Skier Lindsey Vonn has been sidelined from the Olympics due to injury, but her somewhat perplexing comments to Self Magazine about celebrity weights are making headlines. Lindsay, who recently walked the runway on crutches for NY Fashion Week’s Celebrities Go Red for Women – The Heart Truth Collection, told Self:
“It was hard to go to the Met ball [last May], with people who eat lettuce and a Diet Coke for dinner. It’s difficult to be at events with a room full of women who weigh half as much as you do. That’s always tough. I don’t envy them, though, because so many of them are skinny-fat. They have more cellulite than most people. I feel like I need to give them a cheeseburger. It’s sexy and beautiful to be strong.”
Salon posted a criticism of Lindsey’s comments (parts of which are excerpted below):
Leaving aside the confusing specifics of Vonn’s critique — eating cheeseburgers for a perceived untoned physique covered in cellulite might not be a nutritionist’s recommendation — her hectoring, nasty tone is likely to keep her from getting invited back.
Vonn has long sat at the intersection of sports culture and the body fetishism: A Google search for “Lindsey Vonn Sports Illustrated” pulls up her bikini shots for the magazine’s Swimsuit Issuebefore it does any news about her long career. Vonn also posed for ESPN the Magazine styled as Sharon Stone in “Basic Instinct” moments before Stone famously uncrosses her legs.
Vonn, who posed for her Self interview in skintight Team USA leggings and a bra, does not face much criticism from people who don’t think she’s beautiful. Her very presence at the Met Gala was an acknowledgment not of her prowess as an athlete but of certain x-factors that include her appearance. A more gracious public figure might have acknowledged, even to herself, that the game she’s playing is not so very different from that of any of the other stars at the Met Gala. It’s sexy and beautiful to be strong, sure — but it’s sexier to be mature enough not to tear down other celebrities for attention.