FINALLY… YOUR 2022 COVER QUEENS! https://t.co/KTz5tWUK11
— Sports Illustrated Swimsuit (@SI_Swimsuit) May 16, 2022
There have always been places where men and boys have to sit and wait, like the dentist’s office, or the old-fashioned barber shop. Only one thing made these waits tolerable. Buried under piles of magazines like US, Highlights for Children, and 51 dog-eared S.I. issues about regattas and tennis, there was a copy of a true American treasure: the Swimsuit Edition. It was marketed with some flim-flam about fitness or buying swimware for our wives, but we knew that the editors delivered that pretext with a wink and a nudge. Its true purpose was to give us an opportunity to ogle fantasy women in a respectable publication that you would not be embarrassed to read in public, even while sitting next to your minister. In this innocent context could you gaze at beautiful, unspoiled, unattainable young women, their supermodel bodies clad only in the scantiest of outfits. Sometimes they wore no outfits at all, but simply strutted around naked, their exposure disguised by a coat of paint so thin that its only purpose was to prevent our dentist’s receptionist from tossing the issue away in disgust.
Like many other great ogling traditions, its time has passed. The women no longer have to be young, or natural, or in possession of supermodel perfection. Your granny could make the edition now, maybe even the cover. Ditto the cousin that your mom always called “big-boned,” and praised for her personality. Ditto that kinda-cute Starbucks barista you dated once or twice, until you realized she had foul coffee breath, bad implants, and tattoos of weapons.
The models are no longer unattainable fantasy women of the sort that can only be bedded by men with Brad Pitt looks and/or Jeff Bezos bankrolls. In coarse terms, the S.I. Swimsuit Edition is filled with women that even internet schmucks like us, if we put in the time and resources, could actually fuck.
And that, in many ways, represents the collapse of the last, best pillar of the mighty temple of Western Civilization that was so painstakingly constructed by lustful architects from Homer to Hefner.