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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

how many things are wrong with Sports Illustrated’s Barbie swimsuit cover?

The magazine that long ago decided that ogling women in skimpy swimsuits counts as a sport has found a new way to reduce women to objects:


That is the real a promotional alternative cover for Sports Illustrated’s annual swimsuit issue, out next week.

Just two of the kinds of awful this encompasses:

• a Barbie doll is interchangeable with an actual human woman
• a children’s toy has been sexed up

How many others can you come up with? It’s fun, try it!

Think SI will put a Ken doll on the cover of an upcoming issue, as stand-in for a male human being? No, me neither.

Via The New York Times.

posted in:
easter eggs
  • Hank Graham

    Well, it does rather undercut Sports Illustrated’s claims that they’re not interested in turning women into objects.

    Seriously, though, I think what we have here is just some misogynistic trolling and frankly, I’ve seen better.

  • bronxbee

    “The Doll That Started It All”… both vague and ominous. Started what? What “all’? Covers of magazines with unclad women that have nothing to do with sports, or whatever else the subject of (any) magazine is?

  • Danielm80

    Here’s what Nerissa Nields said about Barbie (or “Barbi,” for legal purposes):

    I think that I shall never see

    A woman as lovely as Barbi

    Barbi, with her ski jump nose

    Standing tall on tiny toes

    Impossible boobs that will not droop

    To conquer Kenn, she need not stoop

    If she were mortal, she would be

    Six foot five and a hundred and three

    She’s so tall, I could not feel shorter;

    Small wonder I have an eating disorder

    She sleeps in her camper next to my bed

    With visions of traveling filling her head

    She wishes she could sing like me

    But she can’t.

    Her mouth is painted on.

    And her eyes won’t shut

    And she never bleeds

    And she never cuts

    And she cannot read or count or cry

    And she’ll never age

    And she’ll never die

    And I think that I don’t want to be

    Staring straight ahead for all eternity.

    The poem appears on the (pretty terrific) album If You Lived Here, You’d Be Home Now. She also wrote a blog entry about it:


  • Um, the doll that turned women into pieces of plastic AND kicked off the sexualization of little girls?


  • Danielm80

    We’ve got objectification of women, product placement, and a publisher that values sales more than content. It’s everything I hate about America on one magazine cover.

  • RogerBW

    At least they’re being honest about it rather than pretending it’s anything to do with actual sports.

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