Well, it’s a safe bet that the October issue of Outside will do well on the newsstand: The topic is what the magazine calls the XX Factor — female athletes — and the cover model is ridiculous cut and photogenic climber Alex Puccio. I’m sure some will criticize the magazine and the women for posing in swimsuits, but this is no Sports Illustrated bikini issue wrapped in Velveeta. The big message of this behind the scenes video, at least to me, is how muscular, strong, and yet feminine and girlish these athletes are.
Athletes are blessed genetically and gifted with the drive to train and build and hone, and if anything they should show their bodies more, whether male or female. Despite cyclical calls to put flesh on the skeletons walking the runways, fashion still embraces the woefully underfed look, and magazines routinely nip and tuck their images until even celebrities aren’t recognizable. Athletes serve as strong role models for body image, not portraying some untouchable ideal, but rather a result that leaves you healthier, stronger, and usually happier.