the swimsuit issue

So the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue arrived in the mail yesterday.

My primary reaction: Creepy.

I love SI, obviously. It’s the place my career really kicked off, and now I’m thrilled to be back writing for the website. However, I’ve always been troubled by the Swimsuit Issue. As a kid, it meant I wouldn’t be reading about baseball or football for a week in February. At SI, it meant I had to answer “So, do you hang out with the models?” at least 10,000 times per year. (Answer: Yes. All the time. At my cubicle. In the cafeteria. Walking my dog. Doing dishes. They literally follow you everywhere)

Now, I just find the issue strange. The average SI reader is probably a male in his mid-40s. The average SI swimsuit model is a girl … usually 19-, 20-, 21- or 22-years old. They almost always have breathtaking faces (and mirror-perfected come hither glances) … with the awkward bodies of 14-year-old boys. I once went on a Swimsuit shoot with Molly Sims, and was naively shocked to see her bathing suit stuffed with “cutlets” to make her relatively nonexistent breasts pop out. In person, Molly was cute and attractive, but not someone who would stop a guy in his tracks. Truth is, most of these girls (I use the term “girls” because they’re friggin’ half my age, and I’ve earned the right to be a grumpy old man) are more alien-ish than bombshell-ish.

My point, I reckon, is that I’m really, really weirded out by the thought of wrinkled codgers drooling over these photos. I’m not trying to be moralistic or holier than thou, but …

Well, maybe I trying to be moralistic and holier than thou. It’s my blog, right?

Final thought on the topic: Picked up yesterday’s New York Post. The front cover had a picture of Bar Refaeli, the Swimsuit Issue cover girl, with a headline, AT LAST! A REAL STIMULUS. Now, let’s think about this. Literally, when a straight man sees an attractive woman, sometimes the blood will flush up his penis, causing what is commonly termed an erection. That’s the “Stimulus” in the Post headline. Thank God there was no real news going on …

6 thoughts on “the swimsuit issue”

  1. Wow, Jeff- pretty straightforward opinion there. Yeah, SI’s Swimsuit issue’s always been a slippery slope. Running a family-friendly t-shirt biz I’m now debating how SupahFans 2010 SupahModels calendar will look (12+ New England College Girls)- limit the swimsuits to the summer and put the winter “girls” in what? Coats? Or just make the whole thing swimsuits so it sells? Either way, no matter what age (kid, college, 34…and in the future 64) I’ve always liked SI’s swimsuit issue.

  2. It was always my favorite issue, from age 9 to about 18. I can’t even remember looking at one since Jason Kidd and Moose Johnston’s wives were in there. I’d never EVER say to do away with it, but its probably past its time.

  3. Here’s the difference between us. When you look at pictures of a beautiful woman, you think of codgers that drool of them. When I look at pictures of beautiful women, I think of the beautiful woman.

    When you look at cheeleaders, do you think, ugh, god, there’s probably old guys in the fans starting at these girls…

  4. I agree that the swimsuit issue is past its prime, and I agree that it doesn’t belong in a sports magazine. I remember getting it when I was young (like 12) and wondering why I couldn’t read about football but had to look at women in bikinis.
    But dude, if these women don’t make you pop one, then I am afraid you might have need to buy a new pair of panties and a skirt, because that is what you should be wearing.

  5. I am guessing they don’t make him pop one because he realizes that those are cutlets stuck in their bikinis, not breasts. Besides that, most of them do have pre-pubescent bodies. How can he possibly be gay if he thinks their bodies look boyish…thus preferring more ample breats/hips/etc.

Leave a Reply