Softball player Lauren Chamberlain poses naked for ESPN's Body Issue, revealing she hopes her nude shoot will inspire other 'thicker, bigger girls' to realize they can achieve anything
- Lauren, 24, is one of the star athletes who have posed naked for ESPN's Body Issue, which will be available on newsstands on June 29
- As an Oklahoma Sooners player, Lauren, who now plays for Florida's USSSA Pride, set a Big 12 single-season record by hitting 30 home runs as a freshman
- The 5'9'', 185-pound athlete opened up about her body image in the interview accompanying her spread, explaining she once struggled to accept her body
- 'When I started to get good at sports and when I started hitting the ball really far, that's when my body image changed,' she said
- Now, Lauren, who says she hates conditioning but loves dead lifts, appreciates her body and its athleticism
For softball player Lauren Chamberlain, posing in ESPN's Body Issue was a 'crazy, write-it-in-your-diary' goal — one that she has now accomplished.
Lauren, 24, is one of the athletes who have posed nude in the magazine's upcoming issue, which will hit the newsstands on June 29.
The 5'9'', 185-pound athlete, explained how her sport changed the way she views her body by teaching her to focus on what it can do — such as hitting 30 home runs back when she was a freshman for the Oklahoma Sooners, a Big 12 single-season record.
Baring all: Lauren Chamberlain, 24, is one of the athletes who have posed nude in ESPN's Body Issue, which will hit the newsstands on June 29
Achievements: The 5'9'', 185-pound athlete, explained how her sport changed the way she views her body by teaching her to focus on what it can do
Lauren, a native of Orange County, California, played four seasons for the Oklahoma Sooners and has now signed a three-year deal with Florida's USSSA Pride.
With her ESPN Body Issue spread, she hopes to inspires other people, specifically girls who might see her photo shoot and realize that athletes can have various body types.
'I said yes for the girls around the world who might see the issue and see someone who looks like them — someone who's thicker, bigger, not as jacked as the typical athlete — and that could give them that boost to love their bodies,' she told the publication.
Back when she was growing up in Orange County, 'thick just wasn't in,' Lauren said, 'Thin was in.'
For that reason, she started dreading shopping for news jeans.
'I remember jean shopping was the worst day of the year because I would try to squeeze into a certain size,' she added. 'I'd have my mind set on a number. Either I fit into that size jeans or I left without a pair because I wouldn't go above a certain size.'
Sports was the defining element that enabled Lauren to change her mindset and start celebrating her body.
Role model: With her ESPN Body Issue spread, she hopes to inspires other people, specifically girls who might see her photo shoot and realize that athletes can have various body types
'When I started to get good at sports and when I started hitting the ball really far, that's when my body image changed,' she recounted.
'I loved what my body was doing for me on the field, and that started to translate off the field. When I got into college athletics, my body and power were celebrated and appreciated; that was huge for my mindset on my body.'
Now, the athlete is has come to love her shape, which she credits for her athletic prowess.
'I am big-boned, no doubt about it. I don't think I was ever small, I don't think I was even small as a baby. But I really like my thick legs,' she said.
'I love my thighs. I have an insane amount of power, especially in my hitting. That's my thing, and I own hitting because of my body stature.'
Back in high school and early in her college days, Lauren said she sometimes resorted to 'not eating' while 'dealing with insecurities about [her]body', which she now views as 'disrespectful to [her] body'.
'Not giving it what it needs to perform in order to achieve a certain look. If we're being honest, it just became stupid at a certain point,' she added.
''You're after this unattainable look, this Instagram look, and it's not achievable. I still deal with that insecurity. How am I not shaped and curved like that Instagram model? But you know what? She can't hit a ball like me or move like me. She can't do what I can do.'
Milestones: Lauren is joined in the issue by track and field athlete Tori Bowie, 27, who won three medals at the Rio Olympics in 2016
Setting: Tori, a native of Sand Hill, Mississippi who now lives in Clermont, Florida, can be seen in behind-the-scene images posing fully nude in front of a white background
When it comes to working out, Lauren 'hates straight-up conditioning' but loves dead lifts, and strives to keep her training sessions fun by incorporating sports such as football, tennis, and, of course, softball, into her routine.
'I am not going to necessarily look like the ideal athlete. I will always be thick. I will always be a bigger girl,' she said.
'When I get muscle, it's not cut. I have dimples and cellulite on my legs. But I've come to an understanding about that, instead of being picky about myself in the mirror.'
Lauren, who is recovering from 'the worst offseason of [her] life', during which she had 'soul-crushing' back-to-back surgeries on her shoulder and back, remains appreciative of everything her body can do.
In the future, she hopes girls are encouraged to take up sports at an early age so they, too, can gain appreciation for their athleticism.
'Playing softball taught me to appreciate my body and what it's capable of,' she said.
'I'll never take those lessons for granted, and that same experience needs to be available for more girls. And right now, it's not. As a society, we really need to focus on getting younger girls into sports so they can see their bodies working in a positive way.'
Strength: Asked what she likes about her body, Tori, too, mentioned her athleticism, telling ESPN : 'Just being strong overall. I train my entire body to be strong'
Strong legs: 'If I could pick one body part, I'd probably pick my thighs, my quads,' Tori added. 'I feel they're the strongest part my body'
Lauren, who posed naked with a softball glove in one of her Body Issue shots, can be seen in another powerful image resting a bat on her shoulder.
She is joined in the issue by track and field athlete Tori Bowie, 27, who won three medals at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Tori, a native of Sand Hill, Mississippi who now lives in Clermont, Florida, can be seen in behind-the-scene images posing fully nude in front of a red background, or holding a relay baton in her left hand.
Asked what she likes about her body, Tori, too, mentioned her athleticism, telling ESPN: 'Just being strong overall.
'I train my entire body to be strong. To be a professional athlete, we need every part to be strong — the core, the legs, arms.
Relaxed: As for her diet, the athlete said she's not too strict, nutrition-wise, and while she mostly stays away from junk food, she still manages to follow her cravings
Shape: Tori said she had to get used to her muscular frame, telling the publication: 'It has taken some time to be able to adapt to being so lean and strong and looking really manly'
'If I could pick one body part, I'd probably pick my thighs, my quads. I feel they're the strongest part my body.'
As for her diet, the athlete said she's not too strict, nutrition-wise, and while she mostly stays away from junk food, she still manages to follow her cravings.
'I love the chips, the hot wings, fries. I tend to eat it all, to be honest,' she said.
Tori recounted how she had to get used to her muscular frame, telling the publication: 'It has taken some time to be able to adapt to being so lean and strong and looking really manly.
'I have had some insecurities there, but over time I'm starting to accept it and embrace it, because this is the figure I have to have and the strength I have to have in order to be able to do my job.
'It has taken me some time to grow out of it. The older I get, the more comfortable I get.'
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