Professional Athletes Get Real About Body Image In Nude ESPN Feature

Photo: Courtesy of ESPN.
"I know I don’t have the six-packs and the eight-packs and all that…but I’m perfectly fine with what I am," NFL athlete Vince Wilfork said in the new ESPN the Magazine Body Issue. "If people can look at me, look at a guy that’s 325-plus doing an issue like this, I’m pretty sure that they might have a little confidence after seeing that it’s okay to be who you are."

Wilfork is one of 19 athletes (10 men and nine women) featured in the buff in the eighth annual edition of the Body Issue, which aims to celebrate a diverse set of athletic body types. Other athletes featured include U.S. women’s national soccer team forward Christen Press, and Olympians Nathan Adrian and April Ross.

Among those featured is basketball star Dwyane Wade, who made it clear that even world-class athletes can have reservations about their bodies.

"It’s bigger than me showing my body off," he told the magazine. "That’s not as important to me as telling a story of overcoming a fear. It hopefully gives someone confidence to really be their authentic self."
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The issue isn't just showcasing body positivity; it's also breaking new ground in terms of trans inclusivity. In a history-making turn for the magazine, Olympic duathlete Chris Mosier is the first transgender athlete to appear in a Body Issue.

"As a trans person, I was in a body that didn’t really fit me for 29 years; now I feel comfortable in my own skin," Mosier said in an ESPN press release. "That’s something that I’m proud of and wanted to share with other people."
Head to ESPN's gallery for more photos and behind-the-scenes interviews. The Body Issue goes on newsstands on Friday.

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