Whatever Happened to Common Courtesy?

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This is one of those red letter days in a specific media subset. The day the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition cover is released. And this year there is not one, but three separate covers. Including one of plus-sized model Ashley Graham.

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Ashley Graham in Sports Illustrated.

 

This is not a typical Sports Illustrated body.

Model Kate Upton was called "fat" by critics when she posed for the 2013 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition cover.

Model Kate Upton was called “fat” by critics when she posed for the 2013 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition cover.

But she’s also not the first model of “larger” proportions to be featured as a Swimsuit Edition cover girl. A few years back, Kate Upton was also the cover model. Now while a size 12 may not be plus-sized in the world that you and I inhabit, in Sports Illustrated land this was something of a revolution.

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Ronda Rousey in Sports Illustrated (that’s bodypaint, BTW).

This year is even more revolutionary. Graham shares cover duties with extreme fighter Ronda Rousey and model Hailey Clausen, who has a more traditional Swimsuit Edition body.

Hailey Clauson in Sports Illustrated.

Hailey Clauson in Sports Illustrated.

And so, predictably, out come the trolls.

Screenshot 2016-02-15 13.32.24You see, according to trolldom, the whole reason one purchases SI is so that one can jerk off to the Swimsuit Edition once a year. And Graham (and to a lesser extent Rousey) are making them get all flabby.

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Or if that’s not the issue then it’s just that the two ladies who aren’t supermodel thin are just… icky.

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Oh, wait, I was confused. The real issue is that the subscribers are concerned about the health of the two non-traditional models… Because, sports.

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I’m looking form some clarification a_a4. Which of these women is severely overweight? Would it be the professional athlete?

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Ronda Rousey in Sports Illustrated.

Or is it the woman who wears a size 16 and works out like a fiend?

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Ashley Graham in Sports Illustrated.

Or is it the woman who wears the size four (because you know, traditional models are a size 0 tops), but, I dunno, isn’t there a bit of a roll at the top of her thighs? #sarcasm

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Hailey Clauson in Sports Illustrated.

Ok, yeah, it’s Sports Illustrated. And commenters in their Swimsuit Edition board may not be the most culturally evolved knives in the drawer (see what I did painfully mixing metaphors there?). But nonetheless, this is part and parcel of a larger trend where it seems to be okay to just type shit on a keyboard because you’re thinking it in your head.

But you know, I’m just sick of it. These are drop dead gorgeous women. Criticize Sports Illustrated for being fairly whitewashed (the lack of women of color in this year’s model set is disturbing), criticize the inanity of doing a Swimsuit Issue. But to post hateful comments comparing the women to cows or suggesting that they don’t make Mr. Happy happy enough? Just no.

I see it in comments about models in the pin up world (“what a lard ass” “eat a sandwich”). I see it in comments about other things (the comments following Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s death this past weekend were horrifying, from webizens on both sides of the aisle).

We could all learn something from Thumper.

Of course, I would be a bit more direct. If you can’t say something nice, STFU. Or at least don’t put it on the internet where the person you’re writing about (or their family) may actually be able to read it.

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