It disgusts me more every year.
I speak of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, which is published the middle of February every year.
I’m not the only one disgusted. Other folks, such as those in the American Decency Association, often criticize the publication.
“Sports Illustrated disrespects women by displaying demeaning stereotypes of female sexuality,” says the ADA’s website. “The swimsuit issue features women models posed not as athletes of strength, skill, and endurance but as playthings ...”
That is surely true, but here’s what is also true: We men are also being exploited.
Look, it’s the middle of winter. We men have suffered a few weeks without football. With free time on our hands, we find ourselves lost in self-examination.
We fret over our winter flab. We wish we’d chosen different career paths. We fear we’ll never amount to anything worthy.
The Sports Illustrated people understand our woes.
They know we’re down in the dumps. They know we’re vulnerable. They know we’ll cough up our hard-earned dough for a momentary escape to exotic beaches, where we can pretend to prance about with bikini-clad babes.
Every year, the swimsuit issue uses the same formula to exploit us: stunning babes who roll around in the sand, dance on the beach and cling to their skimpy duds and curvy parts as they are hit by waves.
Sure, in our overly sexualized culture, these female models may be suffering exploitation, but they surely come out of this arrangement better than we men do.
Many of the women who pose for the magazine are thrust into supermodel status. The ones who make it onto the cover earn a fortune in endorsements. And many of them go on to date and marry some of the world’s richest men.