STATEMENT: Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Is Anti-Woman

NCOSE Press Statement logo

Statement by Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of NCOSE

Washington DC – The latest Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue will officially hit the stores next week. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) denounces the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue for its objectification of women.

Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue is a sexist and repugnant magazine tradition,” said Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation “A man buying magazines to leer at a woman’s exposed body is not in awe of her ‘empowerment,’ ‘agency,’ or ‘athleticism’ as a human being. He is consuming her as a sexual, inanimate object. This blatant dehumanization of women cannot be tolerated in a society that strives to value gender equality. It’s time for Sports Illustrated to leave the Dark Ages and to stop production of the Swimsuit Issue.”

“The sneak-peek of the 2017 Swimsuit Issue featured one woman’s mons pubic area, nearly exposed due to an untied bikini bottom. What does this image have to do with athleticism? Nothing. The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue exists to sexually objectify women, period.”

“Even worse, in this latest issue Sports Illustrated attempts to envelope raw pornographic themes in the veneer of ‘female empowerment.’ Christie Brinkley returned for another SI swimsuit photoshoot this year, but this time she brought her two daughters into the shoot as well. Why does our culture applaud parents for offering up their daughters as props for male sexual fantasies? Shouldn’t confidence stem from inherent worth and forged talents, rather than a perverse appeal to patently incestuous sexual interests with hypersexualized images of a mother and her two daughters?”

 “Since 1964 this magazine has sexually objectified women for sport and profit. In 2015, the cover featured a model revealing a portion of her pubic area,” Hawkins continued. “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 profiting from blatant sexual objectification by removing the Swimsuit Issue from their stores. Patrons have a right to shop free from exposure to soft-core pornography in the 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.



Survivor Lawsuit Against Twitter Moves to Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Survivors’ $12.7M Victory Over Explicit Website a Beacon of Hope for Other Survivors

Instagram Makes Positive Safety Changes via Improved Reporting and Direct Message Tools

Sharing experiences may be a restorative and liberating process. This is a place for those who want to express their story.

Support Dignity

There are more ways that you can support dignity today, through an online gift, taking action, or joining our team.

Defend Human Dignity. Donate Now.

Defend Dignity.
Donate Now.