SI Swimsuit to only feature ads from companies that prove progress for women in mother of all ironies

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(Video Credit: Sports Illustrated Swimsuit)

The “Sports Illustrated Swimsuit” edition has announced an uber-woke gender equity advertising mandate that will “only feature adverts showcasing the progress each brand is making to build equity for all women” and is encouraging other companies to follow their lead.

The initiative, “Pay with Change,” will only allow businesses to advertise that are “creating change for women in the varied ways they need it.” Brands have to prove to Sports Illustrated that they are creating positive change for women to become a certified “Changemaker,” earning a spot in the issue when it comes out in May according to a news release.

“SI Swimsuit is changing the cost of doing business from a monetary value to a currency of doing good,” the magazine vaguely declared in a statement late in January.

Brands that conform to the social justice requirement will be featured on the outlet’s social media channels, and there will be “additional opportunities” for Changemakers based on investment dollars, according to The Hill.

A part of every ad dollar will reportedly go to the Sports Illustrated Gender Equity Fund. That money will reportedly support a nonprofit organization “on the frontlines of helping create an equitable future for all women.”

The swimsuit edition that primarily caters to men has been previously accused of objectifying and exploiting women. Its previous efforts at proclaiming diversity and female empowerment have been mocked as token efforts at best.

“This year SI shrewdly peddles the idea that featuring a model lounging seductively on a beach while clothed modestly in a hijab and burkini is a celebration of diversity and women’s empowerment,” Dawn Hawkins, who is the executive director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, remarked in a 2019 statement.

“Clothing a SI swimsuit model is, indeed, a novel and welcome development, but what is not, is SI’s phony brand of female empowerment. As per usual, SI’s reductionist version of ‘female empowerment’ perpetuates the message that women exist as mere props for male sexual fantasies,” she added.

The reference was to Somali-American model Halima Aden who, in 2019, became the first Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model to wear a hijab and a burkini in a photoshoot.

In a recent Yahoo! Finance interview, MJ Day, who has been the editor-in-chief of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit since 2014, called those claiming that the brand promotes gender equity hypocrites because they “haven’t been paying attention.”

“I would tell them that since the inception of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, we’ve been doing more than almost any other brand out there in terms of elevating women’s platforms and giving them opportunities to be more than just, you know, a dot dot dot, swimsuit model,” she argued.

The magazine seems to have gone off the deep end in recent years getting ever more outrageous in its assertion of political correctness. Transgender model Leyna Bloom, who was on the cover of the annual swimsuit issue last year, is a prime example of the brand’s “diversity” insanity.

“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 said in a statement released in January. “However, in a world where women’s bodies are under attack and their value 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.”

“We’re understanding that there are some brands and companies that have very much well established initiatives going on, we understand that there are brands and companies that may see this as an opportunity to create an initiative and this may be their first time kind of dipping their toe into it,” she stated.

“This direction will hopefully revolutionize the entire industry and create endless opportunities for women, because not only will it encourage big brands to pursue these avenues of empowerment and growth and support for women,” she explained, “but those areas and initiatives that they invest into will then have a moment in the spotlight to inevitably make us all way more involved and aware and empowered — where we all win.”

“Along with Pay With Change, SI Swimsuit is launching The Swimfluence Network, an inclusive digital community for people looking to connect, learn and champion change for the next generation,” Sports Illustrated announced.

“The Swimfluence Network app features content focused on health, wellness, lifestyle, fashion, travel and food and lets users create a profile, join live events and engage with the Swimfluence community, SI Swimsuit models and staff. The app is also home to the Swim Search platform, letting SI Swimsuit hopefuls from around the world apply to be in the 2022 issue,” the outlet added.


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