Since when do red-blooded male sports fans love playing with dolls?
Or, more bizarrely, who would think it was a good idea to link an iconic little girls’ brand with a men’s magazine that is on the cusp of soft porn?
The publishers of Sports Illustrated seem to think the idea is genius. To celebrate its 50th anniversary Swimsuit Issue Sports Illustrated has teamed up with Mattel to feature Barbie on a limited run cover and a four-page inside spread.
You read that correctly. Barbie as in the doll. On the cover of a men’s magazine full of hyper-sexualised semi-clad babes.
But wait, there’s more. Sports Illustrated’s predominantly 30-something male audience can then go and buy an actual Sports Illustrated Barbie doll to…um…er…take home and play with.
Alternatively, a little girl who spots her favourite doll on the front cover of Sports Illustrated and mistakenly thinks it’s appropriate for her, can buy the magazine and get her first tutorial in perfecting her pouty, come-hither look.