The SI Swimsuit Issue

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The annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue comes out this week, which means I’ll be engaging in my annual pilgrimage of removing it from the mailbox and tossing it directly into the recycling bin.

I’m actually not as prudish as that sentence might sound. But, when it comes to the ol’ Swimsuit Issue, I’m a longstanding objector whose opinion has only strengthened with fatherhood.

As a kid, I hated the Swimsuit Issue because it wasn’t sports—and I wanted to read about athletes.

As an SI employee, I hated the Swimsuit Issue because it was a mortifying piece of trash, and we had all these old editors who would hang swimsuit calendars above their desks. From the day I arrived at the magazine in 1996, this horrified me—the idea of female employees fighting for stories while having to speak with a boss whose chair was positioned beneath a 75-percent nude Heidi Klum.

Now, as a dad, I hate the Swimsuit Issue because my 13-year-old daughter is confident and strong and a devoted member of her water polo team. There’s nothing glorious or cool or … whatever, about old men ogling over the photographs of giraffe-like 19-year-old girls in body paint. There’s nothing glorious in promoting it, in printing it, in encouraging it.

And, for the record, I love SI. It’s where my career took off; where many of my good friends work.

But the Swimsuit Issue still infuriates me.

PS: And can someone please explain to me the proximity of the top of Christie Brinkley’s vagina to the swimsuit bottom?