Intellectual History Of Sports Illustrated

In a 2005 column, Bryan Curtis argued that “Sports Illustrated helped create the sex-sports nexus, by bringing the supermodels directly to the fans.” The entire column is reprinted below.

When you spot the supermodel Carolyn Murphy in repose on the cover of the new Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, the first unseemly thought that crosses your mind is: “What is Carolyn thinking?” OK, maybe not. But—no groans, please—that’s the question we’re here to answer today. In its 41 years on newsstands, the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue has been hailed as the arbiter of supermodel succession (Tiegs to Porizkova, Macpherson to Ireland) and as a commercial juggernaut ($35 million in ad sales this year). But it has yet to be celebrated as a magazine with the kind of sophisticated intellectual framework of, say, the Partisan Review. We plan on advancing that argument, just as soon as we finish ogling Carolyn Murphy.

Complete article via Slate

(If you just want to see a big photo of this year’s swimsuit cover model, Irina Sheik, click here.)


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