Next week the annual Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue hits newsstands. As the headline in a new Vanity Fair article notes, it will be the “First Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue of the #MeToo Era.
The editor of the issue – MJ Day – is a woman, as are all of her core team, according to the article, written by Erin Vanderhoff.
Day tells Vanderhoff, “I’m thrilled that this [#MeToo] movement is going on because I feel like it’s going to change things for the better.”
The article says “Traveling and shooting on location put [Day] in situations where she was talking about bodies and the idea of beauty with people from vastly different cultural backgrounds. ‘Everybody had a different person that they related to or thought was the most exciting,’ [Day] said. ‘Those people were dark, light, big, small, tall, thin—it was not one type of person. I always carried that with me . . . Why are we only saying to ourselves that there’s just one type of person that’s worthy of being celebrated? It’s bullshit, and we all know it, and we all live it, yet it’s continued to be propagated in the media.’”
Vanderhoff also writes, “Day told Vanity Fair that she sees connections between the #MeToo movement and her own work. ‘It’s about allowing women to exist in the world without being harassed or judged regardless of how they like to present themselves,’ she said. ‘That’s an underlying thread that exists throughout the swimsuit issue. You have Harvard graduates, you have billion-dollar moguls, you have philanthropists, you have teachers, you have mothers—you have a full range of women represented in the alumnus of this magazine, and not one of them failed because they wore a bikini.’”
The cover of the first Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue – Jan. 20, 1964