Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Degrading?

Posted: February 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue has surprisingly been around since 1964. This issue was invented by Sports Illustrated editor Andre Laguerre to fill the winter months since winter is usually the slow point in the sporting calendar. Is having admiration for the body of a woman really degrading them as women? To me it’s more art than degrading. If it was truly giving women a bad name would there be so many big name women to want to participate in the issue?

A ton of beautiful women have graced the cover of this magazine. Well known women like Christie Brinkley, Tyra Banks, and Rachel Hunter have all graced the cover. Since 1964 they have gone from only having shoots in one city to shooting all over the world for different sets. It continues to grow and get more popular.

You can make the argument for it being degrading. The target audience for this particular issue of Sports Illustrated (S.I.) is obviously men. Sex sales and putting a bunch of beautiful women in bikinis all over a magazine is a quick way to make dollars. You could also go over the top and look at it as women being used to gain wealth. In some states these acts would be labeled as illegal.

The other day I sent out a tweet to my followers on Twitter asking them what they thought about this topic. A lot of them brought up that there’s not many athletes that have posed for, or been in the swimsuit issue. I’m not sure of the exact number of athletes that have been in it. The only athletes that come to mind are the Williams sisters, Venus and Serena, and Anna Kournikova so there might be some truth to what my followers were bringing up. But further research showed something completely different.

According to CNN’s section on the magazine there has been a ton of both male and female athletes to take part in the magazine. Male athletes like A.J. Feely, Eddie George, Keyshawn Johnson, Richard Jefferson, and “Big Mac” Mark McGuire, just to name a few, have all been in an issue sometime during their career. Then on the women’s side it’s an even longer list.

Most of my follower basically said that they’d feel a little bit more comfortable if it was actually athletes posing instead of models. Well either way, model or professional athlete, they’re both women. I don’t think people really look at this in a degrading way. It’s more so art than degrading. It’s not like the S.I. Swimsuit Issue is like playboy or anything. If we we’re talking about that then there’s obviously something to be said.

The S.I. Swimsuit Issue is just a fun way for people to express themselves and show that not only models can be models. These women can be just as beautiful as models; some of them can even be more beautiful than the models. For people who feel this is degrading all I have to say is realize the positives before you just jump on the negatives. In a way, these athletes that participate are like underdogs. They’ve probably never modeled anything in their life before, let alone take pictures for the whole world to see. Acknowledge the beauty of what is the Swimsuit Issue.

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