The cover girl for the 50th annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue has been revealed, and it's ... Barbie! Yes, the iconic, all-American doll made by Mattel!
Certainly a different choice than what we were expecting:
Barbie, whose tiny waist, endless legs, voluptuous curves and makeup have all sparked controversy of late, is flaunting her famous figure like never before.
Featured alongside supermodels like Christie Brinkley and Brooklyn Decker, Barbie is the cover girl for a campaign Sports Illustrated is calling "unapologetic."
It appears that the Barbie SI cover is not the actual cover, as it says "pomotional overwrap," but reports say it will thus be wrapped around many copies.
The magazine calls the plastic figure, "The doll that started it all."
Lisa McKnight, Mattel's senior vice president of marketing, adds:
"As a legend herself, and under constant criticism about her body and how she looks, posing ... gives Barbie and her fellow legends an opportunity to own who they are."
So basically this is creative advertising for Mattel. Well done.
Expect a real, human cover girl soon, but Barbie is bringing the buzz.
It remains to be seen if Kate Upton will make it three covers in a row, or if the magazine has something different planned, considering this new theme.
Call it what you want, the campaign is a departure for the 55-year old doll, beloved as a plaything, yet criticized as an unrealistic standard of beauty for years.
With this latest move, Mattel shouldn't expect the critics to silence anytime soon. In fact, outrage over the move to hit social media almost immediately.
The already familiar refrain? People pondering the impact of Barbie's appearance on the SI cover as it pertains to body image for girls, women and men.
What do you think of the Barbie SI cover? Tell us below!