'Sports Illustrated' Is Attempting To Make Their Swimsuit Issue Work Post-#MeToo & Reactions Are Mixed

With the #MeToo movement still trending, Sports Illustrated has changed how the annual Swimsuit Issue will be portrayed this year. According to Vanity Fair, the 2018 issue allowed models to be more than just objects, but also participants.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, editor MJ Day discussed how she planned the Swimsuit Issue with her core team, which is all women. While last year’s issue was about body diversity, this year continued that message with a nude spread titled “In Her Own Words.” According to Vanity Fair, this is the first in its 54-year history. The spread features models like Sailor Brinkley Cook posing with words like “artist” and “natural” painted on their bodies, according to The Cut.

There will also be more standard bikini shots, The Cut reports. The issue will include more participation from athletes, more donations and causes, and written contributions from the models, according to Vanity Fair. Day says it’s because “no one ever gives models a real opportunity to be who they are.” She also said to Vanity Fair that the photos will still be sexy because it is Sports Illustrated, but the idea was to “create something artful.”

Reactions were mixed to this announcement from the magazine. According to Insider, some people argued that the nude spread still objectified women and exploited the #MeToo movement. Yet, others believe the spread is inspirational and a level-up from previous issues.

Day said she believes the #MeToo movement is going to change things for the better: “It’s about allowing women to exist in the world without being harassed or judged regardless of how they like to present themselves,” she said to Vanity Fair about the connections between her work with Sports Illustrated and #MeToo.

The Swimsuit Issue will be on stands next week.