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Barbie Poses For Sports Illustrated's 50th Swimsuit Issue

Sports Illustrated's 50th Swimsuit issue features a very special guest: Barbie

By Emma Chong Johnston | Published: 12 Feb 2014

Barbie Poses For SI
Photo: Mattel

Barbie turns 55 this year, and part of her celebrations include posing for Sports Illustrated’s 50th Swimsuit issue. It’s a 22-page spread in the annual issue, themed ‘Unapologetic’ – fittingly so, since the backlash has already begun and the magazine hasn’t even hit the newsstands. Barbie and Sports Illustrated alike have come under fire for promoting unrealistic body standards, way before this collaboration was a twinkle in a marketing man’s eye. What more now the two have teamed up?

In anticipation of the critics, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue editor MJ Day issued a release, saying “From its earliest days, Swimsuit has delivered a message of empowerment, strength and beauty and we are delighted that Barbie is celebrating those core values in such a unique manner.”

Likewise a Mattel spokeswoman said, “As a legend herself, and under criticism about her body and how she looks, posing in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit gives Barbie and her fellow legends an opportunity to own who they are, celebrate what they have done, and be unapologetic."

We have to say that the first image from the shoot, featuring Barbie in the striped one-piece she wore when she debuted way back in 1959, is lovely. But in terms of Barbie ‘owning who she is’, we’d hazard a claim that it would be just as easy for her to own herself if her breasts were slightly smaller, her waist a little thicker, and her overall proportions somewhat more realistic and less fetishistic. Just a thought.


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