Women of all sizes and ages deserve more than being reduced to body parts for men to ogle.
February 16, 2016

Sports Illustrated: Objectifying Plus Sized Models Doesn’t Make You “Body Positive”

The 2016 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue released three covers this year, one of which features a plus-sized model, and all of which normalize sexual objectification and exploitation.

Consumers of Sports Illustrated‘s annual “pop-culture porn” get to choose between a cover of a plus-sized woman, a woman who is naked except for body paint, and another woman who is topless. The photo of the plus-sized model, however, is what has been making headlines as many applaud the “body positive” message is represents.

However, as a woman and a human being, I am not impressed.

Are we supposed to be grateful that Sports Illustrated is expanding the wheelhouse of body types it is willing to sexually objectify for profit?

This magazine has a long history of objectifying women for sport. While I understand the desire to increase the public presence of models who represent real and diverse women, I ultimately want LESS women to be degraded as ornaments for another’s sexual pleasure. Not more. “Body positive” does not mean “body exploitation.”

Women of all shapes, sizes, and ages deserve more than being reduced to body parts for men to ogle. This magazine is sending a message that women’s bodies are for public consumption, and any retailer that displays and sells it is condoning the toxic culture of entitlement to the female body.

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation is asking the public to demand that companies like Wal-Mart, Kroger, Walgreens, Safeway, and Barnes & Noble stop subjecting the general public to sexual exploitation by removing the magazine from the eye-level of children and from patrons who don’t want to be exposed to soft-core pornography at the store checkout line.

You can take action here:

You can also help raise awareness by sharing the below graphics on social media!

Haley Halverson

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Director of Communications

Haley Halverson joined the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) as Director of Communications in May of 2015. Haley cares deeply about human rights and the issue of sexual exploitation, particularly regarding those exploited in the sex industry. In her role, Haley acts as a spokesperson for NCOSE and oversees strategic messaging development, press outreach, email marketing, social media marketing, and creative video production.

Prior to working at NCOSE, Haley wrote for Media Research Center. Haley graduated from Hillsdale College (summa cum laude) where she double majored in Politics and interdisciplinary religious studies, and conducted a senior thesis on the abolitionist argument regarding prostitution. During her studies, she studied abroad at Oxford University and established a background in policy research through several internship experiences in the DC area.

Haley has appeared on, or been quoted in, several outlets including Voice of America, the New York Post, the Washington Times, Dr. Drew Midday Live, The DeMaio Report, the New York Daily News, USA Radio Network, CBC News, The Rod Arquette Show, the Christian Post, Lifeline with Neil Boron, EWTN News Nightly, KCBS San Francisco Radio, LifeSiteNews, The Drew Mariano Show on Relevant Radio, News Talk KGVO, and American Family News.

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