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