Remember this scene from Basic Instinct? Remember what happens next in this scene? It’s a pretty well-known cinematic moment. I’m not going to show it here, but here’s a link to a clip labeled simply: “Basic Instinct: Interrogation Scene” – and for most people, it’s pretty instantly recognizable just what scene they’re talking about.
What they’re talking about — and what is instantly evoked by this ESPN mag cover photo of Lindsey Vonn — is the cinematic history Sharon Stone made just just by crossing — and uncrossing! — her legs. You don’t need me to tell you but I will: She was not wearing underwear. And you could see, if not everything, certainly more than enough. Basic Instinct entered the pantheon of, well, something with that (congratulations, Paul Verhoeven, for that and for Showgirls!) — and that is what ESPN is referencing here with this photo of Olympic super-athlete Lindsey Vonn.
Is it an attention-grabbing cover? Yes. Does Vonn look hot? Yes, duh. Does it instantly conjure up the image of what is revealed when those legs are uncrossed? Sadly, yes. Is that what an Olympic-champion gold-medal-winning athlete who is a paragon of hard work, skill and achievement should be reduced to? Sadly, no. Are dude gold medalists reduced to dong shots on magazine covers? Some beefcake, maybe, but otherwise, nope. Oh, there was another naked super-athlete that time…oh wait, it was Serena Williams.
…except I was less sweaty. But as far as being taken back to that particular moment — well yes, I was. What he was seeing, I was seeing — and anyone who looks at that magazine cover will see that, too. Congratulations on your gold medal, Lindsey — this is what ESPN Magazine thinks of you.
Really, ESPN? Sheesh.
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