Congratulations! Once again your annual swimsuit edition ("A" You're Adorable, "B" You're..., Feb. 13) is a work of art! I've been reading SI for eight years now, and this issue just keeps getting better.
I thought it would be impossible to do it without Christie Brinkley, but your '84 effort was the most stunning to date. Six gorgeous paragons of femininity, some alleged swimwear and Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao. Tastefully outrageous!
"Here Comes the Sun"? I'm beginning to believe that cover girl Paulina Porizkova moves the earth! I'll be Czech-ing her out for weeks to come.
Your (un)cover girl may have been "in the pink"—but just barely!
Oil City, Pa.
At last, the ultimate suitless bathing strap!
RICHARD I. BONSAL
Upper Montclair, N.J.
I want to thank you on behalf of the entire Chaminade High basketball team for introducing us to Kathy Ireland. The picture of her in a lacy bikini now hangs proudly in all our lockers, replacing that of Larry Bird.
West Hempstead, N.Y.
Please sign rookie phenom Kathy Ireland to a long-term, no-cut, no-trade contract.
GEORGE E. COLEMAN
How do you expect me, a dermatologist, to recommend sunscreens for my patients when you present such a dazzling array of beauties in skimpy swimsuits? Phew!
ALAN MENTER, M.D.
This year I was home when my husband's prized issue arrived. I frantically searched each picture for a flaw, a patch of cellulite that had gone unnoticed, a tummy that wasn't concave, anything! In finding nothing, I resigned myself to a lifelong diet-and left my husband to his daydreams.
If I want sports, I can get it in the Pigskin Preview in Playboy. If I want to see women, I can see them in SI.
As a recent subscriber, I was taken by surprise by the swimsuit issue, and it wasn't a pleasant surprise. My 12-year-old son loves to read the magazine, but this issue has been trashed. Too bad, because some of the articles were quite good. As a mother I would not hand my preteen a Penthouse or Playboy, and your photos aren't much different. Your timing was a little off, too. I received a letter asking me to renew my subscription at the same time I got this issue. My trash can overfloweth!
New Cumberland, Pa.
I can tolerate the nearly naked models and the lustful review of them usually given by your readers. Their actions and reactions are a product of adult choice. But the picture of model Paulina Porizkova giving a come-hither look to the Curacaon boy is another story. As a parent and director of a program for children, I find such suggestiveness tasteless and a subtle form of child pornography. The seduction of children by adults is neither amusing nor acceptable. Next time let the big boys do the looking and keep the children out of it.
SUSAN R. GETMAN
New Brighton, Pa.
Every year I think maybe the swimsuit issue won't be so bad, and every year it gets worse. I'm surprised and disappointed that you don't show more sensitivity toward your women subscribers. I'm enclosing the cover and swimsuit pages. I don't want them.
H. CHRISTINE SAMMEL
The Feb. 13 issue is not sports, as your name implies. It's smut. Leave the smut to the smutty magazines. This issue will not be available to our students. It is a real disappointment to see SI sink so low.
TERRY D. SNODGRASS
North Middle School
With regard to your recent issue, all of the theological and ethical arguments against it can be concisely and properly summarized in this simple judgment: It is wrong.
EDWARD F. SHOCKRO JR.
Money must be a prime motivator for you to continue this annual practice. To me, it's a very cheap way to make a dollar and only mars your image as a quality magazine.
Thought you'd slip your readers some good ol' soft-core pornography again this year, huh? Thump-thump, tingle-tingle. Soft as it may be, as pornography it still degrades women—and men—and your displays seem to get a little harder core each year.
Funny thing, I am a happily married, red-blooded-American-male sports enthusiast, and I don't like pictures of almost-naked women in my living room.
If you insist on having your little flesh fling, at least be fair to my wife and other women who enjoy your otherwise excellent magazine, and grant equal space to male swimsuits.
BRIAN I. SCHUCH
Fort Defiance, Ariz.
Why don't you really shock us next year and not publish your swimsuit issue? Do something to raise the moral tone of the country, instead of lowering it.
GERALD F. SMITH
This year's swimsuit edition was not just a lesson in the ABC's, it was also, in my opinion, a reward for all SPORTS ILLUSTRATED readers who survived a year of the H's—Hogs, Huskers and Howard (Cosell). But please give us a lesson in history: How many swimsuit issues have there been, who was featured on the first swimsuit cover and which model has been revealed the most?
•From its beginning, in 1954, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED has reported on—and photographed—the latest in swimwear and resort fashions. However, the swimsuit issue, as it has come to be known, dates back to our Jan. 20, 1964 edition (below left), whose cover girl, not named in the article, was Babette, a professional model. That issue was greeted with raves and rants. But it was the next year's feature, in the Jan. 18, 1965 issue (below right), produced by SI associate editor Jule Campbell and starring Sue Peterson, a young California model, that drew the first big response—more raves and rants—from SI readers. As for the model most often seen in the 21 swimsuit issues, Cheryl Tiegs, who also got her start in California, has appeared in eight of them and graced three covers (1970, '75 and '83). Christie Brinkley, another Californian, has adorned the cover three times (1979, '80 and '81) and been in six issues.—ED.
Letters should include the name, address and home telephone number of the writer and be addressed to The Editor, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Time & Life Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020.