This is sure to help sales.
Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Edition, once a staple of American culture, has been floundering the past few years as the magazine loses subscribers overall. Last year, they tried to capitalize on the #metoo movement to not much success. A few years before that, they started including plus size models.
Even in their normal editions, the magazine has decided that going “woke” about how they cover sports issues is the path forward. They were big on pushing Caitlyn Jenner. This has all predictably led to a drop in subscribers and they’ve had to cut back to only printing a bi-weekly issue now.
But hey, being woke is a tough job and they are committed. So what’s the next logical step?
Putting Muslim women in hijabs and full body “burkinis” in the Swimsuit Edition of course.
— Sports Illustrated Swimsuit (@SI_Swimsuit) April 29, 2019
This obviously got the left wing media really excited.
Halima Aden Breaks Boundaries as the First Model to Wear a Hijab and Burkini in SI Swimsuit 2019 https://t.co/6VVJzkVzf1
— People (@people) April 29, 2019
— InStyle (@InStyle) April 29, 2019
I’m not sure I’d call glorifying a symbol of oppression around the globe as “breaking boundaries,” but hey, whatever. The only place the hijab represents freedom is in Muslim countries when women take them off under threat of persecution. In western countries, it’s just another accessory that someone can choose to wear or not. Women can absolutely choose to wear one and that right should be respected but the glorification of something that’s physically forced on so many abused women across the globe just feels off.
It’s also weird in the sense that the entire point of the hijab and burkini in a Muslim context is religious modesty. It’s not meant to be modeled in a way to draw male eyes. It’s meant to do the opposite. So I’m not even sure what the Muslim population will think of this.
Look, it’s their magazine and they can do what they want. People also have the right to react as they want. The entire point of the Swimsuit Edition, whether they want to admit it or not, is for a bunch of guys to ogle women in scantily clad clothing. Trying to pretend it’s anything more than that by putting women in full body suits and hijabs on the pages is just delusion on the part of the publishers.
People that buy this stuff don’t want to see burkinis and plus size models. That’s just the reality, even if that offends the sensibilities of some.
The truth is, in today’s culture, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition is a relic of the past. Their desperation to remain relevant is palpable and this is obviously a Hail Mary attempt to try to garner some of the sweet, sweet woke cash that flows in when a business does something inter-sectional. The problem is that most sports fans are men who are generally more moderate or conservative in their politics. Your average avocado toast wearing hipster isn’t following the NFL or going to a Braves game.
While this move will garner a few headlines and maybe a couple of left-wing subscribers for a month or two, I doubt it does anything to resuscitate what is dying publication in a dying medium.
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