Body

Look Out Kate Upton, Barbie's Landed a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Gig

The cover's still a secret but we know one model who's definitely made the cut

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It's February, which means that in short order we'll be treated to Valentine's Day, a bonus day off President's Day and the unveiling of the year's Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. (FYI, this is the 50th anniversary of the franchise so you never know who might pop up in a barely there bikini.)

Of course, at this point no one except the muckety mucks knows which buxom body will snatch the coveted cover from the well-manicured clutches of the other bikini-clad babes, but we do know that at least one 50-year-old woman will "represent" on the glossy pages of the best-selling magazine.

READ: Barbie's Unrealistic Body Proportions Make Sense. Here's Why ...

In a somewhat inspired move, Mattel has joined forces with S.I. to have Barbie strutting her swimsuit stuff with the best/rest of them.

"As with Barbie, every year the Swimsuit edition sparks conversations about women and body image," a Mattel spokesperson told AdWeek about the collaboration that, upon reflection, seems to have been made in heaven.

Indeed, Barbie, in all her plastic va-va-voomness, was photographed by go-to SI photographer Walter Iooss Jr. -- the shutter master responsible for myriad memorable shots including Cheryl Tiegs' unforgettable fishnet one piece centerfold and Kate Upton's 2012 cover.

The resulting shot, a split page featuring the original 1959 Barbie in her staid striped maillot opposite the all-new 2014 Barbie in her updated swim costume. (Of course, this new Barbie is available for purchase -- she hits Target shelves later this month.)

"Barbie is an iconic brand that is always speaking to multiple audiences -- girls, moms and society," a Mattel spokesperson said. "This program is about maintaining relevance and having a point of view on a societal conversation that has surrounded Barbie and women for years."

If you think for one moment that this Barbie + SI = bog newsstand partnership is limited to the magazine, think again. The powers-that-be aren't going to let such an inspired notion hit but one note. Oh, no. The two companies are also working, as AdWeek says, "On an advertorial component around Barbie's new "#unapologetic" campaign, which celebrates Barbie's (sometimes divisive) role in society."

WATCH: How a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model and I Get Our Legs Smooth for Spring

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