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Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model Wears Dead Sailfish

Sport's Illustrated Swimsuit model wears dead sailfish shawl as part of the 50th Anniversary issue.

February 25, 2014
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Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Photo

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Photo

Photo by Derek Kettela

As I was perusing Sports Illustrated‘s Swimsuit Edition online this morning, as I am apt to do each spring when the issue hits newsstands, I ran across a disturbing photo. Disturbing is not a usually a word I would associate with scantily clad, gorgeous young women, but in one of the photos online, a pretty young girl is sporting an obviously deceased sailfish as a shawl.

Now, I can understand how Jessica Gomes, the model pictured above, might have been feeling a bit chilly standing in the water in a pair of tiny bikini bottoms with the wind whipping up the surf around her, but she is in Madagascar for crap’s sake! How cold could she be?

What’s really intriguing to me is the mindset of the prop guy on the shoot. “Let’s see. We have some jewelry, a rainbow-colored beach ball, a fancy hat, a pretty silk scarf and this sailfish carcass. Which one would you like to try on next, dear?”

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I was actually impressed with the size of the poor dead sailfish — it looks like it weighs at least 70 or 80 pounds. I was just wondering how it got up there on her back. Did she do a clean and jerk to hoist that baby up there, or did a group of photo assistants pull it out of the cooler and lift it up there for her?

We guess it’s a good thing all of the lemurs in Madagascar were in hiding that day or they might have wound up as a sarong. You can rest-assured that if SI were taking photos in South Africa, no one would have thought it appropriate to festoon the model with a frock made from a family of slain meerkats.

Some of the general public, possibly Sports Illustrated, may just look at this sail and think it’s a smelly dead fish — no skin off their backs. We hope that the next time Sports Illustrated releases its swimsuit issue, it gives more thought to its prop choices. No dead fish, no dead animals and certainly not one that is being used as a fashion accessory. This is the magazine’s 50th anniversary of the coveted swimsuit edition, and they have been around so long for a reason. This could have been an attempt to bring controversy or to bring more eyes to the issue. SI has been seen as creating controversy. First, it was nearly naked women that angered some of the public. Sports Illustrated‘s Swimsuit Edition seems to be well past that, and now, a new audience could be outraged.

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