November 18, 2009
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At first blush, it’s easy to say the cover is sexist. And it is, as the Newsweek honchos attempt to discredit Sarah Palin through her attire, or lack of, no less, by using a cutesy posed photo she took for Runner’s World magazine.  Haha, the Newsweek team probably smirked with pleasure at its brilliant “marketing” decision, using a unprofessional photo of Sarah Palin in running attire, to really show everyone how problematic she really is.  And then, they creatively prepared a heading “How Do You Solve A Problem Like Sarah?” which has nothing to do with running at all. Wow, genius idea. Makes you run to pick up a copy. NOT.  Well, I am not here to defend Sarah Palin as it was a photo taken of her, albeit a little too posey, for Runner’s World magazine and a magazine I have read and enjoyed myself. And the photo was relevant and apparently sold copies of Runner’s World off the shelves. Here, this is a commentary about how boring, irrelevant and old fashioned this cover is, and how Newsweek’s cover falls miserably short of modern and lacks any creativity. The magazine cover looks like out of the June Cleaver era. Take some clues from TIME, which can be just as critical of Sarah Palin, but they can create covers that are much more modern, artsy, young, and edgy. What is Newsweek trying to say with its cover? While its goal may have been to criticize Sarah Palin in a “shocking” way, in fact, Newsweek just shows us it needs a refresher course in being modern, relevant, and creative. Right now, it’s so boring. Maybe it may redeem itself with its next cover.


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February 9, 2010
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Well, this isn’t the most flattering pose of cute skier Lindsey Vonn. However, neither is it the worst. But people are talking about it because sites like WomenTalkSports believe the cover objectifies women. Listen in:


“Vonn is first a GREAT athlete, but she also represents norm of feminine attractiveness. The combination of athleticism and attractiveness make Vonn the likely poster girl of the US Olympic Team, and the media hasn’t disappointed in constructed her as such.

Not to be left out, Sports Illustrated is featuring Vonn on their Feb. 8, 2010 cover. For those of you who follow SI Covers, know that female athletes are RARELY featured on the cover.

Over the last 60 years researchers have shown that about 4% of all SI covers have portrayed women.

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.”


As I call it, let’s look at the facts. Lindsey Vonn is a downhill skier. She skies downhill, crouched, poles tucked under her arms, tush in the air, right? Arguably, she’s not doing anything out of the ordinary. She’s a superior athlete, cute (great makeup, hair and ski suit!) and marketable, so why would anyone want to hide her face behind goggles in an action shot. (See a male skier cover.) Very cool shot, but we can’t really see his face.

Does it hurt her credibility? Not really. Sport Illustrated crowns her in boldface type “America’s Best Woman Skier Ever.” Please, this is not an example of mockery or sarcasm like the Palin cover on Newsweek. Not by a long shot.  Well, could SI have shot her straight forward? Yes, but it is SI’s call and that is what the ruckus is about. Is it also that SI shot her in a bikini for its Swimwear edition? (see below). And all covers are on newsstands within a span of a week.

They speak like SI held a gun to her head. Lindsey Vonn consented to be shot on the Olympic Preview cover and the Swimwear edition. C’mon, who wouldn’t pose for SI knowing it could catapult your career, your marketability, your bank account. It is not sleazy, sarcastic, or demeaning. You are included with the top athletes of the world. Yes, SI should be better about having more female athletes on covers. Yes, SI does show the female form in sexy ways, but a woman should never try to be a man. How confining! Be yourself. Obviously, Lindsey Vonn shows her smart, playful, girlish side that loves to dress up, feel pretty, but let her accomplishments speak for itself.

Will SI probably sell magazines with Lindsey Vonn on the cover? You bet.


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    DEFY FEAR™ Be open to change. Take risks. Revel in adventure and new experiences. Travel. Read. Engage your senses. Learn from your mistakes, your successes, and from the wisdom of others. Unravel a puzzle. Create and use your imagination. Be active. Find the positives. Keep it fun. Be EXTRAORDINARY. Love. Live the good life. Enjoy the ride. - I AM. Copyright 2009 by Stephanie Matsumoto STYLE. All rights reserved.