fitness · tbt

The Shape of an Athlete #tbt

For today’s #tbt I’m reposting an oldie but goodie from the early days of the blog (when I wasn’t even yet into photography!). Howard Schatz’s amazing work debunking the idea of “one look” for athletes has helped us in countless ways as we do our best to be a voice for fit bodies of all shapes and sizes. If anyone doubts that athletic capacity is not all about being tall, thin and lean (though some of these athletes are that, yes), you need look no further than Schatz’s work in The Shape of an Athlete. Enjoy!

FIT IS A FEMINIST ISSUE

HS 1These photos by Howard Schatz, from his 2002 book, Athlete, have been making the rounds lately. Sam gave a shout-out to Schatz’s photos in her popular post, “Fit, Fat, and What’s Wrong with BMI?”

People–myself included–can’t stop looking at them.  They are all pictures of professional athletes ready for game day, that is, they’re in peak physical condition.

What’s so absorbing about them is the range of body sizes and shapes depicted?  The human body is for sure a thing of fascination and beauty.  And there’s something awe-inspiring about a body that can perform the way the bodies of professional athletes can. So that’s one reason these images catch our attention.

Their real power, I think, is in the impact of the group shot. We know there’s diversity among human bodies–different shapes, sizes, proportions, colors and abilities.  But though it’s obvious that a gymnast will, for obvious reasons, have…

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