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ESPN Nude Zone

Evan Lysacek poses nude for ESPN
Evan Lysacek poses nude for ESPN's Body Issue

While the yoga world struggles with whether nudity has a place in yoga advertising, the wide world of sports (and Sports Illustrated) has long glorified the bodies of athletes (and models who never workout).

So it’s not surprising to see ESPN promote the heck out of their 2010 “Body Issue,” with this “Making Of” video, featured below.

A pretty wide variety of athletes is featured—a few requisite football and basketball players like Amar’e Stoudemire of the Knicks, plus figure skater Evan Lysacek, and Jeanette Lee, a 39-year-old pool player. But one thing they all seem to share besides their athletic prowess is a nagging insecurity about their bodies.

It’s amazing to hear their self-conscious words played over the visuals of their uber pecs, rock-hard butts, and guns of steel. Many athletes in the video admit to watching what they eat and dedicating extra training sessions and workouts for the photo shoot. (I wonder, did Jivamukti yoga teachers do a juice cleanse before posing nude for PETA?)

It may be a simpler decision for these athletes to pose nude for EPSN than it is for yogis, since these athletes see their bodies as brands. They’ve already been sponsored by hydrating beverages, car companies, and expensive watches or sunblocks. They’re not sweating the conscious-mind struggle but dealing with one familiar to common man: Do I look fat?