The difference

From looking at the ESPN body issuses, these aren’t always any better when depicting black people (little mention of Asian men from what I’ve seen but I could be wrong) but when compared to Robert Mapplethorpe’s photography, that’s a huge difference. Most notably that the ESPN models are portrayed exactly like their white counterparts, naked but with no emphasis on the genitalia. (In fact with both, it’s often unseen.)

The ESPN pictures could be wank fodder for others but it does seem kilometres away from Robert Mapplethorpe’s works. Admittedly, it could be hard to quantify the number of nude black men and nude white men in those issues (though it could be about equal should anybody count it). But in a weird way, it’s like the antithesis of his works in some regards. But most notably, not much emphasis on genitalia in the ESPN pictures to begin with.

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