Australian basketballer Liz Cambage was waiting nervously for this week’s release of ESPN Magazine’s Body Issue because the “whole world” was about to “see her butt”.
“It was pretty crazy. I was naked in front of like 15 to 20 people,” Cambage told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
“I think that’s why I’m nervous. I know my angles when I take Instagram photos, but this is out of my control, so it’s scary.”
“I always struggled with being an athlete that doesn’t have a six pack (abdomen) or isn’t ripped or slim like the other girls,” she added. “Being a thicker post player, and being someone who grew up with self-confidence issues, it’s pretty empowering that I’ve been chosen as this figurehead of basketball in my sport. They see my body as beautiful and powerful, and they want to put that out there to the world.”
Cambage, who models part-time, has been prominent in the push to reinforce positive body image in female youths.
“I was bullied since primary school, for everything,” Cambage told Studio 10 earlier this year.
“Growing up for me, it was so hard. I had no one who was different to look up to. Australia isn’t the most diverse place when it comes to media and advertising. I literally had no one to look at on TV other than Beyonce and Rihanna — and I definitely do not look like those amazing women.
“That’s why I’m so proud of myself and I want to be a role model for girls who are different and have no one to look up to. When I go do camps at schools and train these beautiful Indian or Asian or African girls who have no one to look up to, I just want everyone to know they are beautiful the way they are and there’s a place for them here.”
ESPN BODY ISSUE ATHLETES 2019
Scout Bassett (US Paralympic Track and Field Athlete), Liz Cambage (Las Vegas Aces Centre), Katrin Davidsdottir (CrossFit Women’s Champion 2015 & 2016), Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson, Jason Kelce, Isaac Seumalo, Halapoulivaati Vaitai (Eagles Offensive Line, Super Bowl Champions 2018), Myles Garrett (Cleveland Browns Defensive End), James Hinchcliffe (IndyCar Series Driver), Alex Honnold (Climber), Evander Kane (San Jose Sharks Left Wing), Brooks Koepka (PGA Tour Golfer and World #1), Nancy Lieberman (Hall of Fame: WNBA), Amanda Nunes (UFC Champion), Kelley O’Hara (USWNT and Utah Royals Defender), Katelyn Ohashi (Gymnast), Chris Paul (Oklahoma City Thunder Point Guard), Lakey Peterson (WSL Surfer), Michael Thomas (New Orleans Saints Wide Receiver), Christian Yelich (NL MVP and Milwaukee)