I ran across an interesting article about Kate Upton, the 2012 and 2013 cover model for Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit edition.
You can read the article here (included photo is modest), which I’m quoting from, written by Ashley Majeski for NBC’s Today.com.
“After my first Sports Illustrated cover, I felt terrible about myself for a solid month,” Upton reveals in the September issue of Elle. “Every single guy I met was either married or about to be married, and I felt like I was their bachelor present or something.
“I’m not a toy, I’m a human. I’m not here to be used. I am a grown woman.”
Upton brings up some profound points here about how pornography and our hyper-sexualized culture turn women into objects. In other words, turn women into something that isn’t human. To be a toy to be used is not what God intended when He created women and when He created sex.
She was surprised that the men she met treated her like she was his bachelor party present. Essentially, like she was a stripper. Or beyond.
I feel for Upton. To be turned from a human into a toy to be consumed is not desirable and at its root is one of the most inhumane things you can do to someone. To meet men who literally think you’re interested in having sex with them or stripping for them, just because they saw a photo of you in a bikini. There are a lot of scary men out there and to have this many of them thinking these types of thoughts about you is unsettling to say the least.
But it’s really hard to read Upton’s quotes and not think, “Well, what did you expect?”
There is still an illusion out there among both men and women that soft core pornography like the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition are harmless. When one arrived unexpectedly in my mailbox this past February, I wrote an alarming article about how this certainly is not the case.
The reason for this is because we have been conditioned to do so by our culture over and over again, and magazines like the SI swimsuit edition, which grace the checkout aisle of every store in America, are some of the biggest culprits.
The saddest thing about Upton’s comments are that they obviously weren’t enough to change the way she presents herself. She went on to be on the cover of the 2013 swimsuit edition as well! This tells a very sad story: if you pay someone enough, they’ll do just about anything, even degrade themselves.
Upton’s comments are a sobering reminder for men though: even though she is smiling at you, she doesn’t really want to be there. She wants the paycheck, but she doesn’t want you. The photo you are looking at isn’t really her.
She’s a human.
She does not have a hyperactive sex drive.
She has a personality, likes and dislikes, strengths and weakness, insecurities, pains, pet peeves, hopes and dreams, sadness, quirks, and fears.
Just like your wife.
Just like every other woman out there.
She’s someone’s daughter.
She deserves to be someone‘s wife, even if she doesn’t realize it.
And the same goes for all the other women you lust over throughout your day. Even the ones who seem to want the attention.
It’s a great reminder to pray for Upton, and other women who exhibit themselves sexually.
And to pray and recommit ourselves as men to look at all women as human beings, the way God intended, not as objects to be consumed.
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