Breasts: Can't Stop Getting in Everyone's Way
ESPN The Magazine's Body Issue hit the newsstands on Friday with naked photos of Kerri Walsh-Jennings and Colin Kaepernik, but Amanda Hess’ article on female athletes' struggles with their breasts is what people can't stop talking about. “Don’t let boobs ruin your sports dreams,” urged Yahoo! News, perhaps afraid that girls would be scared off by the thought of their breasts bouncing several thousands of times in an hour of jogging. Over at NY Mag , they’re calling for a full-on revolution: “We need new, boob-friendly sports… Ones that weren’t invented by men." (Ideas include competitive yoga.)
On Thursday, Hess followed up with a post on how male athletes can also be embarrassed or slowed down by boobs — or, more specifically, “moobs.”
If you want to understand why male athletes afflicted by larger-than-average mammaries are visiting plastic surgeons, all you have to do is have a look at the Urban Dictionary definitions of “moobs”: Floppy, Jell-O like protrusions in the male chest area, A very scary sight to see, Things that fat guys have.
As great as the stigma of moobs for regular men, so much more will it be for male athletes — meant to be paragons of fitness and masculinity. What's more, they can even arouse suspicion of doping: Breasts in men can be a side effect of steroid use.
Is this the kind of gender equality we should be celebrating? Can men and women unite in their battles with breasts?
Not according to Hess, who says that the stigma of moobs derives from their connection with women: "... breasts are associated with women, and women are unfairly perceived as inferior competitors."
Which brings us back to the start. Maybe men can get in on competitive yoga?