4.5
May 30, 2019

“I don’t want fat girls or burkas in my Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.” [Photos]

Trump fans hate it. Progressives don’t love it. Presenting: the “old, fat, Muslim” Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue goes Woke.

When I was 12, I discovered a budding attraction for women, and Elle MacPherson on the cover of the 1985 (?) Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue was a part of that. I think I even put her poster on my wall.

This issue–for however many years—has played an annual part in the sexual rite of passage for those attracted to women and, at the same time, the ongoing objectification of women in our culture.

That said, it also has, for years, celebrated athletic bodies, and good causes, and tried.

But this year, it went all out: it featured Tyra Banks, at 45, back on the cover after 20 years.

It featured a curvy model.

It featured a Muslim in full burkini, showing nary an inch of skin.

And it pissed off online haters (boohoo), while disappointing pooh-poohing progressives who will never regard this issue going woke as anything more than putting lipstick on an objectified pig.

But here’s where we can come in. Middle way. Forget about it. Drama is boring. We can respect that SI is showing all kinds of bodies and backgrounds as beautiful. Representation matters, and they’re trying. We can admit that it’s still about objectification—that while sexuality is beautiful and to be celebrated, and SI makes a good effort to feature these women and their stories, it’s still a…weird, weird issue.

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#SISwim #ShatteringPerceptions

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GOT YA! ?? #outtakes #SISwim

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View this post on Instagram

#SISwim #ShatteringPerceptions

A post shared by Sports Illustrated Swimsuit (@si_swimsuit) on

View this post on Instagram

#SISwim #ShatteringPerceptions

A post shared by Sports Illustrated Swimsuit (@si_swimsuit) on

 

Relephant bonus:

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its.theresacox May 31, 2019 7:48pm

I am 52 years old. I am delighted that women are being celebrated for our uniqueness. I absolutely love the athletic, small breasted model. She’s the one who most resembled my body and breasts before I lost them to cancer. I was 42 when I found my cancer, lost my breasts after finally realizing how amazing they were nourishing all 4 of my babies. I had finally accepted my small, athletic build.
A shower shattered my world when I found my tumor.
I would give anything to have MY body back.
I have since been given a huge lesson in accepting people how they are in the packages that house our souls. I absolutely love the diversity showing such amazing beauty in these women. For I am she.

Naomi Boshari May 31, 2019 3:15am

Personally, I love this. When/if I have a daughter, I hope she grows up in a world where covers like this aren’t shocking and divisive but just part of a world that celebrates beauty in all shapes and sizes.

hotgirl405 May 30, 2019 5:04pm

I’m glad SI is moving in the direction of being more inclusive and diverse. Growing up I rarely saw my image reflected. Furthermore, I’m even more happy that at 45 she isn’t being bashed for being too “old”.

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Waylon Lewis, founder of Elephant Journal & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat.” Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword’s Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by “Greatist”, Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: “the mindful life” beyond the choir & to all those who didn’t know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, touches on modern relationships from a Buddhist point of view. His dream of 9 years, the Elephant “Ecosystem” will find a way to pay 1,000s of writers a month, helping reverse the tide of low-quality, unpaid writing & reading for free online.