The Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue is set to be released next week, marking fifty years of the nation’s premier sports magazine giving attention only to women when they are clad in little more than a thong and a prayer. And because evidently they felt like they hadn’t pissed off feminists quite enough for their liking, they went full steam ahead and teamed up with Mattel to make Barbie the centerpiece of the celebration.
I imagine the team behind this peed themselves a little in excitement over all of the controversy sure to be generated by pairing up two of the most prehistoric relics of American femininity and branding it #unapologetic. How defiant of them! Defending retrograde beauty standards in the face of a culture that has…continued to embrace said beauty standards. What courage!
The only way this could have become an even bigger pile of rage catnip for us feminists is if they had found a way to involve Playboy somehow, perhaps by giving the bikini-clad Barbie doll a little tanline of a Playboy bunny head near her perfectly smooth mons. #unapologetic!
Well, I for one think this is a great idea. With all of the photoshopping in magazine photos these days, we’re almost not even looking at actual women anymore as much as we are looking at digital recreations of what a couple of photo editors think women should look like. Some have even gone as far as to replace the model’s actual bodies with computer-generated ones. I say, why not go all the way and replace all models with Barbies?
Barbie has a lot to offer that models cannot. For instance, she never get hungry, so you don’t have to worry that she might stray from her diet of Diet Coke, kale broth and cigarettes and gain three pounds, and in the process destroying the elegant lines of the $4,250 pair of gold leather harem pants meant to be the centerpiece of an editorial in the April issue of Harper’s Bazaar.
You don’t have to worry about airbrushing out visible ribs because, hey, Barbie doesn’t have them, no matter how thin she gets! And forget about wrinkles or those unsightly flaps of skin that appear whenever a woman does something as distasteful as moves. (Ugh, can you imagine?)
Barbie is even more perfectly suited for the Swimsuit Issue. You can take her down to Antarctica and pose her in a bikini on a boat, and you don’t have to worry that she’ll develop frostbite as a result. I mean, come on, Kate Upton, don’t you know that frostbite is only for ugly people and not for glamorous swimsuit models?
And best of all, when you ask her to put on one of those teensy little bikinis that looks more like an eyepatch, you don’t have to worry about airbrushing out her labia because she hasn’t got them. And Barbie can frolic around on the beach with only her hair to cover her like a pointy plastic Venus, and you don’t have to do much in post-production because she has no nipples with which to offend.
It’s a win-win, because we get all the sexiness of a nearly-naked woman without crossing the line into pornography, which we all know is distasteful and absolutely not at all the point of the SI Swimsuit Issue. No, it’s not about making sure to add to the ever-expanding pile of spank material available to the world’s heterosexual men. It’s about showcasing the strength and beauty and empowerment of women! After all, is there anything more empowering than wearing nothing but body paint while kneeling on a sandy South Pacific beach with a crew of people poking at you with brushes and cameras and lights?
I am woman, here me roar! Today, a swimsuit model, tomorrow, the world! #unapologetic!