STATEMENT: Sports Illustrated – Highlighting a Plus Sized Model Does Not Redeem You From Your Normalization of Objectification and Sexploitation

NCOSE Press Statement logo
Statement by Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of NCOSE

Washington, DC – The 2016 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue released three covers this year, all of which normalize sexual objectification and exploitation, says the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. “Sports Illustrated’Swimsuit Issue promotes pop-culture pornography,” said Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. “Of the three covers for this year’s issue, one features a plus-sized model, while the other two display a woman who is naked except for body paint, and another who is topless. Are we supposed to be grateful that Sports Illustrated is expanding the wheelhouse of body types it is willing to sexually objectify for profit? Women of all shapes, sizes, and ages deserve more than being reduced to breasts and buttocks 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 pornification of Sports Illustrated dates back several years, but the 2015’s cover on which the model appeared revealing a portion of her pubic area was clearly intended to push boundaries,” Hawkins continued. “In 2015, after more than 30,000 complaints were filed, Safeway quickly moved the magazine away from checkout stands and stated that two-thirds of the cover would be out of sight. NCOSE 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.”

Take Action: Concerned citizens can contact Wal-Mart, Kroger, Walgreens, Safeway, and Barnes & Noble here.

The Numbers


NCOSE leads the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation with over 300 member organizations.


The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has had over 100 policy victories since 2010. Each victory promotes human dignity above exploitation.


NCOSE’s activism campaigns and victories have made headlines around the globe. Averaging 93 mentions per week by media outlets and shows such as Today, CNN, The New York Times, BBC News, USA Today, Fox News and more.



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