A bunch of delicate flowers are outraged—OUTRAGED!—that the Globe and Mail put a photo of 17-year-old figure skater Kaetlyn Osmond on its cover this weekend.
The photo in question is of the skater performing one of her routines; the Globe describes the 2013 Canadian Figure Skating Champion as "skating a joyous gala routine on Sunday and kicking her leg up high while wearing a typical brief skating skirt over skin-coloured tights."
Despite short skirts being the norm in figure skating, the pearl-clutchers mobilized with indignity over the "revealing" photo and the Globe offered an apology.
But, an apology for what? Having readers who are so terrified/preoccupied with sex that they interpret an image of an athlete as one of titillation?
I think that says way more about its readers than anything else.
Whether you like it or not, figure skating is a sport wherein women are expected to dress in revealing clothing, yet when you publish a photo of a woman performing in said costume, it's somehow inappropriate.
Let's put aside the discussion of the skimpy nature of female athletic uniforms for a second, and examine what's going on with the public backlash to the photo.
Whether or not it makes athletic sense—and I would strenuously argue that it doesn't—the uniforms in many women's sports tend show a lot of skin.
Most people I know aren't watching women's beach volleyball to see athletic prowess. They're watching it to see attractive women in booty shorts.
Now, if you accept that as a cultural given, it is then completely stupid to be upset over photos of women in said outfits. If you have a serious problem with a photo of a championship figure skater, maybe you should bring your outrage up with the international skating community.
The Globe's apology says, "you should ask yourself if you would want yourself pictured this way."
Well, how about we ask the woman in question whether or not she wants to be pictured this way?
Oh, someone did.
@sladurantaye I really like that picture :p— Kaetlyn Osmond (@kaetlyn_23) March 18, 2013
And that's where the discussion should end.