Pastor Slams Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue for Making Men View Women as Sexual Objects

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By Rachelle Corpuz | March 17, 2014 2:08 PM EST

Does Sport Illustrated Swimsuit Issue really turn their models into sexual objects? A Michigan-based pastor thinks so.

Laurie Haller, who works as a pastor for the United Methodist Church in Birmingham, Michigan, said the men's journal degrades women and promotes them as sexual objects, Christian Post reported. Ms. Haller is apparently a 33-year subscriber of Sports Illustrated, but the one thing that she never read is the annual swimsuit issue.

REUTERS
2014 Sports Illustrated cover models Nina Agdal (L), Lily Aldridge and Chrissy Teigen (R) pose for a portrait in New York February 18, 2014. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

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Ms. Haller wrote an open letter to Sports Illustrated stating how she totally disapprove of the use of women as a form of sexual objectification. Ms. Haller's blog post came during about the time that Sports Illustrated has released its 50th 2014 anniversary issue that pictured Chrissy Teigen, Nina Agdal, and Lily Aldridge topless on the cover.

Ms. Haller wrote that she cannot understand the reason why Sports Illustrated had to publish and dedicate an entire issue of poorly clothed, but beautiful, models because she couldn't fathom its connection to sports. She said that it is a marketing strategy so that they could get more people to sign up for subscriptions.

CNBC reported that Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue sells more than one million copies at newsstands on the average. It spawns seven percent of advertising revenue for Sports Illustrated and is reportedly the single best-selling print issue, according to Time Inc.

Below are some excerpts from her blog post:

"I don't consider models posing on the beach as a sport. And it's not the fact that I consider many of the pictures to be soft porn and offensive, not suitable for viewing by children or youth."

"My concern with the swimsuit issue is that it promotes women as sexual objects and reinforces stereotypes of beauty. This attitude not only does not contribute to the health and welfare of girls and women, but it condones and even encourages men and boys to treat women as mere instruments of sexual pleasure."

Read more of Ms. Haller's vent here.

Why do some women feel so comfortable showing off their skin? Why do women accept these gender stereotypes in mass media?

To contact the editor, e-mail:

(Photo: REUTERS / Carlo Allegri)
2014 Sports Illustrated cover models Nina Agdal (L), Lily Aldridge and Chrissy Teigen (R) pose for a portrait in New York February 18, 2014. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
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