It’s definately Not Hot, SI

Posted: February 21, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

I’m sure by now you’ve heard or you’ve read articles about the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition fail that swept like wildfire through the tubes and pipes of the internet. We have enough “WTF, mate?” articles about this most recent cultural appropriation fail, and unless I’m breaking a story, which I’m clearly not since this happened last week, I like to add something new to the conversation. I took a look at the (offending) pictures from this shoot, and frankly, regardless of the use of race props, most of the (again, offending) pictures are just. terrible.

What do you think?

 

I know the point of the SI swimsuit shoot is to take a picture of a hot woman in a bikini and all the other elements are just stuff distracting the reader from boobs (what, it’s true) but that doesn’t mean the pictures have to be awful, do they? Does anyone care about the art in pictures of scantily clad twenty somethings? And I’m not only feeling this because I’m a big smoothie, because (link pretty NSFW) Exterface is a pretty awesome photo studio that deals in beautiful people (of both sexes) wearing not much at all, and the pictures are fantastic as well as sexy.

What do you think?

 

So, for my exploration of the intense racefail that permeates the pages of this year’s Swimsuit edition, I want to offer my take on what would be a culturally respectful, creative, and sexy “Around the World” shoot, if at all possible. To make sure (as I possibly can) I wasn’t offering suggestions that were in themselves problematic, I referred to Jezebel’s recent article “A Much Needed Primer On Cultural Appropriation”. Here are a few suggestions (I limit these suggestions to three of the images, because you don’t have all day, do you?):

distracting the reader from boobs (what, it’s true) but that doesn’t mean the pictures have to be awful, do they? Does anyone care about the art in pictures of scantily clad twenty somethings? And I’m not only feeling this because I’m a big smoothie, because (link pretty NSFW) Exterface is a pretty awesome photo studio that deals in beautiful people (of both sexes) wearing not much at all, and the pictures are fantastic as well as sexy.

What do you think?

 

So, for my exploration of the intense racefail that permeates the pages of this year’s Swimsuit edition, I want to offer my take on what would be a culturally respectful, creative, and sexy “Around the World” shoot, if at all possible. To make sure (as I possibly can) I wasn’t offering suggestions that were in themselves problematic, I referred to Jezebel’s recent article “A Much Needed Primer On Cultural Appropriation”. Here are a few suggestions (I limit these suggestions to three of the images, because you don’t have all day, do you?):

What do you think?

 

1. Jessica Gomes, China:

What do you think?

 

Jessica Gomes, China. Image via SI.com

Jessica Gomes in China. Image via SI.com.

The underlying problem with a shoot like this is there is almost no way for a bikini clad model in a foreign place to not somehow sexualize that place, and by extension, its people. If I was the editor I would have nixed this idea at the pitch meeting, because in order to get to the end of the idea safely, you have to cross a minefield of bad taste. And… like… is it just me or do pictures of barely dressed women placed among children just a strange, strange choice for any sexy photo shoot?

What do you think?

 

And, I have to admit something as well before I go on: in doing this, I had to snooze button all the feminist alarms that are sounding in my head. They ring every time I go back to SI.com. I know these pictures aren’t for me, so I’m trying, y’all. I honestly took a Pretty Little Liars break (what?) because I was afraid the entire internet would yell at this article and by extension, me. But then, while watching Spencer and Aria (what?) Suggestion Number 1 popped into my head: don’t include the native peoples in the shoot- at least as a prop, for goodness sake. You’ve already crossed the threshold into thinking about respect at least a little.

What do you think?

 

Jessica Gomes in China. Image via SI.com.

Jessica Gomes in China. Image via SI.com.