Editorial: 2014 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue is a Creative Collaboration of Bombshells

Editorial: 2014 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue is a Creative Collaboration of Bombshells

By Priyanka Khanna, E23


Tousled hair, bare skin and a whole lot of woman in general was featured in the 2014 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Lily Aldridge, Chrissy Teigen and Nina Agdal were just a few of the beauties that graced the pages of the magazine. As always, readers were left to marvel at the dazzling ladies printed on the pages of the magazine. However, as this issue marks the 50th anniversary of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit franchinse, there were numerous attempts from outside companies to amplify this issue and give fans not only something else to ogle at but to ponder over as well.

And that something else is none other than the 5’9 tall blonde with an 18’ waist…Barbie.

What used to be every girl’s favorite doll in years past soon turned into a gateway toward eating disorders, body image issues and an unrealistic obsession for perfection. Americans saw Barbie as a pressurizing factor on young girls. The mindsets of young girls easily could be turned into thinking that if they looked like Barbie then everyone would want to play with them and be their friend too, and that this attention would eventually lead to happiness. Needless to say Mattel, the makers of Barbie, severely got down in business and the negative light surrounding the doll increased significantly.

Mattel has desperately taken the opportunity to bring Barbie back into the lives of Americans with his campaign, “Unapologetic.” The name is of similar meaning to the phrase “Sorry not sorry,” for having a body that society considers to be ideal.

Along with this campaign, Mattel tenaciously tried to get Sports Illustrated to feature the doll in their 2014 swimsuit issue. Holly Albrecht, a supporter of the campaign, told press that “children know Barbie is a toy, but the ‘skinny’ models tell society that a woman must be skinny…which is a far more negative example than Barbie. Also parents need to remember they should be the positive role in their child’s life, not toys or Hollywood or athletes.”

But here’s the thing, children today are absolutely fanatic consumers of media. And it’s not a bad thing, it’s actually quite inevitable. The negativity kicks in, when the marketing companies get integrated in the media, and these advertisers target kids due to their blissful ignorance. So kids in this generation are right off the bat, enveloped in this world of materialism and consumption.

So it is neither the parents nor the child’s fault.

Not many boys played with Barbie, but I can bet you a decent amount of guys have glanced through the pages of the swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated. And as boys drool over the pictures then discard them, girls aspire to be the people on those pages, and subconsciously have those images etched into their minds for a very, very long time.  Not only do they themselves want to look like that, but they think that’s what guys like. So women aspire to be the “perfect” hot bombshell for men to ogle at too, but then what? Have the boys discard them like they do the magazines?

Ironically, here is where Barbie comes to the rescue.

Mattel is pushing to emphasize Sports Illustrated motive to “leave behind perceptions of babes in bathing suits and compare Barbie to swimsuit alumna like Ms. Banks, Ms. Binkles, Kathy Ireland and Heidi Klum, who are celebrated for their accomplishments as entrepreneurs and career women.”

So looks like Sports Illustrated really isn’t just trying to make young woman in America want to pull their hair out…they actually want to highlight the woman inside that barely-there, sparkly bikini.

Well, the killer beauties on the pages of this 2014 issue along with their toned abs and glutes, happen to have intense careers in which they are very dedicated to.

To make this message more prominent, Mattel and Sports Illustrated will be coming together to collaborate on a blog, Swim Daily, on the Sports Illustrated website.

Although Mattel was denied the chance to consolidate Barbie into the 50th Anniversary, the opportunity to shine a different light on women in America will be given in this creative collaboration with Sports Illustrated.