Since 1964, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue has sexually objectified women for sport and profit. The magazine sends a message that women's bodies are intended for public consumption and condones the toxic culture of entitlement to the female body.
These images are not designed to be empowering. Rather, they are designed to portray women as sexually desirable and available to the customers purchasing this magazine. Women who have achieved remarkable athletic feats do not need to be the center of sexual objectification in order to promote "body positivity."
This year, Sports Illustrated was quick to advertise their new swimsuit edition as the most diverse issue ever released. The magazine features those of different cultural backgrounds and body types. They recently announced on Twitter that the issue would even have a photo showing a woman’s c-section scar.
In attempting to justify the objectification of women by claiming to showcase diversity, Sports Illustrated continues to give way to the lie that people are things to be used and consumed for the gratification of others. As image bearers of God, an individual's body and soul should be taken seriously.
Your voice as a patron and consumer of major retailers can make a difference. If you see a magazine promoting sexual objectification in a checkout line at your local grocery store or convenience store, request to have it taken down. Explain why you feel the content is offensive and request to have it removed from the main checkout aisle.