Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Reveals Barbie as Cover Model

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This is not a drill.

Over the past few months, there have been speculation about who would grace the cover of Sports Illustrated's 50th Anniversary Swimsuit Issue, which has featured some of the most gorgeous women in the world. Top choices included Kate Upton, who has been featured on the last two issues, and Elle Macpherson would break two records by appearing on the cover: most number of covers (6) and oldest cover model (49). Sorry to both of them, becuase we have an even older woman on the cover.

It seems the iconic magazine has sold out to a cross-promotional advertising stunt with Mattel, featuring Barbie on the milestone issue's cover. The plastic bombshell will wear her iconic black-and-white striped swimsuit, strappy heals, and vintage white sunglasses. Barbie's four-page spread (by the pool behind her infamous Malibu beach house no doubt) was shot by renowned sports photographer Walter Iooss, Jr. 

When you consider the amount of criticism both the swimsuit issue franchise and the Barbie brand have faced for their unrealistic and manipulated depictions of the female form, there is a common thread that links the two together. In fact, the idealized shape of Barbie, which probably won't have to be Photoshopped, is almost a tongue-in-cheek selection for the magazine. Mattel's senior vice president of marketing told the New York Times, "We're focusing on the legendary women of Sports Illustrated who, like Barbie, launched their careers in a swimsuit."

If the classic doll isn't your idea of a sexy swimsuit model, you don't have to completely toss in the towel on the new issue. Barbie's cover is a limited edition and will only be featured on the first 1,000 copies.

[h/t Ad Age]