Stripping naked and going loco with a Sharpie is no longer just for toddlers. The newest issue of Sports Illustrated is running its first all-nude spread after beating around the natural bush since its inaugural issue in 1954. It is now 2018, and a magazine known for muscle babes is tackling women’s issues by asking the artistic nudes for their opinions in order to celebrate “more than just their bodies.”
While the major department store Macy’s recently announced that they would be hawking Islamified clothing (acid proof face coverings?), there’s a whole crop of scribbled-on women merrily partaking in a nude Sports Illustrated entitled In Her Own Words. First of all, what is it with feminists and getting naked? The only thing missing that separates these photos from the usual protests are poorly-drawn signs. In place, we have block lettered nouns and adjectives. As well, the women here are much more attractive than the pussyhatted abortion lovers.
Secondly, these models have been interviewed and are telling us that the point here is to help other women to feel comfortable in their bodies. “We have stretch marks. We have rolls. We have cellulite,” said 28-year-old model Robyn Lawley, above. Hey, nobody’s perfect, but I thought the point here is that you’re not just a vessel, and that you’re an artist? An artist who chooses to spend her few words telling us about what she things is wrong with her body, instead of letting us in on her latest grand work of fine art.
“I’m impressed you were able to write so legibly on your own butt,” said Lisa to Bart in a 1995 episode of The Simpsons after her brother mooned a crowd of Australians with Don’t Treat On Me penned on his hindquarters. Surely there’s something to be said for the fact that this shoot is part of the wider movement to give women their bodies back when prep requires first a bikini wax and then a makeup artist to delve into their no-go zones. Unless Sports Illustrated is just cooking up an empowering backstory as an excuse to show beautiful, naked women.
The explanation in Sports Illustrated goes full New York Times by stressing their “safe space” work environment and the fact that the photos were taken by a female photographer together with an all-female crew. Last year, their male-shot empowerment spread included a model wearing a top that demanded respect. Yes, you can see her nipples through her minuscule tank top, but that’s no reason not to treat her like a fully clothed lady. Totally not cheesecake to sell magazines.
In a world where one third of millennials believe that complimenting a co-worker is sexual harassment, it’s difficult to judge where the line is drawn in the sand. Not only is there a fear gripping the generation that should be out trolling for dates about whether it’s appropriate to open a conversation with an attractive lady, you might find yourself dunked into hot water for misgendering. Saying you look beautiful in that dress, miss! is less forgivable at work than kicking women out of the office lunchroom to spread your prayer mat on the floor. But here we are presented with nudes à la carte with an explanation that, due to a special dispensation from the #MeToo savants, you are hereby encouraged to click that like button and leave a compliment. What clear, elegant handwriting you have, fellow human.
Sports Illustrated has been under attack in recent months after agreeing that American had collectively given up on athletics and started featuring the morbidly obese in their materials.
Hey now, I expect these images to be motivation to get to the gym, not to stay in the kitchen. There will perhaps never be a time when every woman spends an hour plus in the gym five times a week with a carefully monitored diet to match genetically blessed good-looks but the rest of us are not condemned to go whole hog. Speaking of, where are the fat women in this shoot? Is Sports Illustrated implying that only slim women have an artistic second life?
According to the magazine, the models were “handed” control of the shoot and they were asked to “share their truth.” No word on whether the women were given a short list of words to choose from, or if they had to scrub off and reshoot en Español for the Mexican edition. The magazine went on to explain that the words on the “naked body” would express the “voice, the strength and the passion of these women” in its rawest form.
Hey, Sports Illustrated. We get it. Women can be mothers, and also be hot, and also be naked. Just don’t try to bow to the recent harassment brigade when you’re really just looking to up your circulation numbers.
SI Swimsuit models celebrate more than just their bodies in candid, new project. pic.twitter.com/9ciEdRTFsq
— SI Swimsuit (@SI_Swimsuit) February 7, 2018
Sources: The Daily Mail, Vanity Fair, Sports Illustrated
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