The Athletic Reporter
September 12, 2005 Sports News the Way You Want It. Completely Made Up. Issue 127
Nation's Media Contemplate Right Time to Start Sexualizing Michelle Wie
Originally posted 6/27/2005

Above: 15-year-old golfer Michelle Wie, who will hopefully be able to stay out of the pages of Maxim for the next couple of years, for heaven's sake
CHERRY HILLS, CO - With 15-year-old golf phenom Michelle Wie tied for the Women's U.S. Open lead after 54 holes, the nation's media was forced this weekend to contemplate the right time to start sexualizing the 6-foot tall Hawaii native. "You don't want to do it too early and gross people out," said Nike executive Keith Wetzel of Wie, who shot an 82 in the final round to fall out of contention. "But you don't want to do it too late and miss the boat, either."

"It's a tough one to know how to handle," said Sports Illustrated writer Dave Colbeck. "We turned Maria Sharapova into a sex object when she was sixteen, but there was no one else to turn to in women's sports back then. Those were desperate times. This was before most people had heard of Jennie Finch, remember. Anyway, with Michelle it's a little bit of a different story. Most of us first heard of her when she was only thirteen, so that strikes a lot of people as being a little weird.

"On the other hand," Colbeck said, "she's a long, lean, six-foot tall Asian chick."

"The advice I'd give Michelle is to take your game really seriously, and don't get caught up in any of these sexist stereotypes about how women athletes are supposed to act," said Indy Car driver Danica Patrick, who did a scantily clad photo spread for FHM Magazine in 2003.

"It's probably going to be a bit of challenge," said Donny Deutsch of Deutsch Advertising agency in New York. "Fifteen might be a little bit young, but, I think there's a precedent with sixteen. That's when Britney Spears, the Olsen Twins, Christina Aguilera, Anna Kournikova and all of them really started getting talked about in terms of people being willing to talk about the fact that they were hot. I think it probably has to do with sixteen being the driving age. If a chick is old enough to drive, then I guess she's old enough to drive over to your house and have sex with you. Or at least make you think that she'll drive over to your house and have sex with you if you buy a certain brand of golf ball."

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