This year, Sports Illustrated readers can elect not to receive the annual swimsuit issue. According to an article in a recent New York Times, there are people who find beautiful women in expensive bikinis as “alien to the mission of a weekly sports magazine.” I can see their point.
“The anti-swimsuit-issue backlash never developed into a mass movement of anti-bikinists burning the special winter edition in protest,” writes Richard Sandomir. “But there have been letters, more in the past than now, saying that the pictorials objectify women.
“And occasionally, there have been demonstrations outside the magazine’s office building in Manhattan. But now the magazine is inviting subscribers to say “no thanks” to Veronica Varekova, Carolyn Murphy and other models, including the one who will be the winner of a new reality show, NBC’s “Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model Search.”
So far, 25,829 paid subscribers, out of Sports Illustrated’s total of 3.2 million, or 0.8 percent, have asked not to receive the swimsuit issue, writes Sandomir. “Terry McDonell, the managing editor of Sports Illustrated, said: “It’s my third swimsuit issue and I wanted to flag this, because I think it’s a good policy. I was thinking that if a family doesn’t want this coming into their house, with six boys between the ages of 7 and 11, we should show them that it’s our responsibility.”