AS AMERICA readied itself for the Eighties (and the excesses that would come along with it), we fielded fewer letters from the finger-wagging-rosary-clutching nun types and more letters from the "constructive critics" who read the issue, but would have preferred to edit it. So when the 1979 issue came around with Christie Brinkley on the cover and perennial favorite Cheryl Tiegs​ nowhere to be seen, opinions abounded. Readers struggled with the grim moral quandary of whether one could remain faithful to Cheryl and still make time with this new pretty young thing flirting back at them from the cover. Meanwhile, we left them with little choice, as the 1979 issue would be the first of a three-year cover reign for the future legend, Christie. 

Christie Brinkley in the Seychelles
Walter Iooss Jr./SI

 

MOURNING CHERYL: DENIAL...

Sir:

No Cheryl Tiegs? Say it isn't so!

STEVE CERUOLO
Winchester, Mass.

...DEPRESSION...

Sir:

It hit me like a ton of bricks! I was utterly shocked, amazed,
disillusioned, upset, furious, disappointed, depressed and almost
suicidal to discover that Cheryl Tiegs was not included in the
swimsuit photographs. Not one single shot! You have destroyed one
of my fondest concepts of this great country of ours: baseball, hot
dogs, apple pie and Cheryl Tiegs in the SI swimsuit edition. Do you
have any extra pictures of Cheryl from last year?

CHRIS PRIEBE
Dearborn Heights, Mich.

...ANGER...

Sir:

Let's face it, an SI swimsuit issue without Cheryl is like baseball
without the Yankees.

NEIL GAFFNEY
Fords, N.J.

Christie in the Seychelles, 1979
Walter Iooss Jr./SI

...AND ACCEPTANCE

Sir:

I think Christie has just surpassed Cheryl as the world's most
beautiful model.

NORM STEVENS
North Vancouver, British Columbia

 


 

SEXIST WOMEN UNITE! 

Sir:

Equal time please! We sexist females want an issue with beautifully
built men in skimpy non-swimsuits. After all, what's good for the
gander is good for the goose.

JESSICA RAYMOND
Cheyney, Pa.

 


 

HOW TO SOUND VAGUELY LIKE A SERIAL KILLER

Sir:

I was disappointed in this year's swimsuit issue. After last year's
I was expecting some rather interesting photographs. This year, the
only consolation is that I like legs.

It's hard to please everyone, ain't it?

MARK SHUFORD
Hickory, N.C.

 


 

Christie in the Seychelles, 1979
Walter Iooss Jr./SI

THEM SOUND LIKE FIGHTIN' WORDS

Sir:

Today I am an irate mother (and my husband backs me up) because of your Feb. 5 issue coming into our home. Certainly some of you are fathers and mothers who realize that it is hard enough in this day and age to raise children to be chaste and pure. But I doubt if you people would understand what I am talking about. No more of that stuff!

MRS. E. A. PFANNENSTIEL
Hays, Kans.

 

• Last week's Mailbag Monday, 1976-'78 

 

WE KNOW THAT'S YOU, MRS. LOSCALZO

Sir:

I am 11 years old. I usually enjoy SI but not the Feb. 5 issue. I
don't want to see girls in bathing suits. I want to see sports like
football, baseball, etc.

JOSEPH A. LOSCALZO
Woodbury, N.Y.

 


 

THE REAL ISSUE

Sir:

As a high school librarian, I know students often use SI as a
resource for reports, speeches, papers, etc. So, from now on, could
you try not to print any important articles in your bathing-suit
issue because it always gets stolen?* Thanks.

HOLLY BEAVER
Librarian
Lawrence North High School
Indianapolis

*This letter marks the first recorded incident of what would become a national epidemic.

 


 

Christie in the Seychelles, 1979
Walter Iooss Jr./SI

VOICE OF REASON

Sir:

Where will all the cries of outrage come from this year? Instead of
writing to SI, perhaps those outraged parents would better spend
their time looking for the more revealing magazines that their sons
hide under their mattresses. My mom always did.

ED STEFANKO
Shreveport, La.

 


 


ZINGER OF THE YEAR

Sir:

How come we didn't see George Plimpton in a bathing suit*? He's
tried most other forms of sport.

On second thought, never mind.

JOHN PFAFF
West Hartford, Conn.

*A little taste of what that might look like

 

READ: Plimpton's original piece from the 1979 SI Swimsuit Issue

 

LOVE HURTS

Sir:

O, cursed SI, have you confounded us? Here I was about to ask you
for Christie's address and phone number when my mesmerized eyes
detected an apparent wedding band on her finger in the cover
picture. Halt your cruelty instantly! Is Ms. Brinkley spoken for?

ROB MACKNIGHT
San Luis Obispo, Calif.

        --Afraid so.
        --ED.

        --Not anymore!
        --ED. 2014

 


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