This may be old news by now, but in one of my courses a debate began regarding this years Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition cover photo. In case you haven’t seen it, it is a photograph of three supermodels topless with their backs to the camera, wearing something that barely qualifies as a bathing suit bottom. I would post the picture but I’m not sure if it is necessarily “safe for work” or “safe for class blog”, so I’m going to suggest you do a Google search.
This is the best selling swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated with 260 pages, it is the thickest edition since 1989. It is no secret that people aren’t “reading” this one purely for the stories…after all, this is a men’s magazine. It is also not a secret that this swimsuit edition situation occurs every single year…so why are people freaking out?
People are trying to connect this cover to the debate over how we objectify women in today’s society. We place too much pressure on women to look like the three women on the cover of the magazine, and are giving women unrealistic expectations for their bodies. I agree, that we place too much attention on how women look but I can definitely say that this cover didn’t offend me at all. Like I said before, this issue isn’t a secret and comes out every year. I think the cover was done tastefully and is overall a good photograph of the women, in my opinion. If you do not want to read the issue then don’t read the issue.
I understand the debate though when it comes down to print advertising. Print is losing a war to digital advertising, but this issue serves as heavy reinforcements. With 800,000 copies of the swimsuit edition last year, it is quite apparent that more people are purchasing when there’s a pretty girl on the cover. That shouldn’t be the selling point, but that’s the sad fact of life. Women are always going to have standards placed on them by other people. People are going to want to see these photographs. The objectification should stop, but I’m not sure how realistic that goal truly is when so many people do it.
Sebastian, M. (n.d.). Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Is the Thickest Since the First Bush Administration. Advertising Age Media RSS. Retrieved February 25, 2014, from http://adage.com/article/media/sports-illustrated-swimsuit-issue- thickest-1989/291741/