Danny Tyree, 2/11/2015 [Archive]

Sports Illustrated's Pluz-Size Controversy

Tyrades!By Danny Tyree

You've probably heard the hullabaloo about this year's "Sports Illustrated" swimsuit issue. The average American woman wears a size 14, but SI is just now acknowledging such "plus-size" women, allowing model Ashley Graham (size 14) into a PAID ADVERTISEMENT and Australian model Robyn Lawley (who doesn't really think of her size 12 physique as making her plus-size) into the editorial content.

I have some points I'd like to make to a variety of groups and individuals.

To the fashion designers who set ridiculous standards: I hope you wind up with a nurse telling you, "Oooo, I'd love to give you a pain killer before your catheterization, but my chubby fingers just can't hold the pill!"

To the editors of "Sports Illustrated": Yeah, I know "There is no I in team" and "There is no sell in cellulite," but take more chances. Some of your articles glorify the possibility of concussions, torn ligaments and shark bites; don't cower at the thought of grossing out some minuscule proportion of your readers by showcasing half-way realistic females.

To the red-blooded males who have achieved perfection and have the spare time to rate females: Head back to the gym and see if you can possibly bench-press your egos.

To the guys who do appreciate women regardless of their shape and size: If single, ignore kibitzing from your friends. If attached, let your Significant Other know she's valued. "More to hug" is a cute sentiment, but unless you act on it, all you may be hugging is a divorce summons.

To the petite models who do fit the standard fashion runway measurements: As long as your size comes from nature, more power to you. But if I hear you moan, "These measles dots are going to double my weight," I will suspect the bulimic worst of you.

To the plus-size ladies: If your newfound role models help you maintain your self-respect while enjoying the waves and sunshine, great. If they encourage you to use your smokin' hot bod to initiate casual sex with beach dudes, the Sunday school teacher in me feels obligated to point out that "Sports Illustrated" may create NEW types of fantasies. ("I wonder if somewhere there's a world where unicorns play with leprechauns and I'm NOT pregnant with triplets from some guy whose name I can't remember?")

To the ladies who have been clinically diagnosed as morbidly obese: Don't take the new wave of healthy plus-size models as a "Get Out of Organ Failure Free" card. Empower yourself to do something besides demanding the best price on caskets.

To the public in general: Don't let the media lead you around by the nose. If the fashion/fitness magazines manipulate you today, next it'll be self-esteem problems generated by "Newsweek." ("I have a great personality, a beautiful smile and a high I.Q., but I have never brokered a Ukrainian currency conversion. I'll die alone!!!")

To my wife, Melissa: You recognize that my research into plus-size models is just as emotionally detached as all my other research, right? You remember how my eyes bulged out and my palms got sweaty while researching the history of tungsten mining, don't you?

Finally, to NBC anchor Brian Williams: I just don't believe your claims about being the first plus-size model in "Sports Illustrated" history. The part about size zero models SHOOTING at you? Maybe.

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© 2015 Danny Tyree. Danny welcomes email responses at tyreetyrades@aol.com and visits to his Facebook fan page "Tyree's Tyrades". Danny's' weekly column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons Inc. newspaper syndicate.



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