The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition Is Out And It Features Barbie (VIDEO)

2-19-2014 8-05-08 AM

The 2014 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition hit the stands Tuesday morning and it, as usual, has the world abuzz — but not for the usual reasons. One of the featured models is none other than controversial icon Barbie. Yes, the doll.

From CNN:

In honor of the 50th anniversary of Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit edition, the magazine has teamed up with Barbie to feature this image in its annual magazine, which hit stands Tuesday. Though both brands have been widely criticized for their depiction of women,?Mattel says?the move is an effort to celebrate entrepreneurs such as Tyra Banks and Heidi Klum who, like Barbie, “launched their careers in a swimsuit.” Look back at some of Barbie’s professions through the years.

Mattel was proactive in defending its stance. The hashtag campaign of #unapologetic — an internal mission phrase inside the company — is being used on social media and on a Times Square billboard. From a statement:

?As a legend herself, and under constant criticism about her body and how she looks, posing in ?the issue? gives Barbie and her fellow legends an opportunity to own who they are, celebrate what they have done and be #unapologetic.”

Let’s not be too hasty with our concern that Sports Illustrated is embracing the unattainable beauty and perfection of Barbie. Mattel bought its way into the celebrated and controversial Swimsuit Edition.

Mattel paid for the opportunity to integrate Barbie into the commemoration of the anniversary; Mattel and Sports Illustrated declined to be more specific. (CNN)

How do we feel about the hype surrounding the focus on Barbie’s career beginning — the swimsuit model? After all, she’s had a distinguished career as an intellectual?as well. She’s been a dentist, a doctor, a pilot, a homemaker, etc…Shouldn’t we be focusing on those accomplishments? Or no? I’m on the fence on this issue. Yeah…and yeah.

The iconic doll appears in an updated version of her original zebra-striped swimsuit. Whew. I admit that I’m relieved Barbie isn’t wearing a thong. Or…is there a Barbie out there who is?


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Written by Tiffany Willis Clark

Tiffany Willis Clark is a fifth-generation Texan, a proponent of voluntary simplicity, a single mom, and the founder and editor-in-chief of Liberal America. An unapologetic member of the Christian Left, she has spent most of her career actively working with “the least of these" -- disadvantaged and oppressed populations, the elderly, people living in poverty, at-risk youth, and unemployed people. She is a Certified Workforce Expert with the National Workforce Institute, a NAWDP Certified Workforce Development Professional, and a certified instructor for Franklin Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. She also has a grossly neglected personal blog, a  Time Travel blog, a site dedicated to encouraging people to  read classic literature 15 minutes a day, and a literary quotes blog that is a labor of love. Find her somewhere and join the discussion.

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