Sunday, February 24, 2013

Happy Birthday, Emily DiDonato

The 2013 rookie is 22 today.
This girl is intensely, mathematically pretty.
It’s like a computer was programmed with all the scientific findings about what the human eye finds attractive. This is the model it came up with.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

One-Piece Wednesday: Julie Henderson, 2013

A lot of pretty one-piece suits in this year's issue, as it turns out.
Here's my girl Julie.

I can hardly believe it's Julie's seventh appearance! A lot of hay has been made about the much-beloved Anne V, and her nine consecutive appearances. But Julie is up there too, along with fellow 2007 rookie Irina Shayk.
Those three are the only girls from '07 who are still around. I keep thinking of Julie as one of the newer models, but nope--she's definitely a veteran.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Happy Birthday, Valeria Mazza

41 today.
Hope she enjoyed Nina’s present: a painted-on tribute to the above bikini.
Want to see a sexy, spy-themed commercial starring Valeria and Antonio Banderas? Bonus: she sports a pair of handcuffs, if that floats your boat.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

South Pole Dance

So you’ve probably heard by now that Kate Upton went through some pretty harsh experiences on her Antarctica shoot. She ended up with frostbite, as well as temporary partial deafness and blindness. Pretty terrifying.

While I’m sure SI took precautions (and didn’t just toss Kate out there with no consideration or consultation), it seems pretty irresponsible to expose a model to that much physical danger just from being outside, and nearly naked at that.

Other models have shot in the snow. Vendela, Ashley Richardson, and Ingrid Seynhaeve all shot in Alaska (1993).
Bridget Hall shot in Chile (2005).
But Antarctica is a whole separate animal.

I’ll tell you what, though. The photos are pretty lovely, I have to admit. This might be my favorite:
If I sound a bit begrudging about it, it’s because I was kind of all set to roll my eyes at this shoot. It’s no secret that I find Kate a bit overexposed, no pun intended. Antarctica seemed like a gimmicky location. And there was that mysterious Oreo from the TMZ leak back in December (what became of that anyway?).
And while there are a couple shots featuring that patented Kate Upton boob-spillage…
…the more I’ve perused them, the more I find a lot of the photos very pretty, even elegant.
This one is a plain-old bombshell shot.
Say what you want about her, she suffered for her art this year. And during an era when I’ve wondered if we’ll ever see another truly iconic SI swimsuit shot, she may have added a genuinely timeless photoshoot to the canon.

Cheers, Kate. And may it all be lush, tropical SI locations from here on out.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Go Native

Jezebel has posted an article about the use of “exotic” people as props and set dressing in the 2013 swimsuit issue.

I have to say, this practice has always been a little disconcerting for me. And though 2013 is the first issue to hit all seven continents and explore the range of quaint locals each one has to offer, the practice is nothing new for SI.

(Though I didn’t realize until just now: They keep doing it in Kenya specifically.)
Carol Alt and Charissa Craig, 1982, Kenya 
Christie Brinkley, 1989, Kenya
Rebecca Romijn, 1998, Kenya
May Andersen, 2003, Kenya
This “native-as-scenery” is a topic I’ve been planning to get into for a while. Now that it’s been called out, it might be about time to go a little deeper.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

One-Piece Wednesday: Nina Agdal, 2013

To make up for Nina not getting the cover, here she is in a rather odd one-piece.
Complete with annoying watermark.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Come On In, the Watermark’s Fine!

I’ve barely scratched the surface of this year’s issue. But has SI ever disrupted the models’ bodies with their watermarks so blatantly before?
And there must be some sort of newish technology involved, because the watermarks do not appear on the “preview” finder window.
I bet part of the reason they get in the way is because of some automated marking process, one that can’t tell if it’s covering a thigh or a section of background shoreline.

Monday, February 11, 2013

And We're Off

SI has launched Swim Daily, a blog providing "a place where we'll experiment with new ways of creating content." Is it a way to keep pretty girls in our faces all year? Is it a way of bridging the year between the 50th issue and the 50th anniversary issue? Is it a way of putting decent, reputable swimsuit-obsessed blogs out of business?
We shall see! In any case, the photos are up. Have at them!

Countdown: 1 Day to Go


Let’s give the number one slot to Babette March. Every cover girl has followed in her footsteps.
I’m looking forward to Alyssa’s tribute to her.
See you tomorrow.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Countdown: 2 Days to Go

Two-timer Jessica Van Der Steen.
2004, 2005

This is what a Belgian swimsuit model is supposed to look like.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Countdown: 3 Days to Go

Three-timer Josie Maran brings us down to earth after yesterday's brouhaha.
2000, 2001, 2002

Friday, February 8, 2013

Cover, Uncovered

Well! Fun little roller coaster today.

First one regular contributor to Bellazon, then another, posted an early-access SI, revealing that Kate Upton, indeed, had repeated. Here she is, topless at the bottom of the world.
After a volley of opinions, positive and negative, suddenly those posts disappeared, and this message appeared:

At the request of Time Warner Inc please do not post the leaked copy of the cover.

It seemed the leaks were being plugged.

But later this evening, SI’s own Extra Mustard went ahead and posted it.
The cover then appeared on the SI and SI swimsuit Facebook pages. Apparently, they decided that the cover was leaked and making its way across the internet, so they may as well take control of the situation and announce it themselves.

Not sure what this does to the lavish Letterman reveal on Monday, but I imagine they’re working furiously to come up with a different angle for the episode.

Meanwhile, Tina Brady was once again a false alarm. The four 2013 rookies are Natasha, Emily, Hannah, and Kate.
Meanwhile, congrats to Kate. Christie, Paulina, Elle, and Tyra welcome another cultural touchstone to their club.

I’m still digesting the photo, but I do think it’s a prettier shot than last year’s. Canyon of Cleavage notwithstanding, there isn’t the decadent excess that bothered me about Kate’s 2012 showing.

I’m not sure the coat is doing her any favors, though. It hides her waist, and therefore her curves.

However, a bit of history: This shares a distinction with Cheryl Teigs’s 1970 cover as being the only two long-sleeved covers in SI swimsuit history.
Plus, it’s another topless shot.
Number of topless covers from 1964-1999: 0/36
Number of topless covers from 2000-2013: 6/14

In any case, this might be a copy worth picking up. I haven’t bought a physical copy of the magazine since the 2006 All-Star issue. I’m intrigued at the 7-continent range and the reproduced bodypainting covers. The crop of rookies is pretty sexy too, if a bit monochromatic.

Welcome 2013!

Countdown: 4 Days to Go

Four-timer Laetitia Casta.
1997, 1998, 1999, 2000
Meanwhile, the Lowdown Blog once again gives their odds for cover model. We share two of our top three. (I have Nina, Kate, Julie. They have Nina, Kate, Irina.)

As it happens, I have seen the cover. The Bellazonians have gotten their hands on it and posted it. Let’s just say, of the four models Lowdown and I suggested above, one of them is the lucky cover girl.

I don’t know if I should post the photo, for fear of spoilers. You’ll see it eventually, and if you’re that interested you can visit Bellazon!
EDIT: Oops, someone brought the hammer down. The leaked covers have been deleted.

Other news: The company that makes Nina’s Carl’s Jr. bikini has begun advertising it as such.
Nina, of course, opted for the second available bottom.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Countdown: 5 Days to Go

Five-time model Elsa Benitez, ladies and gentlemen.
2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006
This picture is stunning. That is all. 

Bellazon, by the way, has added another possible name to rookie-watch 2013. Tina Brady.
They arrive at this theory after careful analysis of her tweets. (What would that phrase have meant, even one short decade ago?)

In looking for info on her, I found that they also speculated she’d be in the 2011 issue, so who knows?

The folks over there have models’ names at their fingertips I’ve never even heard of before. They’re impressively obsessed. And despite Tina’s absence two years ago, a scroll through their 2011 thread shows they got a lot of details right.

I worry I may be ruining the surprise for myself... I'm trying to balance my curiosity with my respect for the joys of anticipation. (Curiosity is winning.)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Countdown: 6 Days to Go

Six days away, and Noemie Lenoir has already cracked open the Champagne.
2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006
It’s also One-Piece Wednesday, let’s not forget about that.

And by the way, a rookie rumor started floating around about a month ago concerning one Hannah Davis. I thought I’d posted about it before, but it turns out I haven’t, possibly because the rumor seemed a little shaky.

(Google the phrase “Hannah Davis Sports Illustrated,” and you’ll see the story sprout from “Hannah may be in the 2013 swimsuit issue,” to “Hannah will be on the cover!!”)

Anyway, this is her.
The sleuths at Bellazon seem pretty confident of Hannah’s presence, as well as that of Natasha Barnard (whom I mentioned in October), and someone named Kate Bock.

For the record, here’s Miss Bock.
The closing image of the video I posted yesterday seems to indicate four rookies.
So are we safe in declaring: DiDonato, Davis, Barnard, Bock? Stay tuned.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Countdown: 7 Days to Go

Well, we’re in the home stretch. The swimsuit issue comes out one week from today. MJ Day and all the models are tweeting excitedly to each other.

I was trying to come up with a clever way to count down, and I figured maybe do it using models’ numbers of appearances in the swimsuit issue? For example, we have seven days to go, and Stacey Williams has appeared seven times.
1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998
(I’m not counting her 40th Anniversary All-Star Appearance, since it was only one photo, and I just love Stacey too much to disqualify her based on a single pic.)

In other news, in the wake of this nifty rookie teaser video, another rookie has been revealed. Victoria’s Secret model Emily DiDonato will make her first appearance this year.
If you happen to be into posteriors, Emily seems to enjoy showing hers off, if this slideshow is any indication.
She looks strikingly familiar, and I’m not sure why. I’m not that fluent in Victoria’s Secret models, but maybe she caught my eye on some previous occasion.
Welcome, Emily!