Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue to Include ‘Unapologetic’ Barbie Poses


Guys, you may want to be extra careful about where you read your copy of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue this year. It will contain a double-helping of grist for feminist outrage this time around, as Barbie, that icon of feminine pulchritude and academic rigor (“Math class is tough. Let’s go shopping!”) struts her stuff alongside the human models.

Toy maker Mattel will pepper the issue with ads dominated by photos of the doll sporting the form-fitting onesie she wore in her retail debut more than 50 years ago, along with the tagline “unapologetic.”


Mattel has been criticized from various quarters for decades for allegedly promoting unrealistic ideals of the female form via Barbie. The toy maker says it’s time to fight back.

“As a legend herself, and under criticism about her body and how she looks, posing in ‘Sports Illustrated Swimsuit’ gives Barbie and her fellow legends an opportunity to own who they are, celebrate what they have done, and be unapologetic,” a Mattel representative told Ad Age.

The swimsuit issue will hit news stands February 18th, around the same time Mattel will adorn toy store shelves with a new “SI Swimsuit Edition” Barbie.

Meanwhile, enjoy the tongue-in-cheek BTS video above, in which photographer Walter Iooss explains what makes Barbie a perfect model. “You know, when Barbie starts a pose, she can hold it forever. As a matter of fact, she’s still holding the pose.”

(via Ad Age)

  • Larissa

    The REAL question is, is Barbie photoshopped or did they keep her all natural?

  • Bill Binns

    Pretty risky behavior on S.I’s part. What if all those militant feminists cancel their subscriptions?

  • Burnin Biomass

    All natural? Please… she’s had work done.

  • BeJay

    good one!

  • Omar Salgado

    Verdaderamente, ¡qué asco de publicidad!

  • Reality

    Hello, please give me the link to a Spanish-language website about photography, so we can go comment in English. Danke/Merci.

    As for “controversial” Barbie… the answer is simple: Google image search “Barbie He-Man” and you’ll understand.

  • Peter “Pots”

    Much ado about not much!

  • Omar Salgado

    Learning a foreign language broadens not only your relationships with other people around the world, but your way to conceive things. It does not have to be Spanish. ;)

  • Sonya


  • SF_Abe

    Patriarchy hurts everyone. Barbie is a “perfect model” because she isn’t a person. god forbid a woman shows signs of humanity.

  • CarsRuleBikesDrool

    I likez my women lean & mean, barbie is the perfect body! Im a lucky dad who getz to play with his daughterz barbiez when shes at school.