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Sports Illustrated is in the business of selling magazines about sports to sports fans. The fact that many sports fans are men probably explains why SI’s most popular issue of the year is their swimsuit issue. It has nothing to do with sports, but sells well to SI’s clientele, because these male sports fans also enjoy looking at attractive women who are nearly naked. This is not really in line with SI’s business model (sports), but they publish it anyway because it makes money. Which made me wonder why SI is featuring pictures of this new swimsuit model, wearing what is promoted as Muslim-friendly swimwear (described as a “hijab and burkini”):
This lovely young lady is Halima Aden – described as a Somali-American who was born in Kenya and moved to the United States at the age of 7. She is obviously beautiful. But there are a lot of beautiful women out there. Why was she selected to pose in the SI Swimsuit Issue? Believe me, her picture will look a lot different from the others in that magazine. So why did SI include her in their top-selling magazine of the year?
I don’t think this picture will help them sell magazines. But it cost money to produce. So why?
Virtue signaling? To whom? I’m fairly certain that male sports fans who enjoy pictures of nearly naked women will not be impressed with the virtue signaled here. They really, really, really don’t care about Muslim swimwear. To be fair, they don’t care about any other type of swimwear, either — they just like the pictures of nearly naked girls. And no one buys the SI Swimsuit Issue to expand their understanding of foreign cultures.
Virtue signaling to themselves? I don’t see how this helps their self-esteem – they make money by selling pictures of nearly naked women for Pete’s sake.
Is this just SI trying to make Muslim women feel better, or more included in modern society? How many Muslim women seek equal exploitation as SI bikini models? Some, I suppose, but how many Muslim women read Sports Illustrated? Enough to generate subscriptions among the Muslim demographic? Man, I don’t know…
I guess SI did get a headline on FoxNews. They got exposure for their magazine to those who don’t normally read it. People like me. Maybe that will generate some subscriptions? There’s no such thing as bad press, right? You just want publicity.
Maybe that makes sense. I guess.
But I don’t get it.
People don’t appreciate having their meaningless escapes — like watching sports or looking at beautiful women — to be infused with preaching about social justice. They could be reading the New York Times. But no. They picked up the SI swimsuit issue to get away from that stuff.
I don’t read Sports Illustrated, so I don’t really care what they do with their publication.
But I suspect that they would be better off if they tried to be really good at being Sports Illustrated, instead of really bad at being The New York Times.