The One Where I Objectify Women in the Name of Research

Distracting. I know.

I blog, therefore I am a journalist. Feeling the weight of this responsibility, I googled “journalist integrity definition”. Turns out, with my previous posts, I’ve let the institution of journalism down; I’ve let my fellow bloggers down; more importantly, I’ve let you, the readers, down. Print media has long-held to the standards of accuracy, fairness and objectivity. And now that print is dying and we’ve jumped ship to the internet, journalists can’t stop being accurate, fair and objective. You already know this because the internet is where you can find the most accurate, fair and objective reporting ever.

Anyways, point of this tangent is that print is dying, and I need to do more journalistic research (And that I’m not really a journalist, but that’s besides the point!). Enter the 2011 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Yesterday, as I was browsing the magazine stacks at a local bookstore, I made eye contact with this year’s cover girl. As soon as I saw the cover I knew I wanted to write a blog post about this issue. No, I needed to write a blog post about this issue. And I was going to write about this issue hard.

So I picked up a copy for research purposes.

I made it home as quickly as possible. The ideas for a blog post about the annual swimsuit issue were flooding my head; I couldn’t think of anything else. I may or may not have skipped a couple stop signs while driving. As soon as I was home, I escaped to my room and locked the door. I needed the time and space to myself to ensure I could write the best blog post possible.

I sped through page after page thinking of different angles on how to approach this post. Upon finishing my first read through, I decided to read through again. I wanted to be fair. I wanted to be accurate. I wanted to be objective. So I took my time with the second read-through. Also some of the pages were stuck together from the sweat falling off my face on to the pages. It added to the slowness of my second read-through, but it didn’t matter. I was that excited.

Less is More

The first true idea for an angle that popped into my excited head was the old adage of “less is more”. Let me clarify, “less is more” as in less nudity (but not “too less”), but enough swimsuit to really get the ideas going. (Growing up, I was a teenager with an addiction to the Channel 98, a channel that caught the scrambled adult channel signal. I know “too less” when I see it.)

We live in the Information Age, and there are sources for ideas all over the internet. Why focus on a rather prude once-a-year issue? In my opinion, most of the ideas on the internet are devoid of imagination (the Japanese seemed to have reached a creative end-game with bukkake). And I appreciate creativity and beauty. Also I appreciate the anticipation.

This is confusing. Let me rephrase: What is it about the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition that still creates excitement? For one, sex sells. Then why didn’t the thought of grabbing a Playboy from that magazine stack for some afternoon research excite me as much? Simply put, the SI Swimsuit issue is an event. It happens once a year (Less is more!). It’s anticipated. Like any proper journalist, an event needs to be covered. And it needs to be covered accurately, objectively and with fairness. And I plan on covering this event hard.

Michelle Obama

As soon as I know it, I’m eyeballing this beauty named Kenza Fourati. She’s from Tunisia and, naturally, this made me think about current events. The escalating democratic uprising began in Tunisia. Tunisia borders Libya. Libya is experiencing a violent democratic revolution. US President Barack Obama recently condemned the Libyan president’s response to the uprisings. President Obama’s wife, First Lady Michelle Obama, is one hot mom.

For a 47-year-old mother of two, Mrs. Obama is in terrific shape. Apparently, conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh thinks differently. Rush thinks Mrs. Obama looks unhealthy and unlike a SI Swimsuit cover model. He sidesteps the fact that the current cover model is 25 and Mrs. Obama is 47. Also Mrs. Obama has two children.

While on the topic of objectifying the First Lady, if my wife looks like that after two kids and nearing the age of 50, damn, I’ll know I married right.

Future of Print Media

Where was I? I was sent off on a partisan tangent and I forgot what I was going to write. Looking down at the magazine, I see Brooklyn Decker staring seductively back at me. Whew. Nothing gets rid of writer’s block and stimulates ideas quicker than the sight of Brooklyn Decker in a tiny red bikini (oh great, the sweat is back).

A few pages after Brooklyn, the magazine advertises the SI Swimsuit edition iPhone and Android app. I take out my phone to download and judge the app’s usefulness for myself. There is a free version and a $1.99 upgrade that offers videos. I’m unsure about the videos because I don’t want to risk having these models talk during them. It ruins the whole objectifying thing the magazine does so well. And less is more!

So, I go with the free app, and it’s good. Like, print is an obvious dying dinosaur good. According to statistics, 60 million adults viewed the 2010 Sports Illustrated issue. It will be interesting to see this year’s statistics to see how many print viewers left for the mobile app. Every year, the issue serves as a metaphorical Viagra blue pill to the print media in that it causes excitement. If this edition can no longer manufacture that excitement to the print media limp, then what can?

Now, that’s the interesting angle I need to write about. But first, I’m going to give this issue another read-through. Hopefully the stickiness from my sweat onto the pages hasn’t ruined the images. If it does, at least I have the mobile app.

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  1. […] make a big fucking deal out of this. The other day I was touring Andrew Breitbart’s website (to revisit those journalism virtues, it’s a website that flamboyantly and proudly ignores accuracy, objectivity, and fairness). I […]



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