Should Steph Gilmore and Gretchen Bleiler have posed naked?

"I'm one gust of wind away from a very different kind of shoot here…"

We heart Steph Gilmore big time. The four times ASP Women’s World Tour Champ and recent cover star whose interview you can read here is a proper ripper and positive role model for us in more ways than our fingers can be bothered for us to type here.

Last week, along with a host of other male and female athletes including Gretchen Bleiler more of which below, she got her kit off for ESPN mag’s Body Issue  which ran with the not so subtle double entendre strap “Bodies we want“, and there’s been some debate online (see for example the comments board under this piece on on whether or not she should have done it. Whether such, ahem, exposure objectifies female sportsmen and catapults us back to a previous dimension or whether any coverage or not (how hard can it be to write an innuendo free piece on this!) is good coverage.

For our part we’re not totally sure. In fact just thinking about it makes us see stars. On the one hand, she looks awesome, she looks like a laugh and with such a killer body why the hell shouldn’t she show it off to the galaxy, but on the other it is a little reductive to portray a mould-shattering, talented surfer like her in such a way. And maybe it doesn’t help with the whole female sportsmen getting judged for their hotness rather than their talent kinda way. And we’re pretty sure Cori Schumacher wouldn’t be too chipper about it…

"Just don't ask me to high five!

Olympian and X Games gold medallist Gretchen Bleiler (left) also looked hot and, erh, super-toned in the feature. But her inclusion was especially interesting given the last question we asked her in this interview last year about sexy shoots and the stereotyping of female action sportsmen.

So at the risk of opening up less than a can but a lorry stacked with more cans of worms than have ever been assembled in one place, what do you think? Head to to join in the debate goddam as we can’t spend anymore brain RAM thinking about it.


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