Did The 2014 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Cover Go Too Ménage-à-Far?

Being raised in South Florida, I owned more bathing suits than any other article of clothing.  To this day, even though I live much farther north than my beloved Miami, I still own a ridiculous amount of bathing suits. Ok, so now that I have stated my case for my love of bathing suits, it will not sound nearly as weird when I say, I look forward to the Sports Illustrated Swim Suit issue every year.  I look to it for the trends in bathing suits, and inspiration to get my butt in shape.  So when I went to the newsstand to grab my annual copy, the 50th Anniversary issue no less, I nearly had a heart attack. Staring back at me were three topless chicks with their hands on each other's nearly bare asses. What the hell?

This is photo of a rack at my supermarket checkout.
Note that the magazine is knee high or the eye level of my toddler. 
This cover is such a let down. What's more, it's the most tasteless photo throughout the entire magazine. Why did they pick it?  To sell magazines, I get that. But to whom?  Everyone I guess, because everyone can reach up and buy it.  I did. Yes, I bought it. I had to, it's the 50th anniversary edition of a magazine I have been buying for 20 years. I bought my first issue when I was 16. That was in 1994.  The Dream Team was on the cover. Elle Macpherson, Kathy Ireland and Rachel Hunter. WEARING COMPLETE BATHING SUITS! 

Photo Credit: SI.com

I am desperate for this post not to be a case of me being a prude, or a mid-thirties "just jealous" bitch, or a mom ranting, because this is not about me, it's about three naked chicks on the cover of a magazine, at the checkout lanes of the supermarket, for all to see. Most of all, tweens and teens. This should not be an image "Sports Illustrated" is portraying! I expect this from Playboy, NOT SI! I am so disappointed. 

I feel for the parents trying to raise girls in this environment.  I remember the pressures of being a tween/teen, and wanting to be a popular girl. I realize now how much easier I had it than the girls of today.  I didn't have sex driving the rules of popularity. I just needed to know how to tight roll my jeans, stay relatively thin, and apply makeup. Most of all, I had to be smart and funny and fun to be around.  Today, it seems the recipe for a girl to be trendy and popular is to look like she got attacked by a make-up counter, and pulled her t-shirt down just enough to cover her ass. Such a shame.

Is there a way to fix this?  Probably not. Do the parents of today have a constant uphill battle? Absolutely. The only saving grace is knowing the days of big fake breast came and went, so hopefully tweens dressing like strippers will too.  I know there are parents out there winning this battle. I see tweens and teens out there dressed in 'age-appropriate' outfits.  To those parents, I applaud you. I know it cannot be easy.  I imagine covers like the one on the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover cannot be making your job any easier.

And finally, to the editors at Sports Illustrated, you sell a version of the magazine to children, and because of that, kids look up to your name and magazines. What the hell is wrong with you?  I imagine you would have had no trouble selling this magazine with a more tasteful cover, yet you went dumpster diving to the pits of shame, and pulled this one out. And for the 50th Anniversay issue, no less? I am scared to see what you come up with next year.  I mean, how could you possibly top three naked girls?

April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com


Kristy J said...

Amen! I saw it and nearly blushed in the grocery store. I'm by no means a prude but for heaven's sake it's bad enough the swim suits that are popular now are barely there but to just hang it all out there with NO tops and ALL cheeks hanging out is absurd!! Especially seeing as how it's in the grocery store where there are always children!

Christy Garrett @ Uplifting Families said...

I agree that magazines needs to be geared towards a family friendly environment if it is on store shelves where kids are likely to see it. Unfortunately, sex sells and this is the reason they do it. There is so much negative in the media and it is annoying that we can't even go through the check out stand at the grocery store without being exposed to trash. I agree with this post. Shame on you Sport's Illustrated.

Anonymous said...

I normally am not offended by nudity at all, still there is something about this cover that really bothers me. I can't quite put my finger on it, but every time I see it at the supermarket it just makes me rage. The other side with Kate Upton is fine and I could care less. Like someone else said, it's not jealousy (I frankly have a nicer butt than any of them) or prudishness. I think it's that the mag cover screams "you have to look at our naked asses whether you want to or not" and THAT is what I find offensive. It's the inability to escape that stupid picture. It's just to porn-y for the grocery store, and it pisses me off that they don't put it in a cover or turn it over.

Also, I shop 3 times a week and every time I am at the grocery store I flip the mag over to the more tasteful side. Every time I return, it is back to asses. I think it's just that I don't want to look at something that is NOTHING but male jack off material (what swimsuits? why are they touching each others asses?) while I am buying groceries ffs. Thanks for letting me vent.