Cover Story

Just got my new Sports Illustrated in the mail .. and if you know anything about “SI”, you know why I’m blogging about this issue.

The Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue is part-publication and part-phenomenon. No single issue of any magazine in America sells more copies than the annual SI swimsuit issue — nearly $40M worth of publications. It’s over 200 pages and nearly half of those are advertisements.

So why is the maagazine such a big deal? Take a look at the over of last year’s issue below:

I thought I would show this one rather than this year’s version for a reason. While the issue is popular, it also the source of noth consternation and controversy. It’s easy to see why from a distance. Scantilly-clad women lying on a beach in some tropical location. This year’s cover shows the model without a top, covered with only a large necklace. While it’s sexy – and sex does sell — there are many who think the issue simply objectifies women.

When SI started publishing this annual issue back in the 1950’s, the reasoning was very sound. There isn’t much going on in sports during the month of February and SI need to come up with something new. It was an instant hit and over 50 years later, as many women buy the issue as men.

Folks, I don’t know what the big deal is. I have never found the issue objectionable or – as some extremists might say – pornographic. Yes, there are beautiful women wearing swimwear and – as a guy – I find that attractive. Why not look at beautiful women? They are models and this is what they do and they are there to be looked at. To be honest, I can’t tell what the difference is between the SI swimsuit issue and the Victoria’s Secret catalogue.

In the end, I think people just need to realize – as I do – that this is fantasy and not reality. It’s entertainment and not exploitation. As a reader, it’s nice to escape to a tropical place and enjoy the view for a few minutes. But when I’m done looking at the pictures, ( I don’t read the articles inside) I return unaffected to my life and my wife who doesn’t wear a bikini.
At least not this time of year.

Still, it’s a nice read on a cold, snowy day.
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