Is the latest Sports Illustrated cover image too provocative?

Is the latest Sports Illustrated cover image too provocative?  Recently I was at my local grocery store buying the usual items when I passed by the magazine rack and noticed the cover image on the 2015 Sports Illustrated magazine.  Wow..  Now I’m no prude and I certainly appreciate the beauty of the female form, but I wondered if that image was a little to revealing for your average swimsuit addition.  It also seemed slightly out of place as it was displayed in the checkout aisle where families often pass through to purchase their items.

But maybe this is just me and I’m being a little too reactionary to the image.  In today’s media it is important, or at least it seems to be the goal to ‘shock’ viewers and therefore gain more exposure.  Perhaps that is the reason for pushing the envelope with the recent Sports Illustrated issue.  I have to admit that I have never bought a Sports Illustrated magazine, so as far as I know this has been the norm all along and I just never noticed it.

This could also be part of a larger trend which is mostly driven by online media.  Barriers on what was once considered ‘adult content’ has become more mainstream.  Consider the recent hit, 50 Shades of Grey.  Fifty Shades of Grey is a 2011 erotic romance novel by British author E. L. James. It is the first installment in the Fifty Shades trilogy that traces the deepening relationship between a college graduate, Anastasia Steele, and a young business magnate, Christian Grey. It is notable for its explicitly erotic scenes featuring elements of sexual practices involving bondage/discipline, dominance/submission, and sadism/masochism (BDSM). Originally self-published as an ebook and a print-on-demand, publishing rights were acquired by Vintage Books in March 2012.  The explicitly erotic scenes featured in 50 Shades of Grey have become widely accepted by most of our current culture.

It seems that the border from mainstream actor/actress to adult performer is becoming blurred.  On one hand this may be a good thing as concepts of nudity and sexuality are becoming embraced as natural, but on the other hand it has the potential to be dangerous and bordering on pornography.  As most adults already probably know, the age of the Internet has brought many sexual taboos to the forefront of the mainstream audience and this has begun to change our concepts around the world regarding sex and relationships.

Perhaps I am getting a little off topic as this article was originally designed to focus on the latest Sport Illustrated Swimwear addition.  Another thing that came to mind was the advertisers that pay to promote their ads in the magazine.  For example Google recently changed their Adsense (pay per click advertising) policies to deny any website that displayed ‘provocative’ content.  This means that if you own a website and wish to convert your traffic into Adsense pay per click sales you would first have to receive approval from Google.  Their review team would check your website and see if it meets their criteria.  According to Google, the image of Hannah Davis on the cover of Sports Illustrated would be considered too provocative and therefore Google would deny the application.   Of course you cannot display pay per click ads on a physical magazine, but does this policy indicate that the image should be considered ‘adult’?

This topic is important to us at because we want to provide an open platform for online models of all ages, while at the same time presenting our site in a friendly and family oriented fashion.  Of course this is not always easy as some people view any content which may be considered ‘sexy’ as provocative.  This is particular difficult when promoting  teen models and  child modeling, as it is very important not to present an image that can be misunderstood as provocative.


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