The annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition is hitting newsstands next week, and it’s already causing a stir thanks to a sexy spread by golf star Paige Spiranac that some prudes say is “sexualizing women’s golf.”
But the even greater controversy is now over a powerful photo shoot in a “tentpole” piece entitled “In Her Own Words,” in which models pose nude in black and white photos, with words written on their bodies that describe the positive ways in which they see themselves.
Coming back for my 4th time in @si_swimsuit However the coolest part? it was shot by my home girl @taylorbphoto a project titled ‘In Her Own Words’ video I to come. Hair, makeup and painted words by @marymguthrie . When you have to think of what words would you put on your body the only condition is they have to be positive what would you chose?read more via link in bio ❤❤ #sneakpeek
MJ Day, Sports Illustrated‘s editor, recently told Vanity Fair that the spread was meant to spread a feminist message:
“It’s about allowing women to exist in the world without being harassed or judged regardless of how they like to present themselves,” she said, echoing something Emily Ratajkowski often says to defend her own nude selfies. “That’s an underlying thread that exists throughout the Swimsuit Issue. You have Harvard graduates, you have billion-dollar moguls, you have philanthropists, you have teachers, you have mothers — you have a full range of women represented in the alumnus of this magazine, and not one of them failed because they wore a bikini.”
SI Swimsuit models celebrate more than just their bodies in candid, new project. pic.twitter.com/9ciEdRTFsq
— SI Swimsuit (@SI_Swimsuit) February 7, 2018
One of the models, Sailor Brinkley Cook, 19, told People that she felt the piece had a real feminist impact as well, particularly in its female empowering execution:
“It was a really beautiful thing because it’s a female-powered project so I walked in [to the shoot] and it’s my friend Mary doing makeup and my friend Taylor doing the photos and my other friend Robin doing the videos. I’m just like ‘what’s up gals?’ It’s like we’re in the locker room or something accept we’re making something really beautiful and important.”
I am a fighter. I am strong. I am romantic. I am creative. I am optimistic. I am natural. I am a work in progress, constantly evolving and learning. Thank you so much to one of my best friends and inspirations @taylorbphoto for including me in a project so impactful and close to both our hearts. @robynlawley on video, @marymguthrie @campbellritchie on makeup, me on BTS photos, and all these incredible women as the subjects standing in their truths and embracing who they are or might come to be. SPORTS ILLUSTRATED BODY PAINT 2018, IN HER OWN WORDS. Thank you @mj_day @si_swimsuit im so proud of you, Tay. You did it.
While some people supported the spread, others argued that it promoted the objectification of women and exploited the entire #metoo movement.
OF COURSE one of the longest standing staples of traditional “why is this a thing”, objectification of women is the first to commodify the #MeToo movement in a big public way. We are a garbage culture with garbage values. @VanityFair @SInow @SI_Swimsuit
— Dad’s Mad Guys!♂ (@therock_2024) February 8, 2018
Wow. Exploiting the #metoo movement to sell magazines. Women have been sharing their truth for the past year without having to be naked to get an audience. Smh
— Maria (@Segretissimo) February 8, 2018
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