of example". That doesn't agree with my sense of "singling out", but if I go by your usage, what's so wrong with "singling out", then? What's wrong with using an example to illustrate a trend? I think we pretty much have the same definition. She's been singled out. By online news and sports services, on news and sports networks, etc because she will be in playboy. And there's nothing wrong with using an example to illustrate a trend. And again, here's my question (Not so much for you LBB, because you've been consistent on the issue) Why does Ashley get criticized for appearing in Playboy but Danica does not for appearing in a bikini in the S.I. swimsuit issue? Both seem to be sexual exploitation. The only two differences seem to be A) that Ashley is in Playboy not S.I. and B) that Ashley is topless and Danica is wearing a bikini. So it strikes me as hypocritical that Ashley is criticized but not Danica.

posted by cjets at 12:12 PM on May 29

Just playing the Devil's advocate: It seems that definitions can be open to interpretation and that it appears our views of the world are wide ranging on this site. But what would we, as a concensus, define objectification as? I know that a great many people find the pictorials in Playboy to be artfully done, more than just lewd. By that token, many of the great statuary from the classical era depicted people and gods without their clothes. Could that be a form of objectifying? Why are the photos in Playboy given a different label than art? I don't recall any centerfolds being specifically sexual in nature. Perhaps the women might have a come hither look, but nothing more overt than that. My point of view is that the young lady made a clear and conscientious choice to be photographed. The only coersion involved was money. And perhaps the chance to show off. We may not approve of her decision, but it just feels not quite right to judge her choice when she is not harming anyone and is not being forced into doing something against her will. You can judge me all you want for looking. But I don't define myself as a "wanker" for it. Nor shall I engage in any "wanking" during my perusal. Just call me an art lover.

posted by THX-1138 at 12:17 PM on May 29

It seems that definitions can be open to interpretation and that it appears our views of the world are wide ranging on this site. But what would we, as a concensus, define objectification as? I know that a great many people find the pictorials in Playboy to be artfully done, more than just lewd. By that token, many of the great statuary from the classical era depicted people and gods without their clothes. Could that be a form of objectifying? Great point, THX. One could find a Renoir nude or Last Tango in Paris to be sexual exploitation or objectification. But I think of both of them as art. Does Playboy meet that standard for me? No. But who's to say it won't be regarded as art in 50 years? And people will be debating the relative merits of playboy photogs the way art historians debate the relative merits of Renoir and Manet.

posted by cjets at 12:39 PM on May 29

Because, in fact, not everybody wants their 15 minutes of fame, or wants it so badly that they're willing to pander to a pack of wankers -- tasteful or not -- to get it. Or maybe some people are comfortable enough to pose naked with no qualms about it. Or maybe they're exhibitionists. Or maybe, God forbid, some people have a different set of standards than you. You're making the classic mistake of accepting the neocon redefinition of the word "values" as meaning "neocon mores". We could debate this, but to me the more important point is -- who the fuck are you to tell me I'm making a mistake?

posted by wfrazerjr at 01:09 PM on May 29

wfrazerjr: Or maybe, God forbid, some people have a different set of standards than you. We could debate this, but to me the more important point is -- who the fuck are you to tell me I'm making a mistake? Emphasis mine. Based on your choice of language and use of strawmen, I think what you're after isn't a debate but a fight. I've got plenty to say to address your points -- in fact, have already done so, and you've chosen to ignore what I said -- but I'm not gonna play with your "God forbid" and "who the fuck are you". Take it down a notch, and we can talk.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 01:28 PM on May 29

You're here to preach, lbb, not to talk. Save it for someone else.

posted by wfrazerjr at 01:46 PM on May 29

Why does Ashley get criticized for appearing in Playboy but Danica does not for appearing in a bikini in the S.I. swimsuit issue? Both seem to be sexual exploitation. They are both the same to me. Or maybe some people are comfortable enough to pose naked with no qualms about it. Yes, the whole I feel comfortable with my sexuality, therefore, I don't mind that tons of strangers are masturbating to pictures of me argument. I think this is a feminist argument that has gone crazy. Somehow showing your sexuality in a way that men prefer and like to ogle is a sign of liberation or being comfortable in your own skin. I don't see any correlation between those two things.

posted by bperk at 01:48 PM on May 29

I think at the end of the day, it is how SHE feels about the whole thing. If she is ok with it, who is anyone else to say what is right/wrong, art/objectifying? Everyone has their own set of what is acceptable/moral or what ever you want to call it behavior. Everyone can have their own opinion, that is what this country is about. Myself, I don't/won't spend my life worrying about whether I am complying to other peoples standards. It is what my standards are. If I had the body and was made that offer, I would take it. People are going to look at a nice body, male or female, that will never change.

posted by steelergirl at 01:52 PM on May 29

And I guess you're here to tell me what I'm here to do. And of course, you're reacting to the content, and the fact that I wrote it has nothing to do with anything. Gotcha, boss. I didn't start with you, you started with me, so follow your own advice and save it for someone else.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 02:20 PM on May 29

With steelergirl's post, I feel like we've described one complete lap of this argument. I don't know who this "Society" person you guys keep bringing up is, but if this is their attitude toward beauty, women, and their own human impulses toward same, I really don't want to meet them. They sound like kind of a condescending dick.

posted by chicobangs at 02:21 PM on May 29

With steelergirl's post, I feel like we've described one complete lap of this argument. ... and it's time for a whip round so we can make that offer.

posted by JJ at 02:31 PM on May 29

People are going to look at a nice body, male or female, that will never change. And that, to some extent, was what I was getting at. Whether the figure be corpulent or Rubenesque, or comely as in the case of Danica Patrick or the young miss Harkleroad, or even classically strapping like the statue of David, or even a picture of Brad Pitt with his shirt off, how you define the picture says more about you than the picture itself. Is the picture "sexy" and "gratuitous" because from someone's point of view it is, or is it "art" and "tastefully done" if someone else deems it so? One definition of art could be said that it is something that doesn't define itself, rather it allows for the viewer to define it. One man's art is another man's trash. Now if the pictures were to depict a specific sexual act, I would define that, personally, as being pornographic in nature. And by that token objectifying of both parties (if there are indeed two involved). But right and wrong? That's up to the individual. The greatest courts in the land haven't been able to make up their minds on that issue, so I have doubts that our debate will serve to clarify the matter. Maybe it would be a good idea to concede that we'll not change each other's minds too much, but rather offer a new perspective even if we don't particularly agree.

posted by THX-1138 at 02:32 PM on May 29

I think at the end of the day, it is how SHE feels about the whole thing. If she is ok with it, who is anyone else to say what is right/wrong, art/objectifying? I'm not touching right/wrong, but whether something is art, or whether it's objectification (and the two things are not related), isn't exclusively determined by a work's creator, and certainly not by its subject. The audience has a lot to say about it, too. "Art" has to do with more than the creator's pure intention, it also concerns how the work is received by the audience -- and as for objectification, I don't think the creator of a work really has any control over that, nor does the model. (on preview, what THX said, pretty much)

posted by lil_brown_bat at 02:39 PM on May 29

I'm with steelergirl on this one.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 03:51 PM on May 29

What YYM said. Me too.

posted by hawkguy at 03:53 PM on May 29

Man, went to take a leak, came back to the party and 4 or 12 fights broke out ... the lights are on and the cops are just now showing. And not one drunk asshole took a swing at me. So awesome.

posted by smithnyiu at 04:08 PM on May 29

Man, went to take a leak, came back to the party and 4 or 12 fights broke out ... the lights are on and the cops are just now showing. And not one drunk asshole took a swing at me. So awesome. You bastard! What took you so long?! I've been waiting to use the toilet for HOURS! I'm dying here! *takes a swing at smithnyiu*

posted by grum@work at 04:22 PM on May 29

the whole I feel comfortable with my sexuality, therefore, I don't mind that tons of strangers are masturbating to pictures of me argument Don't think that's the argument, nor could it be. How can your activity frame the context of my life? I'm currently masturbating to your words. Are you going to stop writing because I get off on circular (jerk) logic?

posted by yerfatma at 04:29 PM on May 29

And I guess you're here to tell me what I'm here to do. And of course, you're reacting to the content, and the fact that I wrote it has nothing to do with anything. Gotcha, boss. I didn't start with you, you started with me, so follow your own advice and save it for someone else. I am here to tell you that if you feel it necessary to say I made a "classic mistake" because in your eyes my view of the situation doesn't jibe with yours, I think you're being a condescending jerk. You couldn't even couch it by adding an "I think" to it -- your word is law. Am I reacting to it because it's coming from you? Of course I am -- this is the prevailing attitude I get from your posting. You don't like my language. I don't like your condescension. It's probably best if I just skip what you post from this point on. Fair enough? Yes, the whole "I feel comfortable with my sexuality, therefore, I don't mind that tons of strangers are masturbating to pictures of me" argument. There is no argument. Harkelroad (and others) has no problem with it. You do.

posted by wfrazerjr at 04:53 PM on May 29

Once while I was at the zoo, a monkey kind of looked over at me and smiled as he masturbaited. But I felt comfortable. Not good, mind you, that would be creepy. Just comfortable.

posted by tahoemoj at 06:06 PM on May 29

I had something similar happen to me, only it was the bumper cars at the country fair.

posted by yerfatma at 06:35 PM on May 29

Once while I was at the zoo read: porn theater a monkey kind of looked over at me and smiled as he masturbaited read: Paul Reuben kind of looked over at me and smiled as he masturbated But I felt comfortable.

posted by smithnyiu at 06:36 PM on May 29

Awesome stuff guys. Here's what I'm taking away to the bathroom with the door locked: 1 - THX is a grandfather?!?! For the record. I had always pictured you as a my age - what with the funny/wry thing you've got going on. 2 - People still find this kind of activity offensive (or, at least, in poor taste)? I find that a tad out of touch. 3 - Why isn't Harkleroad given some credit for using her own sexual power? Is it not somewhat taking control of this? Do I wish my daughter to do it (if I had one)? Well, I'd prefer she was posing for Playboy above a shitload of others, but honestly, I don't see a magnitude here. 4 - I was watching a doc on the making of a porn book of some kind last night, and was struck by the fact that many of the women get into porn because it's one of the highest paid jobs you can get with only, or less, than a high school education. It's a job. Maybe Harkleroad realizes there's only so much bread available to her on tour. Here's another job. 4 - Maybe she's just a big ol' narcissist.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 06:56 PM on May 29

I had something similar happen to me, only it was the bumper cars at the country fair. Sorry, dude. I was totally trying not to look at you, but you're so damned handsome.

posted by wfrazerjr at 07:34 PM on May 29

Here's what I have chosen to put in my pipe: 1- I am 43 yrs. old, Weedy. But goll durned if'n I cain't still kick some young whipper snapper's ass! 2- Love it or hate it, Playboy still finds a way to remain relevant and to stir debate. 3- I am pro-choice. If a gal chooses to take off her clothes and have her picture taken, fine by me. 4- I shall not be attending the fair with yerfatma and wfrazerjr. Or to the zoo with tahoemoj. 5- I need to work with my friend on counting to five.

posted by THX-1138 at 11:04 PM on May 29

Or to the zoo with tahoemoj WTF? It was the monkey's fault, not mine! Take that back.

posted by tahoemoj at 03:08 PM on May 30

It was the monkey's fault As an attorney for the Monkey Anti Defammation League, I must ask you sir to cease and desist from this unwarranted attack on monkey character.

posted by irunfromclones at 04:01 PM on May 30

I'm starting a charity for monkeys who lose their sight later in life. We will be touring zoos with tahoemoj looking for those monkeys who will probably need our help soon. As part of our service we will be offering palm-shaving.

posted by Howard_T at 04:18 PM on May 30

As part of our service we will be offering palm-shaving. Palm stubble?? Man thats gonna hurt.

posted by Folkways at 05:01 PM on May 30

WTF? It was the monkey's fault, not mine! Take that back. I'm sorry that monkeys find you sexually attractive and you are comfortable with it. We may go to the zoo now.

posted by THX-1138 at 05:38 PM on May 30

I thought this thread was running out of steam, and then someone injected some hot monkey love into it! nice (hand) job. If we are to look down upon all the women that make a living that involves using their physical beauty to their advantage, it will be an awfully large group of women. From models, waitresses that work their cleavage for tips, dancers (with or without poles), cheerleaders, actresses (not Bea Aurthur, but the rest of them), musicians (not Cass Elliot, but the rest of them)...the list goes on.

posted by dviking at 05:56 PM on June 01

I can understand the "not Cass Elliot.." because she is dead. But you leave Bea Arthur out of this, dviking!!! (i kid)

posted by steelergirl at 10:53 PM on June 01

If we are to look down upon all the women that make a living that involves using their physical beauty to their advantage, it will be an awfully large group of women. From models, waitresses that work their cleavage for tips, dancers (with or without poles), cheerleaders, actresses (not Bea Aurthur, but the rest of them), musicians (not Cass Elliot, but the rest of them)...the list goes on. You know, people in this thread keep accusing others of "looking down on" Harkelroad and "all the women that make a living that involves using their physical beauty to their advantage", and I think it's a complete strawman -- at least as regards this thread. Who's looking down on? I also find it interesting that we've got such a groundswell of support for the skin biz as a career option for a woman. Granted that, perhaps, the average spofi poster isn't the average Joe Potatohead, I wonder if the eagerness to support a woman's right to disrobe is paralleled with equal vigor and dedication to support an end to occupational gender segregation.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:10 AM on June 02

lbb, not sure where you're coming from in regard to the straw man comment. (I believe it's straw man as opposed to strawman, I could be wrong). Why would they care enough to complain if it was not their real beliefs? They feel that posing in a sexually suggestive manner demeans either the sport, or women in general, and thus should be frowned upon. While I do not share their views, I find it difficult to believe that those that disparage those that pose in Playboy, are doing so for some ulterior motive. As to the groundswell of support for the skin biz as a career option for a woman ...not sure when that ever went away...while the monthly sales of Playboy may have dropped of late, sex has always sold extremely well. Ironic in that in the "skin" industry women command much higher salaries than do the men. I can understand the "not Cass Elliot.." because she is dead. But you leave Bea Arthur out of this, dviking!!! Bea Arthur is alive???

posted by dviking at 08:56 AM on June 02

lbb, not sure where you're coming from in regard to the straw man comment. (I believe it's straw man as opposed to strawman, I could be wrong). Why would they care enough to complain if it was not their real beliefs? They feel that posing in a sexually suggestive manner demeans either the sport, or women in general, and thus should be frowned upon. While I do not share their views, I find it difficult to believe that those that disparage those that pose in Playboy, are doing so for some ulterior motive. [emphasis mine] I might agree with you (although I think it's quite a bit more nuanced than that), but where did you see anyone disparaging those who pose in Playboy? That's why I called it a strawman, straw man, however you like it. As to the groundswell of support for the skin biz as a career option for a woman ...not sure when that ever went away... I was being a bit sarcastic. Clearly, there's always been support for the idea of women getting nekkid for money. If only there had also been support for women making money in other ways all along, perhaps getting nekkid for money wouldn't seem like such a good economic option to the women who do it.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:43 AM on June 02

Last time I checked Bea was alive, dviking and I might add, so is Abe Vigoda! : )

posted by steelergirl at 07:07 AM on June 03

But have you ever seen them both in the same room at the same time?

posted by hawkguy at 10:33 AM on June 03

What are you saying hawkguy? ; )

posted by steelergirl at 11:00 AM on June 03

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.