CAN_TGAMOn Monday, a bruhaha, or perhaps a bruhuhu (forgive me, internet), erupted over a photograph taken by Kevin Van Paassen that appeared on the front of the Globe and Mail, Canada’s largest national and second-largest daily newspaper. The picture in question features 17-year-old figure skater Kaetlyn Osmond extending her leg in the air while dressed in a revealing costume that would be considered common for her sport.

It seems that to some the image represents a terrifying reminder that many women – including female athletes – do indeed possess an area of their bodies where their two legs meet and reproductive organs are often present. Shocking and appalling stuff, I know.

There was enough of an outrage to elicit a response from the Globe and Mail’s Public Editor Sylvia Stead, who declared the photo to be “not acceptable.”

Readers described the photo as too revealing, although it was a typical skating costume. Others said surely you could have found a more dignified photo and I agree with those readers. Many readers (and I fall into the same camp) are very proud of our Canadian athletes and feel paternal or maternal toward them and their great accomplishments. So, they want photos to show our athletes in the best possible light and not to (potentially) embarrass them.

While it may be a photo editor’s duty to ensure that images enhance a story – and don’t distract from it –  I tend to agree with an application of the trope that any umbrage with a photograph such as this says a lot more about the person taking offense than anyone else. In fact, I would suggest that anyone claiming to be offended by the picture of Osmond competing for the very first time at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships isn’t so much offended as they are starved for expression, and merely utilizing something they recognize as possibly being inappropriate to pathetically fill that hunger in the least genuine way imaginable.

Thankfully, the athlete herself has provided us all with the most reasonable and measured take.

If the incense over the picture was good for anything, it was to prompt these comments from Osmond which serve to remind us that reason in the face of artificial outrage exists and should celebrated even more than figure skating results.

Comments (13)

  1. I think the photo is a horrible one. Not that it’s too revealing, just that’s a poor photograph. She looks silly.

  2. “Silly”? It’s figure skating for fuck’s sake. What figure skater on earth looks “normal”?

  3. “merely utilizing something they recognize as possibly being inappropriate to pathetically fill that hunger in the least genuine way imaginable.”

    Whit, what? Arn’t you the same guy who freaked out and called Canada a rasist nation after spme people made jokes on twitter about the TSN hosts?
    Funny that u can recognize this uproar to be foolish but not the one you jumped on your soapbox and participated in.

    • Are you serious? This is not even remotely similar.

    • Because those are exactly the same things, champ. Jesus Christ, we have a winner.

      • Of course they are different, but when you jump all over everything that is borderline offensive or inappropriate, this is what you get. There are too many irrational/illogical/just fucking dumb people out there. People love to brush of the slippery slope argument when it comes to outrage and insensitive things, but this is just another example in a long line that lends creedance to that argument.

  4. Overblown over reaction vs. overvlown over reaction? Yep sounds different

  5. I don’t find this pic offensive or scandalous or even tantalizing. Of course, that’s probably in account of having seen that particular body part so many times, on so many different women. Honestly, it would take a total lip-slip to even pique my curiosity. Maybe we’ll get there in a few years, when photos like this one will be see for what they are: BORING!!!

  6. I don’t find the photo offensive, but it was clearly chosen because of the way she is positioned.

    A picture of a young Canadian woman no one has ever heard of who came last, or a picture of a less attractive women/guy who actually placed on the podium?

  7. Whats the problem, she trimmed before the photo

  8. Figure skating is a sport and activity in which individuals, duos, or groups perform on figure skates on ice. The four Olympic disciplines are men’s singles, ladies’ singles, pair skating, and ice dancing. Non-Olympic disciplines include synchronized skating and four skating. In senior-level competition, skaters generally perform two programs (short and long) which, depending on the discipline, may include spins, jumps, moves in the field, lifts, throw jumps, death spirals, and other elements or moves.’`

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