Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition Photos: Racist? Exploitive?

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The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition is chock full of beautiful woman. This cannot be debated. (See Kate Upton, Katherine Webb.)

But Jezebel is now raising questions over the taste of many photographs in the magazine, such as the pair below.

In the first, Emily DiDonato poses against the backdrop of Namibia, standing alongside a half-naked tribesman that the site says is being used as a "prop" because that nation is perfectly modernized in many areas.

In the second, Anne V. is in Guilin, Guangxi and depicted as a "white person relaxing" while "a person of color [is] working," according to Jezebel.

Emily DiDonato Bikini Pic
Anne V Bikini Photo

Adds the critique:

"China has tons of skyscrapers and modern cities that make New York look rickety, but this image recreates an age-old narrative in which anything non-Western is quaint, backward and impoverished."

Who are these men, one might ask. Did they get paid? Are they aware their image is on newsstands across the country?

If you can stop staring at Kate Upton nude for a moment, sound off below: Are these SI photos racist?


Those men of color respect and probably want to bang the models.

Les fox

You can find something "racist" in just about anything if you try. Is a picture of two white people, or two black people, discriminating against the "missing" race? In professional sports, people tend to root for the person who they identify with: the team with the name of their city or state (even if everyone on the team is from somewhere else), the person who is the same race as you (fair or not), etc. I usually root for the team or person who is trying harder, and I often switch to the other side halfway through the game. It's fun and interesting to see photos of sexy models in the company of "exotic" people. If the locals were made to look stupid and inferior that would be offensive. If you just think the models "stand out" as special, well, heck, that's their job! In a high tech world, I think the "old world" exotic people are really interesting to look at. Is basketball racist because the best players are black? That's just life.


Abe, We are?


well, american girls are portayded as dumb pieces of meat not allowed to say anything at all.

@ abe

What's wrong with meat? I think this prejudice against meat is part of our puritanical heritage. The human body is a miraculous creation. The spiritual and the sensual are one and the same. ... I'm an American boy, and I ENJOY being made out of meat! And we'd all be better off if the people who pretend to know everything would stop speaking for a while.

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