Esther Vergeer Poses Naked in Her Wheelchair for ESPN

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Ester VergeerTennis player Esther Vergeer is a beautiful woman. And a talented one. So why is her appearance in ESPN the Magazine's annual Body Issue being called an example of how the magazine has "jumped the shark"?

Because people still can't handle the fact that people with disabilities are, gasp, people!

The Bleacher Report listed Vergeer's appearance in her wheelchair as one of the most "vomit-inspiring images" in the issue.

Said their report:

"She has a beautiful body. No complaints there. But doesn't it feel just a little wrong to be ogling a woman in a wheelchair?"

Oh. We get it. Women in wheelchairs can't be sexy. They're just disabled people, you know.

Unlike every other woman on the planet, they do not want to be desired. That's beneath them, you know. They must focus every moment of their life on being ... wheelchair-bound.

While we're hard-pressed to celebrate the reveal of a bunch of hard-bodied women like it's a major coup for femininity, a spokesperson for the magazine said: "ESPN The Magazine's Body Issue is a celebration and exploration of the athletic form, honoring athletes of diverse shapes, sizes, colors, genders, and race."

And Vergeer's appearance is a pleasant surprise.

Her stomach, while quite thin and very healthy, looks like she's eaten in the last few days. Perhaps that comes of sitting in her chair, a pose that makes it hard for even the hardest bellies not to pooch a tad. But we'll take it -- as we said, she looks healthy. 

Even better, the paraplegic has made kicking ass her business since childhood. She recently won her 396th straight U.S. Open match in her chair.

Before she picked up racquet sports, she dominated on the basketball court -- also in her chair.

So tell us again why it's wrong to ogle her?

Maybe because we should respect her instead? And give her props for being the whole package? Talented. Beautiful. And brave enough to bare it all.

What do you think?


Image via SplashNews


body image, emotional health

29 Comments

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Jenni... JenniferDawyn

I love this!  Just absolutely love this!


It's 2010.  How did it take this long to have a disabled person take a nude photo?

nonmember avatar Mike M

I looked through the slideshow and was disappointed at how so many of the comments were negative. The guy thinks the only form of beauty concerning the human body is what turns him on sexually - as such he is a very selfish, picky, and judgmental individual. The human body (of every human being) is a very beautiful thing, but sadly it can be difficult for some/many people to see this.

nonmember avatar alan

I think it is just stupid how we are still treating this as a taboo. A beautiful girl is beautiful wheelchair or not, I don't why we stil consider morally wrong to find sexually attractive a girl who is paraplegic

krenk... krenke414

I give her props.  She can be an idol for other disabled people to not to give up hope and that they can still achieve whatever they want with hard work.

lizzy... lizzyb5280

As a paraplegic myself, I am so psyched that ESPN the Magazine is treating her like just a woman instead of focusing on her as a disabled woman.  Too bad The Bleacher Report and much of the rest of the American public can't do the same.

nonmember avatar Mel

I've been in a chair for almost four years now. That reaction is so typical of the stupid public. When I'm at a nightclub, drinking and dancing, people have come up to me (more than once) and patted me on the shoulder and said "good for you for getting out." Seriously? I'm a human being like anyone else. Don't condescend me it just makes you look stupid.

nonmember avatar Tom

You've taken his comments way out of context. I encourage people to look at the actual link and then judge the article based on that.

This is a misleading post.

-Katy -Katy

It actually took me a minute to notice that she was in a wheelchair. My first thought was "sexy naked lady". And even after reading about the picture, she's still sexy. Anyone who thinks she's "vomit-inspiring" just because she's in a wheelchair is incredibly immature.

Chas Pantino

Women, women, women, are they always the path finders? While not being completely clear on the nude or not. There is certainly the right for all people to take part in whatever they want to, within the Law.

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