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Sports Illustrated Swimsuit is facing severe backlash for putting Kim Kardashian on its cover – as critics blast the ‘feminist’ magazine for not showcasing someone ‘more deserving.’
The outlet announced it’s four cover stars for the upcoming 2022 issue on Monday – including Kardashian, 41, Elon Musk’s 74-year-old mom Maye, singer Ciara, 36, and plus-size model Yumi Nu, also 36.
But some people have branded the company a ‘hypocrite’ for featuring the reality star on the front of the magazine, after it previously announced that it will only include ads from brands that show a commitment to supporting gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Si Swim shared a sneak peek of Kardashian’s upcoming cover shoot to Instagram, and the post was quickly flooded with angry comments from readers who called the outlet ’embarrassing,’ ‘disappointing,’ and ‘pathetic.’
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit is facing severe backlash for putting Kim Kardashian on its cover – as critics blash the ‘feminist’ magazine for not showcasing someone ‘more deserving’
The outlet announced it’s four cover stars for the upcoming 2022 issue on Monday – including Kardashian, 41, and Elon Musk’s 74-year-old mom Maye (pictured)
Singer Ciara (left), 36, and plus-size model Yumi Nu (right), 36, round out the four cover stars to grace the front of the latest issue, which hits newsstands on May 19
Some people have branded the company a ‘hypocrite’ for featuring Kardashian, after previously announcing it will only include ads from brands that support women empowerment
‘But why?’ asked one commenter. ‘Plenty of other available people with sports connections that could use the exposure.’
Another added: ‘This is embarrassing. After all you’ve been working towards to show regular day to day women who are incredible… This is what you do? Yikes.’
‘Super disappointing cover,’ said someone else. ‘You were doing so well, SI.’
‘This is not a good move for you guys,’ read a fourth comment. ‘I really enjoyed the separation of real people from people like her.’
‘First time I won’t buy the magazine,’ another person wrote. A different user agreed, ‘I won’t be buying one this year. Thanks to Kim for saving me $10.’
‘Kim K is the exact opposite of a naturally beautiful woman,’ added someone else. ‘She encourages disordered eating and photoshop because she hates herself. Boo.’
Another called it the ‘worst choice ever.’ They wrote, ‘Honestly, this is so bad. First SI Issue I won’t be buying in years.
‘Shame on you for rewarding a woman with zero talent whatsoever who used a sex tape to become what she is. Pathetic.’
Si Swim shared a sneak peek of Kardashian’s cover online, and the post was flooded with angry comments from readers who called the outlet ’embarrassing,’ ‘disappointing,’ and ‘pathetic’
‘[SI] celebrates women with real bodies and stories then puts Kim on the cover. Honestly don’t get it, but OK,’ said someone else.
‘Great message for young girls… Get as much plastic surgery as possible,’ read another comment.
‘LOL way to promote a woman who promotes starving herself to fit into a dress,’ wrote another disgruntled reader.
Earlier this month, Kardashian spoke to Vogue about taking extreme measures to fit into Marilyn Monroe’s ‘Happy Birthday, Mr. President’ dress for the Met Gala – revealing she lost 16 pounds after not eating any carbs or sugar for three weeks.
‘It was such a challenge. It was like a [movie] role. I was determined to fit [into] it,’ she said.
‘I haven’t had carbs or sugar in about three weeks. We’re having pizza and donut party back at the hotel [after the Met Gala].’
Photographed by Greg Swales, fresh-faced Kardashian posed in a nude SKIMS bikini with matching sheer gloves for the SI Swim cover.
Another pictured showed her posing with a motorcycle and starring seductively at the camera in a black SKIMS bikini and Balenciaga jeans.
Photographed by Greg Swales in Dominican Republic, fresh-faced Kardashian posed in a black SKIMS bikini and Balenciaga jeans for the SI Swim shoot
Maye meanwhile posed for her shoot on a stunning beach in Belize. She opted for some slightly less risque swimwear – instead, modeling a series of colorful one pieces
Ciara, who was famously behind songs like One, Two Step, Level Up, and Body Part, donned a stunning leopard-print bathing suit for her shoot, which took place in Barbados
Nu, a Japanese and Dutch recording artist, showed off her curvy figure in a green bikini as she posed in Montenegro for the upcoming SI Swim issue
A third featured the Keeping Up With the Kardashians alum looking sultry in a tiny swimsuit as she stood in the water clutching a motorcycle helmet.
In recent years, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit has focused on spotlighting models with a wider range of body types than it had previously; it has included several plus-size models, as well as athletes and women over 50
The four women were photographed in separate locations, including Kardashian in the Dominican Republic, Ciara in Barbados, Musk in Belize, and Nu in Montenegro.
‘At course, Kim, no stranger to the world’s judgment, continues to live proudly, authentically and unapologetically through the noise,’ MJ Day, editor in chief of SI Swimsuit, said in a statement about the upcoming issue.
In recent years, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit has focused on spotlighting models with a wider range of body types than it had previously; it has included several plus-size models, as well as athletes and women over 50.
In 2020, Valentina Sampaio became the first transgender model to pose for the magazine, and she returned again in 2021. That year, she was also joined by fellow trans model Lenya Bloom.
Last year was also year of firsts, and included the first Filipino model in the magazine, the first Asian-American model, and a 57-year-old woman who was the oldest Rookie ever at the time.
The publication debuted its Pay With Change initiative earlier this year, stating that companies will have to have ‘demonstrated programs to advance gender equality and drive progress for women’s empowerment’ to buy ads in both the print issue and online outlets.
In 2020, Valentina Sampaio became the first transgender model to pose for the magazine, and she returned again in 2021. She was also joined by fellow trans model Lenya Bloom (pictured)
The publication debuted its Pay With Change initiative earlier this year, stating that companies will have to support ‘gender equality’ and ‘women’s empowerment’ to buy ads in the outlet
Editor-in-chief MJ Day (pictured in 2018) said at the time that ‘women’s bodies are under attack’ and ‘we knew we needed to act in a bold, more responsible way’
On Instagram, she spoke out about it further, responding to haters who claimed that the publication is simply focused on showcasing sexy swimwear models
‘SI Swimsuit has always been a launchpad for the women it features. Now it’s a launchpad for progress for all women,’ the brand said in a statement at the time.
The change is set to go into effect starting with the 2022 issue, which will hit stands on May 19 and features Kardashian on its cover.
‘Sports Illustrated Swimsuit has been leading the charge in creating change in women’s lives for years, despite what some critics and naysayers would like you to believe,’ Day added about the initiative.
‘However, in a world where women’s bodies are under attack and their value is continuously underestimated, we knew we needed to act in a bold, more responsible way.
‘Pay With Change is not just a platform to us, it is our commitment to creating greater progress for women.’
On Instagram, she spoke out about it further, responding to haters who claimed that the publication is simply focused on showcasing sexy swimwear models.
‘We are more than just a swimsuit magazine,’ she wrote. ‘The women that make up this brand are more than just swimsuit models. The women that power this brand are more than just employees.
‘The devotees of this brand are more than just fans… We are mothers and daughters, sisters, friends and partners.
Nu (pictured for the upcoming SI Swim issue) became the first-ever Asian plus-size model to be featured in SI Swim as a rookie last year – and it launched a huge modeling career for her
Ciara, who was famously behind songs like One, Two Step, Level Up, and Body Part, has now sold 23 million records worldwide. She is pictured in the magazine
Musk – the mother of billionaire Tesla founder, Elon – has been a model for more than 50 years now, appearing in campaigns for magazines like Time, New York Magazine, Elle, and Vogue
‘We are entrepreneurs, wellness enthusiasts, explorers, students, dreamers, role models and changemakers. We have and have always had unlimited potential.
‘Individually and as a whole, we are all more than that one defining characteristic that so often hastily assigned to us.’
While the initiative is debuting in this issue, SI Swim is committing to it long-term.
‘Pay With Change will be our new standard of business moving forward,’ Hillary Drezner, general manager of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, said.
‘It’s our proof of progress, proof of passion and proof of our belief that we must be the change we want to see.
‘Starting now, we’ll turn our advertising and activation space into a place to create change for women.
‘We are committing to this initiative throughout all aspects of our business and are inviting all brands who are demonstrating progress to join us.’
The brand is also set to launch something called The Swimfluence Network, which it described as ‘an inclusive digital community for people looking to connect, learn, and champion change for the next generation.’
It will include an app with health, wellness, lifestyle, fashion, travel, and food content, as well as live events.