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Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 50th anniversary cover models revealed

Posted by Katie McLeod  February 13, 2014 04:52 PM

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James Macari/SI

Sports Illustrated readers will be seeing triple when they pick up the magazine's 50th anniversary swimsuit issue on newsstands (or in mailboxes) Tuesday, Feb. 18.

Models, from left (above), Nina Agdal, Lily Aldridge, and Chrissy Teigen are sharing the landmark spotlight in their first ever swimsuit issue covers. Earlier this week, SI released that Mattel icon Barbie will grace the front of a limited number of issues via a cover wrap in an advertisement for the the New York Toy Fair. Barbie will be dressed in a re-imagined version of the swimsuit she wore when the doll came out in 1959. Head to SI's Swim Daily site for more swimsuit issue details.

Kate-Cover.jpgAgdal, 21, is the youngest of the three models and hails from Denmark. Agdal appeared in the 2013 swimsuit issue made famous by Kate Upton, whose (second) cover shoot (left) was photographed in Antarctica. [Photo: Derek Kettela/SI]

Aldridge, a 28-year-old California native, is a 5-foot, 9-inch, Victoria's Secret supermodel who loves chocolate and her home in Nashville, according to the lingerie brand's website.

Teigen, who tied the knot with R&B crooner John Legend in Italy last year, has been featured in several swimsuit issues, including the 2013 spread. The 28-year-old runs a blog called So Delushious.

sportsillustrated.jpgAldridge, Agdal, and Teigen join the ranks of cover models such as Christie Brinkley, Tyra Banks, Kathy Ireland, Bar Refaeli, and Irina Shayl (left) [Photo: Bjorn Iooss/SI].

SI teamed up with Mattel for a promotional campaign, declaring Barbie to be “The Doll That Started It All.” The theme of the campaign is "unapologetic," and the brands have promoted it through a social media hashtag to spread the message.

Dr. Claire McCarthy, a pediatrician and blogger for, weighed in after the Barbie reveal stirred up a decades-long debate about the doll's depiction of women.

I love it because finally, it acknowledges that nobody can actually look like a swimsuit model (even the swimsuit models, given what we can do digitally these days). Indeed, wanting to look like a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model is a bit like wanting to look like a plastic doll with impossible body proportions. Let's call a spade a spade. blogger, Eva Vawter, doesn't share McCarthy's same Barbie sentiment.

The tagline of the campaign is called “Unapologetic” — so too bad if your kid feels shitty she’s not tall and blond and perfect like Barbie, because they are all UNAPOLOGETIC. The swimsuit issue is fine. If you don’t want to see it, don’t look at it, don’t buy it, whatever. But adding Barbie to the lineup of impossibly gorgeous, airbrushed beauties doesn’t do a lot for the self-esteem of young girls. It just doesn’t.

Now it's time for you to weigh in.

What do you think of the 2014 cover models? Do you think the partnership between Mattel and SI is a good idea? Sound off in the comments. staff member Katie McLeod contributed to this report.


About Pop Radar's entertainment staff brings you the latest celebrity news and pop culture updates, along with discussions on the day's hot topics. And you're invited to weigh in. Let's dish.


Katie McLeod is's features editor.

Kristi Palma is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at

Rachel Raczka is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at

Emily Wright is an Arts & Entertainment producer at

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