The 2013 Body Issue of ESPN The Magazine hit newsstands last Friday, managing its typical trick of publishing sultry near-nudes while simultaneously patting the reader on the back for admiring the athletic form (just like the ancient Greeks!).
In 2011, we took a look at the many photographic tricks that the ABC/Disney-owned magazine used to deal with the "inconvenient fact that its nudes are naked." Balls were tucked behind legs and hands. Nipples were covered up with a variety of different arm contortions. Props, sometimes sports-related, were strategically deployed.
The chart above is an update of this breakdown, complete with data from the 2012 and 2013 issues. Some terms: "Sports" means that the obscuring leg or arm pose used in the photo mimicked an actual athletic act, like preparing to swing a golf club. Arm (V) refers to a pose in which one breast is covered by a hand and the other by the forearm, while Arm (X) has both arms crossed across the body. "Magic" refers to two images where I'm pretty sure the nipples were Photoshopped out.
Give credit to ESPN's photographers: Hiding 445 naughty bits—202 women's nipples, 81 dicks, and 162 balls—is no easy task. As Scocca put it, "There, all covered—but for God's sake, don't move!"