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Barbie’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Causes a Stir Online


TWO familiar brands that have for decades been the targets of complaints about their depictions of women have joined forces for a promotional campaign that tells critics they are proudly “unapologetic” about who they are.

The brands are Barbie, sold by Mattel, and the annual Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. The campaign is centered on the 50th anniversary edition of the issue, which is to come out next Tuesday, and presents Barbie as a doll-size version of the magazine’s supermodels like Tyra Banks and Christie Brinkley, clad in a new version of the black-and-white swimsuit she wore when introduced in 1959.

“Unapologetic,” the theme of the campaign, is underlined by its use, with a hashtag in front, in social media like Twitter, as well as on a billboard in Times Square. “As a legend herself, and under constant criticism about her body and how she looks, posing in” the issue “gives Barbie and her fellow legends an opportunity to own who they are, celebrate what they have done and be #unapologetic,” Mattel said in a statement on Tuesday.

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