Jessie Diggins Featured in ESPN Body Issue
Olympic Champion Jessie Diggins (Afton, Minn.) is one of 16 athletes to grace the pages of this year's 10th edition of the ESPN Body Issue. Diggins used the feature as an opportunity to discuss body image and dispel negative perceptions the community has about baring it all. In her most recent blog post, entitled "Body Issues", she reflected on the decision to participate, which she admits was not easy.
"Admittedly, I mostly figured I’d never get asked or have to consider it since cross country skiing isn’t a 'famous' enough sport, but times, they are a-changin’! But the biggest reason I never thought I’d do the tastefully nude shoot that shows off athlete’s muscles is because when I was younger, I struggled with a healthy body image. When I was 18-19 years old, I had everything in the world going for me, but I struggled with confidence and didn’t love myself. I suffered from an eating disorder, and eventually sought help at a treatment center, checking in for a summer program that saved my life. So when I was approached about the ESPN issue, I thought 'is this REALLY something I want to do? Will it bring back old memories? Will I be ok with everyone seeing my body exactly as it is?'
The answer for Diggins was yes. In doing so, she hopes to inspire younger women "to be OK with who they are and what they look like."
"We need to open up the conversation about body image, self confidence, and disordered eating" she reflected. "It should not be a shameful thing, or a taboo topic. It’s more prevalent than people think, and perhaps making help easier to find and less difficult to ask for could save some lives."