Monday, January 4, 2010

Tiger Woods & the 'Vanity Fair' Cover

Man, what bad timing for Tiger Woods with thie cover, eh? However the folks at Vanity Fair are likely psyched that they had this Annie Leibovitz photo -- and others which haven't yet been released -- for which Woods posed to accompany the tough cover story by Buzz "Friday Night Lights" Bissinger about the serial cheater's fall from grace.

The Bissinger story concludes with this:

"In the end it was the age-old clash of image versus reality, the compartmentalization of two different lives that inevitably merge at some certain point, whoever you are. [Woods]exhibited the same superhuman confidence off the golf course that he exhibited on it, apparently convinced he would never be caught despite the stupid sloppiness at the end — text messages, voice-mail messages. He deluded himself into thinking he could be something that he wasn’t: untouchable. The greatest feat of his career is that he managed to get away with it for so long in public, the bionic man instead of the human one who hit a fire hydrant."

The online comments accompanying the photo on the Vanity Fair blog and on the Huffington Post, are fairly harsh when it comes to both Woods and the magazine editors' decision to use that particular image for its cover.

On the VF blog, there were comments like, "I am sorry he looks like a CHEATER to me. He has to same look on his face my ex did when he got caught" and "Um, not only is this not what I want to see, but Tiger looks like a thug. Also, I would expect to see a better body on the cover. He looks a little unkempt."

Many commenters on the Huffington Post's Woods/VF blog entry on the magazine cover -- which received over 800 comments -- said Woods deserves this treatment. "I have a feeling the real Tiger is a whole lot closer to this cover, than the Dockers-wearing, pink polo shirt puppet Nike portrayed him as," one person said.

But there were a fair number of people who dissed VF for exploitation. "I'm Vanity Fair's biggest fan, but I think the cover photo is in poor taste and plays to a nasty racial stereotype," one person wrote.

Another chimed in, "More opportunistic exploitation of Tiger by the media; and this time with intentional racial overtones."

Some saw the look on Woods' face and interpreted it as a cry for help. A person writing on HuffPo said: "His expression is one of sadness. Since it was taken pre-scandal you have to wonder. I've seen that expression many times in photographs and it is the look of someone with issues. Obviously that is not very prophetic of me, but after seeing this picture and knowing it is pre-scandal, I actually feel kinda sorry for him."

Back on the VF blog, one person wrote in part, "IMHO, this picture of Tiger does not show 'incredible focus and dedication'. Look in his eyes....and at the set of his mouth. They show a lack of assuredness,intense worry,vulnerability and on-going pain. The picture does not characterize the way he really feels inside. He looks haunted. "

What do you think about VF's decision to run this photo on the cover?

Image credit: Annie Leibovitz/Vanity Fair.

1 comment:

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