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Amanda Beard Really Isn’t That Great Looking

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So gold medal swimmer Amanda Beard has posed nude in Playboy, and is featured on the cover of the July edition of the men’s magazine. Big deal. If she weren’t an Olympian she’d be just another girl willing to take her clothes off for the camera.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Beard is a successful athlete and is relatively good looking, but other than the fact that she is an Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer, there’s nothing about her posing nude – or her looks – that is noteworthy. Beard isn’t being objectified, she’s just confused in thinking that somehow she will have a career beyond the pool just because – or in part because – she’s posed nude in Playboy.

She’s pretty good looking, but really there’s nothing that sets her apart from any of the of the thousands of women who appear nude, or in various states of undress, in the countless men’s mags and web sites that currently exist. You know, from what I hear there are a bunch of these kinds of magazines and web sites out there.

If you do an image search for Beard on Google, you’ll find a slew of pictures of her that range from jockey to sultry. The bottom line is that while Amanda Beard is in fantastic shape and has an athletic body, her face just isn’t all that great. She’s not bad, but you can go to Maxim and find a hundred girls who have great bodies AND better faces. A friend of mine told me about this site.  In this day and age of airbrushing, cosmetic surgery and breast enhancement looks are not only plentiful, they can be bought as well.  Amanda just can't compete with all of these other girls, not out of the pool anyway.

Beard isn’t ruining her chance at being a role model for little girls and young swimmers, which is the nonsensical position that’s being taken by the jealous and the prudes out there. And she certainly isn’t being taken advantage of by “The Man.” Anyone who can make money from posing nude should do so; after all making money this way should be considered a mitzvah.

This is just a publicity move that Beard figures will help her post-pool career. My bet is that she’s wrong, and not because posing nude will somehow be a black mark on her resume. Posing nude won’t help Beard because she really isn’t that good looking, and if she’s looking to make it on her looks, she’s barking up the wrong tree.

There’s another former medal winning swimmer out there by the name of Summer Sanders who has a successful career outside of the pool. If you do an image search for Sanders, you’ll find none of the cheesecake-type photos that Beard has posed for. Sanders has fashioned a great career for herself based on her talent and personality. She found her niche, had a grip on her good and bad points and has reaped the benefits as a result.

Again, there’s nothing wrong with posing for photos that make a girl look like a bimbo. I actually like bimbos, but Beard just isn’t good looking enough to be a successful bimbo.  When I look at pictures of Beard I see a jock trying to pull off the whole glamour, sex pot look, and it isn’t working.

Posing in Playboy won’t hurt Beard for any reason other than she really isn’t good looking enough to make a living by being good looking. I say this both as a guy who enjoys the female form, and as a guy who has worked with successful models over the years.

I wish people would stop making a big deal out of a woman exercising her right to choose to pose nude and make a lot of money for doing so. In the case of Amanda Beard, the discussion shouldn’t focus on whether or not she should pose nude – clearly if she can make the cover of Playboy, and garner an 8-page spread, she should do it.  However, once the buzz goes away, there's nothing about Beard the model that has any lasting interest.

In case you forgot, gold medal ice skater Katerina Witt posed nude in the 'Boy a while a go and it hasn't done anything for her career.

But when nudity and looks are the issue, the discussion should revolve strictly around whether or not the “looks” are worthy of this position. If she weren’t “Amanda Beard gold medal-winner” not only would she not be on the cover of Playboy, she wouldn’t generate much attention as a model.

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About Sal Marinello

  • Tyler

    Yeah she’s not all that, but the point is we (men), like myself, love to see people nude who haven’t gone nude before. Even if they are not perfect ten’s, the point is, you’ve seen them with clothes, now you see them bare all.

    Nobody would say that Shannen Dougherty is a knock out, but when she posed for Playboy, it was a big deal because we get to see Brenda from 90210 nude.

    There is a fascination many men have, including myself, in seeing women who never let us seem them naked, naked.

  • Tyler

    Sarah Jessica Parker is ugly (cute body, UGLY face), but if she posed for Playboy it would be HUGE because she refused to go nude ever in Sex and the City (while everyone else did), get the point?

  • http://www.healthandfitnessadvice.com/ sal m

    good points all…SJP is already a star, so her posing nude is a big difference than beard trying to make it outside of what she’s good at by doing nude…

    naked, naked, naked…

  • Alec

    It seems kinda pointless to suggest that Beard is attempting to begin a career as a nude model, especially since she intends to compete in the upcoming summer Olympic games. Most likely, she posed nude because Playboy is known for paying notable women a substantial amount of money to appear in their magazine. I can’t think of very many celebrities of any degree of fame who even bothered to attempt a regular career as a nude model. Celebrity layouts are not the same thing as the Playmate track that women like Pamela Anderson followed.

  • http://www.healthandfitnessadvice.com/ sal m

    here’s beard’s quote:
    “This doesn’t change my personality or who I am. It’s just a business decision, a career decision.”

    what career decision is predicated by the decision to pose nude, and then improved by this move?

    like i said, if she can do it and get paid, good for her. from what i’ve already seen of her there’s nothing that would make me seek out these pix when there’s ton better out there of girls who are way better looking…from what i’ve heard….

  • Alec

    Sal —

    The “career decision” is obviously to find a way to generate a public relations “buzz,” so that she can rise above the pack of starlets and wanna be’s in LA who are all scrambling to become rich and famous. In this way she is like the woman from the Apprentice who appeared in last month’s Playboy, who is a lawyer and who is also trying to generate some free publicity for her husband, who is opening an LA restaurant soon. As with Beard, the “career decision” has absolutely nothing to do with wanting an ongoing career in nude modeling.

    The buzz might help her get an agent, or a better agent, or help her with other media-related opportunities. And as I noted earlier, Playboy pays very well compared with other magazines.

    As an aside, the American nudie magazine market, especially Playboy, does not particularly encourage an ongoing career doing nude photography. Most Playboy playmates try to move on to movie or TV careers (again, Pamela Anderson comes to mind, going from Playboy to Baywatch). Women who appear nude in the lesser magazines get offers to do porn, which has rarely been acceptable to female athletes or other women with any kind of legitimate celebrity (Terri Weigel, a former Playmate is one of the few Playboy models who had a subsequent career in porn).

    Penthouse rarely has had pictorials featuring female athletes or celebrities (unless they have obtained the photos from a third party source).

    In the UK, on the other hand, there have been a number of models, such as Adele Stephens and Veronika Zemanova, who have had long and substantial careers as nude models (and neither of these women have done hard-core porn videos), appearing in both British and American nudie magazines.

    The down-side of all this of course, is that there are lesser female celebrities who are encouraged by agents and others to appear in Playboy with the promise that it will jump-start their career, only to find that not only does it not help, but that have now been pigeonholed as bimbos or sluts unsuitable for more mainstream work.

  • http://www.healthandfitnessadvice.com/ sal m

    i agree with you…i think we’re kind of saying the same thing.

    when all is said and done i see this as a bad move.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Thanks a lot Sal. Now you made Amanda Beard cry, and I’ve had to spend all weekend consoling her.

    All. Weekend.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Women who pose nude for cash are bordering on whore-dom, just like strippers are borderline-whores by dancing nude for cash. (And porn stars are whores, I don’t care what anybody says.)

    She’s demeaning herself by doing this. And that’s her right. But she doesn’t deserve to be looked up to for this, regardless of what she looks like.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    RJ, no, no no, no ,no. Women who pose nude aren’t bordering on whore-dom, nor are strippers or porn stars. And there isn’t actually anything wrong with being a whore anyway.

  • http://www.healthandfitnessadvice.com/ sal m

    the most important thing is that suss has been there for amanda…helping her to pick up the pieces…

  • http://psamp.blogspot.com tecmo_bowl_bo_jackson

    amanda beard can pick up my pieces. i mean…

  • http://www.modernmagellans.com Roger Anderson

    The issue is this – just how many women do you need to see naked before you see that they are all very similar. Take a biology class and get over it.
    As far as her future profession – swimmer or porn star; A whole new genre of porn movie: the swimming sex scene. How uplifting. The tax payers pay for her to train and participate in the Olympics. Do we get a cut of her fees above her standard taxes?

  • http://www.healthandfitnessadvice.com/ sal m

    roger, i think you may have hit on what beard’s plan is…the porn esther williams…there’s been a huge void in the area of swimmer/entertainer field since ms williams stopped making films over 60 years ago…

    in case you don’t know who esther williams is.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “RJ, no, no no, no ,no. Women who pose nude aren’t bordering on whore-dom, nor are strippers or porn stars.”

    The definition of “whore” –

    noun

    “A woman who engages in sexual intercourse for payment”

    Strippers rub their naked body all over men for money. Porn stars have “sexual intercourse” on camera for money.

    Women who pose nude aren’t whores, but they are taking a step in that direction.

    “And there isn’t actually anything wrong with being a whore anyway.”

    Riiight. Lots of happy, well-adjusted, disease-free whores with high self-esteem out there…

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Yes, there are actually.

  • http://www.healthandfitnessadvice.com/ sal m
  • http://www.breakingwindows.com Ken Edwards

    Funny this is Sal, I said the same thing when I ripped open that black plastic and saw the face on the cover.

  • J

    Sal, you’re a disgusting sexist pig. What respect do you possibly have for women by calling them bimbos? And how pathetic is any guy who only values a fake, plastic appearance. Clearly you have no life if you sit there and watch your cookie-cutter barbie dolls on maxim all day. Amanda may not be the most attractive woman, but at least she works hard to keep her body in shape. She doesn’t have breasts that look like melons imperfectly shoved under the skin. She has a natural face, not one that’s been nipped and tucked at every corner. I feel sorry for the athletes you coach. May your misogynist spirit never rub off on them. It’s men like you that give all men a bad name.

  • sal m

    gee that’s an interesting take….i didn’t realize that a guy is a mysogynist because he thinks a girl isn’t good looking.

    although if being a mysogynist means that a female athlete that i work with wouldn’t think of posing for playboy to further their “career,” i’ll take it.

    but when you’re an internet random like J you can make all kinds of ridiculous pronouncements,

    perhaps some reading comprehension and a bit of a sense of humor would help you.

  • http://www.theidandi.blogspot.com Chris McVetta

    Wait. Did I hear you correctly? The Spurs are whores…?

  • w peavy

    Actually, having met Beard in person, she is incredibly striking, but not in a traditional sexy female way. She has the soft features of the girl next door, the obviously toned body, and those eyes. And the magazine did not really capture any of this well (not their purpose).

    Beard said the magazine is iconic – that is the clue to her motivation. Our culture is in the midst of a stripper beauty trend right not, which is where that magazine fits, so the shoot is timely. Beard is also showing some hutzpah (like actresses who hook up with badboys) by challenging her fans to hold her anyway. Role model swimmer, bad girl model, and tough girl public relations at the same time.

    Whether it will work remains to be seen. The stripper trend is spotty – it works for some and tarnishes others. Even Charlise Theron had some questionable photoshoots. It is up to Beard to give us more to work with than just her physical self.

  • Brian Armstrong

    This doesn’t just demean herself, it demeans sports in general. Olympics have unfortunately focused less on sportsmanship and more on self-centered values, as we saw with Sasha Cohen’s sad display of sportmanship that ended up with her sniffing Will Farrel’s jockstrap in “Blades of Glory” just for a money-shot.
    Going blue never helped anyone’s career, even Madonna was hurt by the nude pics of her; and this “female empowerment” hypocrisy is just one more manner in which sports is losing its integrity to prostitution– just another example of Women’s Liberation becoming women’s exploitation… and acts like this lower the bar just one more notch.
    Likewise it degrades men by esteeming athletic women as sex-objects– this is not only homoerotic, but insultingly implyies that they’re being celebrated on their professional merits, when it’s clearly just sports-fantasy soft-core pornography– similar to showing school-teachers in Playboy and implying that it’s “educational.” The hypocrisy is blatant as it is unbearable, and she should have her Olympic medals revoked just like would be a Miss Universe title for such behavior.
    Unfortunately that won’t happen since sports is no longer about sportsmanship and integrity, so much as a cheap fast buck to the top performer– little more than a cattle-bid.
    Like all strippers, she’s just another whore who doesn’t put out.

  • Hairynipples

    Wow, I can’t believe I missed this discussion. I got a partial stiffy when the guy mention melons under the skin. I love melons….