The 50th Anniversary Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Will Feature Barbie And People Are Pissed

According to one of my Top 3 favorite people to follow on Twitter, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue model Chrissy Teigen, the magazine’s iconic 50th anniversary cover is going to be unveiled tomorrow night on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Will it feature Kate Upton for the third year in a row? Will Teigen rightfully take her place as the new face of the annual issue? Will SI go the “tradition” route and feature a “Then, Now and Future” theme with Kathy Ireland, Upton and Emily Ratajkowski? Or will SI cave to what’s hot right now and make Ratajkowski’s debut on the cover? I’m not psychic, so all I can say is that we have to wait until tomorrow night at 11 PM ET.

Sports Illustrated did tease fans a little by releasing a promotional cover that features Barbie, but that’s only because the magazine has teamed up with Mattel in this issue to honor another legacy – the Barbie Doll’s 55th birthday. Barbie will be wearing the same black-and-white suit that she wore way back in 1959, and she’ll be accompanied by a new branding battle cry of “#UNAPOLOGETIC.” The hash-tagged confidence is Mattel’s answer to years of criticism that the doll’s design promotes an unrealistic body image for young girls.

“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,” Mattel said in a statement on Tuesday. (Via the New York Times)

The difference, obviously, between Barbie and the SI Swimsuit models is that they are real and she is a doll, so it’s a lot easier for people to look at the models and think, “That’s cool, she’s proud of her body” than it is to empathize with a company that currently values the dolls at $1.3 billion and is feeling the constant sting of pissed off women. Did people take to Mattel’s Facebook page and Twitter to voice their outrage over the four-page spread? A few did, while some others voiced support and appreciation.

Even former Bank of America Global Wealth President Sallie Krawcheck spoke for the outraged on today’s edition of In the Loop on Bloomberg News.

To be honest, I didn’t even realize that Barbie Dolls are still a thing. I just assumed they’d been replaced by pogs or whatever the cool kids are playing with these days. But I’m sure someone somewhere would be offended by that, too.