Archive for the ‘Kate Upton’ Category

Kate Upton

Sports Illustrated Cover Girl Kate Upton Is Not ‘Relatable.’ She’s A Model.

It’s that time of year again, when a 57-year-old sports magazine with a middle-aged male demographic firmly inserts itself into popular culture with an issue devoted to half-naked young women. The time when the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover is somehow considered revealing of fashion or women or the current American mood.

This year’s cover model, 19-year-old Kate Upton, has hijacked the conversation more than most. And in ways that make my skin crawl. Supposedly, with measurements cited as 36-25-34 and standing at 5 feet 11 inches, she represents a movement away from the boyishly thin runway models currently showing at Fashion Week and toward “real” women. The words used to describe her range from “curvy” and “voluptuous” to “wholesomely proportioned” and even “chubby.”

She is both applauded and denigrated for these proportions and her purported girl-next-door look. Fashion editor and stylist Sophia Neophitou equated her to tabloid trash and a “footballer’s wife.” (And yes, supermodel Gisele Bundchen, she meant it as an insult.) Upton graciously commented that she is “relatable.”

While I am squarely in the normal range on the body mass index, I can assure you I look nothing like Upton and few other “real” women in this country could. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the average American woman weighs 165 pounds, stands 5 feet 4 inches tall, and has a waist circumference of 37 inches.

Upton’s not normal. She’s a model. For that matter, I don’t see how she’s so strikingly different from any other models found in the annual Swimsuit Issue. SI isn’t in the business of high fashion or of representing the masses. At least once a year, it’s in the business of young, sexy models. Last year’s cover shot of Irina Shayk was similarly busty. Yet the most common descriptors of Shayk were “Russian,” “beauty” and “sexy.” Meanwhile, Upton can’t escape the word “curvy”—often used as a euphemism for “fat.”

Any implication that Upton represents real, normal women in America or that SI is at all progressive is absurd. She is a gorgeous young woman who is paid and posed to make adolescent men (in age or at heart) salivate. It’s not new, and it’s certainly not doing us average women any favors.