Sports Illustrated announced Barbie will be on the cover of the magazine’s 50th anniversary swimsuit issue.
Sports Illustrated, do you realize every time my 4 year old or 7 year old daughter sees the cover of your magazine, she will think that it’s made for her? About her?
I guess you do, because Target will be selling a limited edition of the SI Barbie to coincide with this issue of the magazine.
So grown-ups, once again, are teaching kids that females are valued for how their bodies look while males are valued for what their bodies can do. I am so fucking disgusted. I cannot believe the sexualization of girls is this mainstream, accepted, normal, and OK.
The Atlantic reports:
In the 57 years since Sports Illustrated‘s founding, a woman has appeared on a (non-swimsuit issue) cover 66 times—on average, just over once a year.
Your tagline for the campaign is #unapologetic. So you’re not sorry– proud rather– that you are contributing to a culture where we are all so used to girls being sexualized? Do you get the damage you are helping to create?
There are several components to sexualization, and these set it apart from healthy sexuality. Sexualization occurs when
- a person’s value comes only from his or her sexual appeal or behavior, to the exclusion of other characteristics;
- a person is held to a standard that equates physical attractiveness (narrowly defined) with being sexy;
- a person is sexually objectified — that is, made into a thing for others’ sexual use, rather than seen as a person with the capacity for independent action and decision making; and/or
- sexuality is inappropriately imposed upon a person.
All four conditions need not be present; any one is an indication of sexualization. The fourth condition (the inappropriate imposition of sexuality) is especially relevant to children. Anyone (girls, boys, men, women) can be sexualized. But when children are imbued with adult sexuality, it is often imposed upon them rather than chosen by them. Self-motivated sexual exploration, on the other hand, is not sexualization by our definition, nor is age-appropriate exposure to information about sexuality.
Statistics on sexual abuse show 1 in 5 girls is sexually abused.
Sports Illustrated, how can you be #unapologetic?
Update: Love this comment on Reel Girl’s Facebook page from RG fan Sarah Schiebel:
To me this just proves Barbies are NOT really children’s toys at all! Maybe that’s what they are “unapologetic” about? As in “Haha, suckers! You’ve been buying your daughters miniature sex dolls for 50+ years!”