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Would you like me more if I posted revealing pictures of myself?

February 4, 2011

BoSox hoodie via squidoo.com

Well, you might not now, but how about if I started posting them say three or four months from now ;)?

Here’s stuff that’s not new: Women like sports. Women know about sports. Women can talk about sports and write about sports just as good as, if not better than, men can.

Unfortunately, here’s something else that isn’t new: women don’t get enough respect when they try to talk or write about sports. Not news – we all know it.

Here’s the problem: there are women out there that aren’t helping. And unfortunately, those women are the ones getting all the attention. Everywhere you go, you find women using their sexuality to get ahead or to get attention. It’s not unique to sports. What’s wrong with that is that they’re succeeding at that, and in doing so, the minority’s projecting an image on the everyone’s behalf.

An image the rest of us want nothing to do with.

There are a few female sports bloggers out there (in various sports), that you’ve probably heard of, that are being talked about a lot lately. Words like “It girl” are often used to describe them, and there’s a lot of talk about how attractive they are.

Okay, but where do they stand on no-touch icing? Do they think Fernando Torres is going to solve Chelsea’s problems (rejoice, humanity, because he won’t)? What do they think of Manny going to Tampa?

Yes, they’re hot (well, some of them, others are just… naked). Yes, they get looked at and talked about. But are they ever going to be invited to a panel discussion on their respective sports? Is anyone ever going to ask their opinion on the trapezoid rule or GSP’s next fight? I’m sure they have their opinions and can passionately argue them. But is anyone asking?

Sure, any girl wants to be thought of as a hottie. But most of us would rather be heard.

And my fear is that girls like that are making people think it’s okay to look at girls and not care what we think.

Sometimes, despite wanting to be a better person and focus on the important things in your life and all that, you have moments of weakness and petty thoughts begin to cross your mind. My readership is in the hundreds. That of those girls? In the thousands. Does anyone care what I have to say or are they only trolling the blogsophere for pictures of boobs? It’s not just on the internet, either. It’s in the workplace, on your TV, in the movies… and in your life.

“It bothers me that as a woman I have to work twice as hard to prove I’m smart but either way success comes to people who shamelessly sell themselves,” I told Julie.

“Yes,” she replied. “But smart people read and respect you. Noone respects them, and if they do, they’re stupid, misogynistic assholes. To me, success isn’t getting thousands of cheap page views. It’s being respected.”

And later:  “The guys who love [those girls]. Imagine how they treat their girlfriends and female colleagues.”

She’s right, that Julie. I don’t want people like that reading my blog anyway. Come for the laughs, the hockey talk, the musings on life and the madness. But there ain’t never gonna be no topless or otherwise slutty pictures around here, even when I’m back to thin. The most you’re gonna get are pictures of me at a baseball game or something. In jeans and a Boston Red Sox hoodie.

And I’m glad I have you despite that, my five readers. Thanks for reading, you guys. Even though I’m never going to take my top off on this blog.

22 Comments leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    February 4, 2011 12:30 pm

    umm.. just by the title I can say ‘yes’. What the hell do you think people would say?

    • theactivestick permalink*
      February 4, 2011 1:50 pm

      Kind of what everyone but you is saying :)

  2. February 4, 2011 12:34 pm

    I’ll still read your blog if there aren’t revealing pictures of yourself.

    Besides, if I wanted to read crappy content filled with pictures of half naked women i’d read Bleacher Report (which I wouldn’t read because it’s Bleacher Report)

    • theactivestick permalink*
      February 4, 2011 1:46 pm

      I read ILWT for the articles, too ;)

  3. Paul permalink
    February 4, 2011 12:40 pm

    Meh! When you get down to the nitty-gritty, a brain is sexier than than the hottest body. What good is the most beautiful vessel in the world if it’s empty?

    I likes ya ’cause you’re smart!

  4. February 4, 2011 12:54 pm

    I don’t think I could like you or your blog any more no matter what you did. My RSS reader has gone through MANY cycles of inflated # of subscriptions only to be chopped down to size time and time again. Yours has never even entered consideration to be axed and never will. Unless you become a Leafs fan.

    To your point, using sexuality is just a very easy way for girls to get attention and that tactic has worked for eons. Once they go down that road, their content takes a back seat to their attractiveness forevermore and it’s almost as if it doesn’t matter what their point of view is, or how compelling their stance is. What matters at that point is how they can leverage their sports to get a Maxim shoot, and that’s said as well. Consider Erin Andrews. Nobody is looking for her thoughts on sports anymore. Everyone who googles her now is likely looking the nudie peephole shots of her. Whether by choice or if she’s been stigmatized, we don’t see her much on tv anymore…at least in Canada.

    How many female sideline reporters (and this isn’t restricted to women) are merely pretty faces with a producer in their ear telling them what questions to ask? It’s a prerequisite to be attractive, for better or worse.

    In our money-driven world, sex sells, and the sad reality is that female bloggers are almost required to show skin and be “hotties” if they want to get “big time” and be paid to talk sports. There are always exceptions of course, but I think it’s a slippery slope to tie size of readership to respect. If being a professional blogger / reporter is the end game, then no doubt it’s a steep uphill climb for women who aren’t cover girls, or who refuse to play the game. I have tons of respect for how well ladies like you and Julie know your sports and how well you represent it. You certainly deserve to have your thoughts known to a wider audience without having to comprimise your values.

  5. Happy Girl permalink
    February 4, 2011 12:57 pm

    There are days when I think I’d rather be hot and adored than heard. Then again, I’m not sure anyone hears me though too. But it does bother me when women take the cheap and easy way to get exposure like that.

    • theactivestick permalink*
      February 4, 2011 1:44 pm

      We all have days like that. At the end of the day, the way I look at it is, it only really matters that the person *I* adore and think is hot thinks the same of me. I don’t need EVERYONE to think I’m hot. But I do want them all to respect and hear me.

  6. February 4, 2011 3:29 pm

    You’ve inspired me to post racy pictures of myself on my blog. Thank you. And don’t worry, they’ll be hella classy.

  7. February 4, 2011 3:54 pm

    If you post a picture of yourself wearing a Boston Red Sox hoodie, I may have to disown you…that’s just worse than anything.

    Kidding aside…if I want sports, there’s smart people like you…if I want porn…there’s internet sites dedicated to well…porn….

  8. February 4, 2011 4:01 pm

    You hit it on the nose – there are, unfortunately, a lot of women who aren’t helping the case for women who know what they’re talking about when it comes to sports. Women who think that their knowledge isn’t enough for one reason or another. It doesn’t help the stereotype when a woman puts herself out there as an exact mold of that stereotype. However, I think that any self-respecting journalist knows damn well that it’s better to know what they’re talking about than to just APPEAR like they do. Knowledge is power, and beautiful, even if there are people who disagree with that. It’s better to have faith in yourself, your passion for what you report on, and your knowledge of the subject, than to just look “good” or “sexy” reporting it.

  9. AngusMcCracken permalink
    February 4, 2011 11:10 pm

    Meh. I read for the content, not because there’s a semi-clad hottie writing it. One exception: Mike Boone. The Speedo pics are HAWT! ;)

  10. February 7, 2011 9:11 am

    Great post.

    Would also apply to so called “non-traditional” fields of activity for women.

    We need more Lauras in this world.

    Merci for speaking out.

  11. smalrus permalink
    February 7, 2011 9:15 am

    I’ve known you long enough to know you wouldn’t do it anyways. I’ve also known you long enough to know you wouldn’t need to. And most wouldn’t. In the world of marketing, most gimmicks don’t have longevity.

    Besides, I’m going full frontal on my blog. Call my bluff… :P

  12. February 7, 2011 9:29 am

    I’ll be blunt, you’re one of the reasons I got into blogging and (in a figurative sense of course), I’ve looked up to you and aspired to have the knack you have to convey your personality, wit and intelligence into words on a website. No one could ever say that with a straight face about Jenn Sterger and in the end, the quality of your readers will always be more valuable than the quantity. Unfortunately, we live in a world where traits like being able to easily sacrifice your self-worth and dignity are often times rewarded with immediate success but even with that being the case, where is Jenn Sterger going to be in five years? You, on the other hand, are the one that has staying power.

  13. February 7, 2011 10:05 am

    Reading this post again, there are two points that sort of bother me.

    1. “Sure, any girl wants to be thought of as a hottie.”

    I don’t really agree with that. I want to feel good about myself, but I don’t care what people think of what I look like — the value of being thought of as a hottie is nothing compared to the value of being respected. Example: my former co-hosts would always mention on air how I was dressed, or when I looked “like a hottie.” It was creepy and set the tone for the pattern where I’d be paraded around like a mascot, and people would call in just to hear me say certain things in French or with my French accent, and for what purpose if not to demean me? To jerk off? Either way, PASS. It is my experience that wanting to be thought of as a hottie opens you up to being treated like a whore, or added to a list of hockey hotties (that last part was redundant.)

    2. “But there ain’t never gonna be no topless or otherwise slutty pictures around here, even when I’m back to thin.”

    “… even when I’m back to thin.” I think someone could totally refute that with “OK so this is your issue with body image and weight, which means none of us can be sexy on our blogs. Got it.” I don’t think it should be about being a “hottie” or not or being “thin” (according to whose standards?). In fact I think to single those points out sort of negates/dilutes the message that you don’t want to be lumped in with those girls, because it makes it about what’s considered hot/sexy, and it sounds like it’s partly slamming those girls because you consider them hot/thin. In my opinion, the point should be that anyone who cheapens themselves for fame/success/whatever hurts all of us, no matter how how they do it or how thin or hot they are.

    • theactivestick permalink*
      February 7, 2011 11:20 am

      1. Valid point. I would say, like in my reply to Kris above, that it’s important to me that the one person I adore and think is hot thinks the same about me, but that everyone else respects me.

      What your former cohosts were doing is incredibly disrespectful, and incredibly inappropriate. “We have this hot girl on this show, so listen because she’s hot, not because she has something to say.”

      This post is about shifting the focus from looks completely. Like I said, most of us would rather be heard. THAT’s what’s important to us.

      What’s interesting is that to me the hottest, sexiest thing on a guy has always been his smarts. To me crazy smart guys are crazy hot guys, not matter what they look like (as long as they shower)… I’ve always wanted the same to be true the other way around… sigh.

      2. That was a pre-emptive strike of sorts. I haven’t hidden my struggles with my looks and weight – everyone knows it. But I really didn’t want any responses along the lines of “sure, she’s saying that now because she doesn’t conform to this ideal but if she did fit that ideal naked/revealing pictures of her would be all over the place.”

      My point is, I’m not NOT posting revealing pictures of myself because I don’t conform to some ridiculous ideal I think is popular. I’m saying even if I did conform to that, I don’t believe in plastering it all over the internet for cheap hits. I’m not about “Hey, click on my site, I look like someone else’s standards of hot.”

      But, at the same time, the reality is that often when women speak out, it’s dismissed as “she’s just saying that because she’s fat/ugly/unpopular.”

      I can’t lie and say that I’m thrilled with my looks right now (you and I have talked at length about that). I’m saying that, when the day comes that I am happy with them, I’m still going to feel this way. I’m not going to change my mind about being heard because I feel better about how I look. It’s never going to be “hey, I lost a million pounds look at me in a bikini.”

      It’s going to be like “hey look at me all disgusting and gross cause I just finished a marathon because I got strong and healthy enough to do it.”

      I didn’t want there to be any doubts about that which is why I included that.

  14. February 7, 2011 9:16 pm

    Yet another fantastic article, and yet another reason to read without regard of any pics, be it of yourself, or “Calendar Girl of the Day” that some sites resort to using.

    My issue, (which I have difficulty expressing in 140 twitter characters), is the labeling that people are doing, on both sides of the coin. To me, it is just as bad to label those who use sexuality to get attention. Why does it have to be bad if someone who takes the time to work on and maintain their “God given” looks and want to use that as a way of attracting people to whatever cause they are using. Peta uses Pam Anderson as a spokesperson. Does it make Peta bad? Does it make Pam bad? Do I have to label her as having low self esteem? I don’t see the point. I don’t know Pam Anderson (or Peta for that matter).

    It bothers me when friends of mine are labeled by people negatively. My friends are: the person with a speech impediment who needs to write instead of talk, the girl who feels like she needs to lose a few pounds or be more classically attractive, AND the attractive female fighters who put tasteful, yet provocative photos of themselves, and the attractive ring girls, etc etc. I don’t want any of them labeled as anything other than the good people that they are or try to be.

    Personally, I’ve always been an advocate of “use what ya got, cuz u were given it for a reason”. I’ve also been an advocate of “Know Thyself”. I’d love to be a pro MMA fighter, but I am over 100 pounds too heavy. I’d love to model, but I don’t have that look unless someone is looking for something VERY niche. But I do have a highly opinionated, sometimes outgoing personality, and I have used that in my day job, and now my other job on the weekends. Should shy people come after me for being too loud and noisy? Should other loud people come after me for not being loud in a way that they want me to be? No on both counts. As long as what the person is doing is true to themselves, and not hurting anyone (including themselves), who the hell are we to judge them?

  15. Chris permalink
    February 21, 2011 6:53 pm

    Everything Kyle said, that’s what I wanted to say. But I’d still accept you if you were a Leafs fan too :)

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