Fetishization of the “exotic” or just a simple bikini shoot?

Sports Illustrated’s ‘Racist’ Photos Incite Debate

The newest edition of Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue is getting a lot of buzz for the wrong reasons this week, with critics charging that the global pictorials are racist and reinforce bad stereotypes.

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This year the heralded swimsuit issue decided on a seven continents theme, with its bikini-clad models posing in countries around the world. The problem for some, however, is who the models were posed with.

Instead of sticking to exotic backdrops, some of the models are featured standing next to people allegedly representing the various countries–an editorial decision that makes the “native people” tantamount to exotic props.

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