Yes, modeling is a real job—an actual profession that takes hard work and real skill. Yes, it's a problematic industry that often fosters sexism, racism, and body issues. But if we're going to punch it, let's punch at the industry itself, and not the models doing their jobs.
If you haven't seen the headlines, 24-year-old model Hannah Davis has landed the latest Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover. The image has courted controversy due to Davis's low-slung bikini bottoms, which some media outlets and bloggers are saying hang much too low, verging on the pornographic.
Here is the image:
On Today, producers covered her bikini region on the image with a red ribbon because it was deemed too risqué for morning show audiences:
And Davis has done the rounds "defending" the image as not that big of a deal, the Washington Post reports.
"I think you're making it look a lot naughtier than it really is, to be honest," Davis told Matt Lauer. "To be honest, I think SI always tries to do something a little different every year, and I think this year, it's the year of the torso."
The response to that from bloggers and other media outlets was: Haha, torso. Right!
Cindy Boren at the Washington Post wrote:
Despite glaring evidence to the contrary on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, 2015 is the year of the torso.
Jenice Armstrong at Philly.com wrote:
Er sweetie. If you think it's your torso that people are talking about, then you need an anatomy lesson.
Get it? There's no way Davis is savvy enough to redirect the conversation; she's just stupid.
Business Insider deems this cover possibly the most scandalous yet, including admonishments from some Twitterers for Davis to "cover her vagina":
Do you see her vagina? But my issue with some of this criticism is one, that it's not really pointed at Sports Illustrated, who does this every year without fail, on purpose, be it with asses or Barbie or boobs. Two, it's that this all seems like low-hanging fruit, pun intended. For one, this cover has happened before plenty over the years, as recently as 2009, US Weekly noted, when Bar Rafaeli yanked down similarly: