What’s wrong here? Screen shot of Sports Illustrated slideshow celebrating Title IX while advertising a swimsuit issue app
I got my copies (print and electronic) of the Sports Illustrated Title IX issue. The reading was enjoyable and educational. I learned about studies done showing the benefits of athletic participation and a lot about history I did not know. In particular the article on the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) told of this organization that held women’s college sports before the NCAA and was really cutting edge and democratic for the time period.
However, there is a problem. Why does the cover feature the text of the law rather than actual pictures of female athletes. It is amazing that even when celebrating Title IX the magazine does not put a woman on the cover. Can one imagine a map to the beach or a definition of “bikini” on the cover of the swimsuit issue rather than a woman in a swimsuit?
Likewise, I was happy to see no swimsuit issue promotions in the print edition but was distressed when I clicked over from the electronic edition to the slideshow of “Top 40 Athletes of the the Title IX Era” and saw next to many of the athletes advertising for the swimsuit issue app.
I guess Sports Illustrated is just conflicted and this issue reflects that conflict.
The problem? Note where the fold is, to the right of the “R” in “Fair.” So that means when the actual cover is on the magazine, there are no black actors on the front. The two black actors have been folded to the inside. Seemingly this marginal placement of black actors has been a problem with similar Vanity Fair covers. Jezebel traces the complete history with images. Given the ongoing controversy over The Help and George Lucas’s statements regarding the making of Red Tails, this placement has greater importance. This cover also provides a concrete example of black talent being marginalized and hidden from view.