SI’s swimsuit issue controversy? Just best model


Ok, so these women aren’t from the Triangle and have nothing to do with sports. But in honor of the new Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, I’m counting down my 10 best looking models that have graced the pages of SI.

Actually I can relate the Triangle area to the annual SI swimsuit edition. Those of you old enough may remember that former UNC basketball coach Dean Smith’s wife started fighting against the yearly edition 21 years ago.

Linnea Smith started a letter-writing campaign to 56 advertisers asking them to reconsider their decision to buy space in SI’s annual swimsuit issue.

“I guess I’ve been increasingly disturbed by it and tried to ignore it,” she said at the time. “It just got to the point that I couldn’t do it, each year being enraged.”

It wasn’t so much the scantily clad women she opposed but the depiction of children alongside the models and the sometimes child-like posing of the models.

“SI’s swimsuit issue sexualizes children by juxtaposing them with female models featured only for their sexual desirability and `easy access’ to all consumers,” she said.

Smith said that one picture which showed a model sitting on a kitchen counter wearing a bathing suit, ankles socks and leather shoes was “pseudo-child,” an adult model dressed to look like a child.

Many have also criticized the edition because a lot of those who get the magazine are young boys who are being exposed to sexuality before they are ready – or at least before their parents are ready for them to be exposed to it.

Ironically, female readership triples for the swimsuit edition. The edition has gone from being one with sports alongside a pictorial of beautiful women in exotic settings to one of just bunches of pictures of beautiful women in exotic settings. I’m old enough to want a little sports mixed in there.

I’m not sure when the following site was updated but you can read more about Linnea Smith’s crusade against the issue by clicking here.

As for my top 10 Sports Illustrated swimsuit models, the last four out were Christie Brinkley, Paulina Porizkova, Cheryl Tiegs and Nina Agdal. Here is the final list of the top 10 (click on the name or copy and paste the link):

10) Rachel Hunter
http://i.cdn.turner.com/sivault/swimsuit/image/2006/06_extra06_rhunter_14.jpg

9) Genevieve Morton
http://i.cdn.turner.com/sivault/swimsuit/image/2011/kvvrW3MwjVLRe9.jpg

8) Cindy Crawford
http://i.cdn.turner.com/sivault/swimsuit/image/2007/07_wtwr_08.jpg

7) Angie Everhart
http://i.cdn.turner.com/sivault/swimsuit/image/1996/96_aeverhart_01.jpg

6) Marissa Miller
http://i.cdn.turner.com/sivault/swimsuit/image/2006/06_mmiller_03.jpg

5) Bar Refaeli
http://i.cdn.turner.com/sivault/si_online/covers/images/2009/0213_large.jpg

4) Rebecca Romijn
http://i.cdn.turner.com/sivault/swimsuit/image/1996/96_rromijnstamos_03.jpg

3) Elle Macpherson
http://www.wallpaperextreme.com/Celebrities/Elle-MacPherson/Elle-MacPherson-23.JPG

2) Kate Upton
http://i.cdn.turner.com/sivault/swimsuit/image/2012/UqGrQxMQkrvDlVGTCIZQi.jpg

1) Kathy Ireland
http://i.cdn.turner.com/sivault/swimsuit/image/2007/07_wtwr_05.jpg

Yes, Kathy Ireland