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Prince Fielder is a first baseman for the Texas Rangers, and his nude body is on the cover of one of ESPN The Magazine’s body issue. You won’t see breakthrough abs, or a chiseled body. What you will see is Fielder being proud of his body, even though he’s not ‘cut’.

Fielder said, “A lot of people probably think I’m not athletic or don’t even try to work out or whatever, but I do. Just because you’re big doesn’t mean you can’t be an athlete. And just because you work out doesn’t mean you’re going to have a 12-pack. I work out to make sure I can do my job to the best of my ability. Other than that, I’m not going up there trying to be a fitness model.”

Although some people felt encouraged by Fielder and his husky body:

Others didn’t see it as something that was worthy of a cover:

ESPN’s body issue has featured a variety of athletes, who have discussed their body and their sport. But by adding Fielder nude to their cover, the magazine opens up the conversation of body image and how men can also be affected.

Although I’d like to think that men do have their issues as well, can they be compared to women’s issues?

I’ve seen tons of heavier men who’ve made negative comments about heavy women. Even down to their own dating preferences. We even see heavy men highlighted on TV. Ask yourself, how many times have you seen a fat man, married to a skinny woman on a sitcom. But have you seen the opposite? Hell, how many heavy women are on TV nowadays anyways?

As a non-reader of ESPN, I’m not sure if there has ever been a cover with a full-figured woman. Serena and Venus Williams have both been on the cover, and of course Serena isn’t exactly a svelte woman. But when ESPN puts a shot-put thrower in her full glory on a magazine, and she receives the same amount of praises that Fielder has received, then maybe I can believe that people are more accepting of all body types in both sexes.

Kudos to Fielder and his body. Just call me skeptical until I see a full-figured female athlete on the cover, instead of a tall chiseled one.

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