Five decades of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue is kind of a big deal, and we've already been promised some big name "Sports Illustrated Legends" in amazing bathing suits (and hopefully bodypaint) inside the magazine, alongside favorites like Kate Upton and new talent. What we definitely did not see coming was the inclusion of Barbie, both in the magazine and more importantly, on a version of the cover.
While Barbie won't be the actual cover girl for the anniversary issue, she is the supermodel for the magazine's ad campaign (although we can't imagine that the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue has problems with publicity). The image above shows what the New York Times says will be a cover wrap limited to the first 1,000 copies. With the subheading "The Doll That Started It All," Barbie is seen wearing a black-and-white one-piece with a gold bracelet and her hands on her hips.
The Mattel campaign revolves around "#unapologetic Barbie." The doll launched in 1959 wearing a bathing suit and has since gone on to "break boundaries, build empires, and shape culture." A spokeperson for the brand told Adweek that "this program is about maintaining relevance and having a point of view on a societal conversation that has surrounded Barbie and women for years."
In the campaign material, Mattel said that having Barbie on the mockup issue gives her and the other legends "an opportunity to celebrate who they are, what they've done, and being #unapologetic." We're all for the idea, but this just seems wrong on so many levels. We'd love to hear what you guys think about it in the comments section below.