Monday, February 22, 2016

A Breath of Fresh Erin

Let’s talk about Erin Heatherton.
At first glance, her photos are a little… odd? She has real wavy, almost frizzy hair that’s a jolt from the flowing locks she sports elsewhere.
But the more I look at them, the sexier I find them. They’re very warm and disarming. In fact, I’d now rank Erin’s shoot as one of my favorites from this year. I’m getting a late-80s/early-90s Rachel Hunter vibe.
I think that might be the thinking behind her whole look in this issue. The sunny feel, the natural and freckled face, the sky-high cut of this bikini bottom.
Once you get into that mental groove, the photos all fall into place and make sense.

Well, almost all of them. I can’t figure out what to make of this:
I think it was meant as a bold, weird experiment that MIGHT end up being iconic and MIGHT end up looking like a sexy Captain Caveman Halloween costume.

• • •

As long as we’re listing critiques…

Do we really need so many nearly-but-not-quite-identical shots? There seemed to be quite a spate of them this year.

Are we really still doing the “bikini model standing next to a native” thing?

And finally, I know I’m the only person who cares about this, but haven’t we figured out a better placement for SI logos?

(On a happier note, I predicted the luscious Barbara Palvin! Welcome, Babs. I’m splitting my Rookie of the Year voting between her and Sofia.)

But all in all, I’m real happy with this year’s offering.

(And Emily here, with her swimsuit straps wrapped around her wrists, is giving me a little something to fantasize about, right?)

Back into hiding!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Brush with Greatness

Normally, I am of the opinion that the bodypaint should be left to the models. But this year's painted athletes—each making her second appearance in the swimsuit issue—make a great showing.

Also of note: All three suits are one-piecers, which are rarer than painted-on bikinis.

I think each athlete made as good an appearance, if not better, than her previous outing.

UFC Fighter Ronda Rousey

Tennis Player Caroline Wozniacki

Alpine Skier Lindsey Vonn

In Memoriam

Farewell to the five non-rookies who did not return for 2016.

Emily Ratajkowsi
I was surprised she came back for a second year, so I’m not surprised she didn’t reappear for 2016. She was always good for some sexy shots. But something ineffable kept her from “feeling” like an SI girl to me.

• • •

Sara Sampaio
This one hurts. Sara was easily one of my favorite models from the last two years. Beautiful eyes, magnificent body. Her time is over way too soon. I hope against hope SI isn’t done with her permanently; it’s rare but not unheard of for a model to take a year or two off, then return.

• • •

Ariel Meredith
For example: Ariel first appeared in 2009, then returned in 2012. I thought she had a great run, with 2012 and 2014 especially yielding some of my favorite pictures from the last few years.

• • •

Genevieve Morton
She was one of the longest-serving models and had become a reliable staple. She had a fun, kewpie doll presence she brought to the magazine, and it almost feels incomplete without her.

• • •

Jessica Gomes
Jessica spent some time as my favorite model in SI. She gave us eight magnificent years, and the swimsuit issue has a Gomes-shaped hole in it.

Friday, February 19, 2016

That’s the Way the Rookie Crumbles 2016

Time for my annual congrats to the rookies who returned and farewell to those who didn’t make it back another year.

It was another largely successful crop, with five survivors and only two who didn’t come back. I’m proud to say that my predictions for what 2015 rookies would see 2016 were solid. My top five returned, my bottom two did not.

I don’t care what y’all say, I think Kelly Rohrbach is mouthwatering.

Especially in a sweet one-piece.

And of course Hailey Clauson, she of the bewilderingly low ROTY voting, got herself a cover and an array of great shots.

Including this awesome one-piece.

And I’m thrilled to see the bubbly Rose Bertram is back and as bubbly as ever.

With no one-pieces to her name, but I forgive her.

I can’t put my finger on why, but I had a feeling Ashley Smith and Solveig wouldn’t stick around. Much like Shannan Click a few years ago, they didn’t seem to snap into place.

Solveig in particular is very pretty. I’m not sure why she didn’t make a stronger impression on me.

And Ashley? Well, you can’t argue with this butt.
Hate to see you go, Ashley, but I love to watch you leave.

Rookies crumbling 2015, 2013, 2012, 2011

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Happy Irina-versary

Yesterday, I slipped in a pic of Irina Shayk’s posterior, so that post and this post tip the all-time Swimsuitologist scale in her favor: Irina Shayk 64, Kate Upton 62. In a way, it makes sense. This was Irina’s tenth consecutive appearance in the swimsuit issue, tying her with her fellow Russian beauty Anne V.

How did the rest of her 2007 rookie class fare?

Ana Paula Araujo (1 year)
Raica Oliveira (1 year)
Selita Ebanks (2 years)
Tori Praver (3 years)
Bar Refaeli (5 years)
Julie Henderson (7 years)

Like I did with Anne V, I counted up the number of models Irina has shared the magazine with. I have Irina at 81, leaving her a little short of Anne’s 88. (Irina was helped by the All-Star Reunion issue, which came out in 2006, just before Irina’s time.)
• • •
Adaora • Nina Agdal • Lily Aldridge • Ana Paulia Araujo • Melissa Baker • Natasha Barnard • Ana Beatriz Barros • Rose Bertram • Beyonce • Kate Bock • Yasmin Brunet • Jeisa Chiminazzo • Hailey Clauson • Shannan Click • Kim Cloutier • Hannah Davis • Sonia Dara • Brooklyn Decker • Yamila Diaz • Cintia Dicker • Emily DiDonato • Zoe Duchesne • Lucia Dvorska • Selita Ebanks • Hannah Ferguson • Kenza Fourati • Esti Ginzburg • Jessica Gomes • Izabel Goulart • Ashley Graham • Quiana Grant • Kirby Griffin • Gigi Hadid • Melissa Haro • Jessica Hart • Erin Heatherton • Bregje Heinen • Julie Henderson • Samantha Hoopes • Marloes Horst • Chanel Iman • Heidi Klum • Bo Krsmanovic • Robyn Lawley • Damaris Lewis • Jarah Mariano • Lauren Mellor • Ariel Meredith • Alyssa Miller • Marisa Miller • Tanya Mityushina • Genevieve Morton • Fernanda Motta • Aline Nakashima • Raica Oliveira • Oluchi Onweagba • Julie Ordon • Barbara Palvin • Jessica Perez • Dominique Piek • Tori Praver • Emily Ratajkowsi • Bar Refaeli • Crystal Renn • Sofia Resing • Hilary Rhoda • Kelly Rohrbach • Sarah Sampaio • Daniella Sarahyba • Ashley Smith • Solveig • Fernanda Tavares • Chrissy Teigen • Yesica Toscanini • Kate Upton • Cris Urena • Anne V • Valerie van der Graaf • Veronika Varekova • Michelle Vawer • Jessica White
• • •
Now, there’s no need to assume Irina will call it quits after just one decade. Kathy Ireland has the all-time record at 12 years (including 11 in a row). Does Irina have her eyes on that mark?

Watch your back, Ireland.