Jamison Uhler of NBCPhiladelphiatook on a tough assignment this week when he covered the unveiling of the Philadelphia Eagles' swimsuit calender. You can check out video of Uhler's crusade to the left, where you'll find out that this calender is about more than just toned bodies in various states of undress. It's about fighting global warming.
Follow the logic: the Eagles cheerleaders stripped down and posed their tanned forms to make a case that rising temperatures are a bad thing. It's something of a mixed message, although we're happy to salute their devotion to the cause. The swimsuits that the cheerleaders are wearing are made of recycled, sustainable materials and the calender is even printed on recycled paper. That is, when they're wearing swimsuits.
As Uhler's report illustrates, there's more than one shot of a cheerleader posing without the top of their bikini. Now that's certainly an environmentally sound approach to things, but it does make one wonder if the message received by the viewer is the one that's intended by the sender.
Not to cast any aspersions about the people who buy the Eagles cheerleaders calender, but concern about global warming isn't going to be the thing driving the purchase home. And unless there are a bunch of pictures of the gals at recycling centers, wind farms and such, the virtuous concern for the future of the planet will get lost to the more purient interests.
And there's nothing wrong with those interests or with a calender sold under those pretenses. We're not prudes, we all know why cheerleaders are there in the first place and we can accept that without getting any feathers ruffled in the process. Not everything needs to have some higher mission, especially when the resulting product is going to look exactly the same whether the calender is meant to highlight global warming, illiteracy or the plight of the red-footed porcupine of Bucks County.