ESPN continued a tradition they started six years ago–the Body Issue. Labeling the nude athletes who grace the covers, “the bodies we want” is motivational and aspirational. Out of six other covers, the standout star of this Body Issue is Prince Fielder, an adorable chubby-cheeked first baseman of the Texas Rangers. According to the team’s website, Fielder is 5’11” and 275 lbs. His stocky build, in the nude, is causing quite the ruckus on the internet.
Fielder made an impression on us all by being an unconventional body type for a baseball player and it warmed my heart to see someone like him be celebrated. ESPN wins for their Body Issue because they illustrate diverse body types of athletes. We’ve seen Venus Williams, Serge Ibaka, Colin Kaepernick, Blake Griffin, Danyelle Wofe and more and the message that I get is…we don’t have to be perfectly sculpted to be physically outstanding.
Far too often in the media, we are spoon-fed unrealistic images of celebrities who are thin enough to make us opt for a salad instead of the burger and fries we’re craving for lunch. Not every fit body fits into a thin or even toned mold. Fielder says, “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.” And to that, I say, “Amen!”
I just want to send a big thank you to ESPN and Prince Fielder for being fearless enough to share imagery that is unorthodox for athletes and being so encouraging to those out there who don’t think they can play sports because they don’t fit the mold.
The Body Issue hits stands on July 11, but until then, check out these quotables from Prince Fielder about his feature:
You don’t have to look like an Under Armour mannequin to be an athlete. 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.
I need to feed the size. Obviously, I’m a big guy. But I also need to feed myself with the right things. I have a chef now, so it’s definitely easier to make sure that I’m getting full off of the right foods. If I don’t stay on it, it can get out of control.
I don’t think working out makes you better at baseball. Doing actual baseball activities will help with that. But if I could just not do anything, and still be in shape and get through an entire season, that would be great. But that’s not realistic. There are 162 games ahead of you that must be done.
All I wanted was a chance. People didn’t think I’d be able to play every day because of my size or be capable of having a long career. They were just dismissing me. At first I used it as motivation, but then I realized keeping all that anger in for no reason just got old. I’m too old for that.
Check Out This Gallery Of Our #MCM’s!
1. We Can't Deny Our Love For These Men
After a relaxing weekend with friends and sleep, Mondays are hard, but let's thank social media for making it easier with #ManCrushMonday! From Idris Elba's chocolate skin to Justin Combs' young swag, enjoying this eye candy helps get through the week. Click on to see who we're eyeing this week and keep clicking to check out our past crushes.
2. Serge Ibaka
We're just gonna leave this right here.
3. Colin Kaepernick
We're totally here for his spread in the Fall issue of VMan magazine. He's the cover star, and honestly, we don't blame them for putting him on the cover. "Why fit in when you can stand out! @vman #IDontGetTired #WhoDoYouLove #Se7enPounds"
4. Larenz Tate
The cute actor may be on the USA series, "Rush," but you can follow him everyday on IG, where he posts funny memes, pictures with his cast and more! Follow him: http://bit.ly/1rTFp16
5. Chadwick Boseman
Who knew Chadwick Boseman was THIS fine out of character?! We look forward to seeing the "Get On Up" actor in more movies to come!
6. McKinley Freeman
The "Hit The Floor" actor is just as cute on the hit VH1 show as he is on Instagram and posts several pics that keeps us wanting more! "Shameless #teamderek #hitthefloor #mckinleyfreeman #whynot #hulklikeschickennuggets" Follow him: http://bit.ly/1rSkXem
7. David McIntosh
Ok, so a man who can look good WHILE he cooks for us? We'll take it! Get into model David McIntosh who's nothing short of sexy. Good lawd! "You can't see in the picture but there is shackle on my foot attached to the sink. As you can tell by the face I'm not here by choice! helpppppop a super hot, beautiful lady has kidnapped me 😭😭😭😭" Follow him: http://bit.ly/1qF9Whk
9. Jay Ellis
Even though this cutie is on "The Game," we still can't get enough of him now. You'll be swooning over his IG pics, beauties, trust us. Follow him: http://bit.ly/1j3n3A4
11. Don Benjamin
This handsome man laying down is none other than Don Benjamin, a model who was also a contest on "America's Next Top Model: Girls and Guys" edition. He didn't win the title, but he's a definite winner in our eyes. Follow him: http://bit.ly/1j09jdW
12. Harold House Moore
Even if you can't see this cutie's face in the picture, does it even matter? **sigh** He was on this season of "Single Ladies," but we first got whiff of him as an extra in Destiny's Child "Soldier" video. Yeah, we definitely want to see him in more roles. Follow him: http://bit.ly/RnfxdI
13. Serge Ibaka
The 24-year-old basketball player is Keri Hilson's boo, but we still can't stop looking at him. Stalk, er, follow him on Instagram if you're a basketball lover and want to find out how to play the game. **inserts sarcasm** Follow him: http://bit.ly/1r0EHcf
14. Channing Tatum
Even though he's a happily married man, Channing will always be one of our ultimate crushes. He's just too dreamy. Follow him: http://bit.ly/1kSUKeP
Usher can help us train any day. Follow him: http://bit.ly/MUmwrO
The crooner blesses us with his fineness on the big screen and in his music. Follow him: http://bit.ly/1eBgn0O
Are you asking us to the beach, Maxwell? Follow him: http://bit.ly/1gx77G0
This singer continues to make us soooooo anxious. Follow him: http://bit.ly/1eqHefy
20. Quincy Brown
Is Quincy smoldering? Mmmhhhmm. Follow him: http://bit.ly/1gx7dND
21. Justin Combs
Thank goodness Sean Combs' son is 21. Follow him: http://bit.ly/1hFct7h
22. Lance Gross
Even when he looks surprised, Lance serves chocolate goodness. Follow him: http://bit.ly/1kpyoii
23. Idris Elba
Do we really have to figure out what to write here? Follow him: http://bit.ly/1kSV2Cp
24. Michael B. Jordan
You really want to bite something, Michael? Follow him: http://bit.ly/1m2TiUe
25. Tyson Beckford
The model has been in the game for a long time, and he still knows what to post on IG to get ALL of us going. Follow him: http://bit.ly/Q7iE8s
The "Sure Thing" singer has talent, and a nice body, to boot. Follow him: http://bit.ly/1c1x0RR
He may be preparing for fatherhood, but Omarion still has time to workout. Mmmhhmmm. Follow him: http://bit.ly/1hOpwNS
We're not upset at Ashanti for reconsidering a relationship with the St. Louis rapper. We would, too. Follow him: http://bit.ly/1eqIdfN
29. Lenny Kravitz
Zoe's father and Lisa Bonet's ex is making sure we don't forget that he STILL has it. Follow him: http://bit.ly/1nmV42E
30. Mychal Kendricks
We have to admit that we only came across Mychal because of Rihanna, who shouted him out as her #MCM, but a brief scroll through his IG timeline confirms exactly what we thought: the NFL linebacker really is fine. Follow him: http://bit.ly/1t1cTIv