Since the 2013 SI swimsuit issue was released Feb. 12, it has been drawing a lot of negative criticism for its photos.
This year, issue editor MJ Day had SI models travel to all seven continents. Day’s idea was to show SI readers that beauty exists in even the most remote places in the world.
However, many readers found the issue’s photographs to be culturally offensive. In many of the shots, the SI models were posed next to locals engaged in everyday activities.
Critics believe SI was purposely trying to portray minorities in a distasteful light. The models were beautiful and dressed in stunning swim wear, while the locals were wearing traditional clothing.
I have a problem with the criticism about the SI swimsuit issue. First, I’m not sure how it is offensive to use people of color as props. While they may be classified as minorities in the U.S., they are the dominant race in their native country.
Sports Illustrated was just trying to show its readers that not all model shots have to be taken in front of green screen. They wanted to show off not only the true beauty of their models, but also the beauty that exists in various cultures around the world.
If the locals found the the photographs offensive or culturally insensitive, they probably would not have agreed to participate in the photo shoot. If anything, they probably enjoyed the opportunity to show the world their their homeland and culture.
This is just another case of America overreacting to a supposed race issue that doesn’t exist. The photographs are artistic and creative, not discriminatory and offensive.
Not to mention, since when did a swimsuit magazine start serving as a medium to influence America’s perception of the world? Nobody buys the SI swimsuit issue to broaden their intellect about world culture; they buy it to look at hot girls.