Every year the folks at Sports Illustrated forget about sports and focus on gorgeous women wearing skimpy swimwear.  I approve.  This year is the 50th anniversary of this wonderful tradition, and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 50th Anniversary issue pulled out all the stops to celebrate, starting with their flip covers (seen below).


The magazine always tries to have more than just great-looking women is great-looking swimwear, and this year they had a variety of new items.  Famed SISI photographer assembled past cover models (including Babette March (the first SISI cover model) to Christie Brinkley, Kathy Ireland, Heidi Klum, and Cheryl Tiegs) to discuss their experience with the magazine -- and get a photo of all of them.  The traditional body paint swimsuit tradition had new models painted in classic suits from the earlier issues.  Kate Upton added to her cover with a photo shoot done in zero gravity, and Barbie finally made it into the issue as well.

For an issue theoretically dedicated to swimsuits, quite a few of the photos have a conspicuous absence of them, choosing instead to focus instead on the hand-bra, topless shots from the back, and strategically placed arms or decorations:

With that in mind, the issue does manage some startlingly beautiful photography.  The models posed in such exotic locales as Madagascar, Switzerland, Brazil, the Cook Islands, and even the Jersey Shore.
The Sports Issue Swimsuit Issue has become Sports Illustrated's biggest-selling issue every year, and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 50th Anniversary is a fitting tribute to the simple joy of combining beautiful women, beautiful (if optional) swimsuits, and amazing scenic locations.
Overall grade: Yow!  Er, I mean A+.
Reviewed by James Lynch

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