I just put down this year's swimsuit issue (Pearls of the Orient, Feb. 15), and my winter-chilled heart has been warmed. I'm glad you chose Thailand as your location. I lived there last year and miss the country sorely. Anyone who has been to Thailand can attest to its beauty and excitement.
Molto bene! I'm in (ELLE)-O-V-E!
Richmond Hill, N.Y.
As much as I enjoy your coverage of sports, I think it is time for a change. You should dedicate the entire magazine (on a year-round basis) to Elle.
Garden City, N.Y.
My blood pressure has once again been Elle-evated!
Excuse me while I regain consciousness.
Great Neck, N.Y.
This year's issue is the final straw. My wife and I are considering canceling our subscription. She thought a strong letter reprimanding SI was in order. So, here it is: Next year no swimsuits or else!
P.S. O.K., she's left the room. Forget everything, and keep those issues coming.
Amid all the talk of a dark horse making a splash in this year's presidential race, might we suggest a Stephanie Seymour-Elle Macpherson ticket? We in California believe that, in this year of scandalous political cover-ups, the more revealed the better.
Santa Cruz, Calif.
Bravo, bravo, bravo. This latest swim-suit issue was by far the best ever. I demand that Jule Campbell get a raise.
This was the best swimsuit issue in years! These were suits that the rest of us can actually wear.
I woke up this morning to a—40° wind-chill factor and Elle Macpherson in my mailbox. Ts there no justice in this world?
I am a Protestant seminarian in New York City whose home is in Atlanta, and in February I often think of the South's warmer weather. Your swimsuit issue reminded me of why I enjoy summer. I have never considered missionary work in Thailand, but with the inspiration of Kathy Ireland's "heavenly" gaze from the top of Prom Thep Point, I would definitely entertain the calling.
Do you have any other shots of Kathy that are equally inspiring? Thanks for a beautiful creation and a reassurance that, yes, there is a God!
New York City
Please treat us to another shot of Kathy, that rare jewel with the Emerald Isle moniker.
•See below. This time Kathy is on Phi Phi Don Island in the Andaman Sea. She's wearing a two-piece slide bra bikini by Darling Rio ($38).—ED.
While my husband and son drool over your dream ladies in the swimsuits, I vote for Eric Heiden in the American Express ad.
I am a single parent with an 18-year-old, who, as modern-day teenagers do, conveniently forgets to take out the trash, keep his room clean or help out around the house.
Only when I withheld his swimsuit issue was I finally able to capture his attention.
A friend of ours was greeted by the youngest of his four daughters, the swimsuit issue in her hand. She proudly showed her father how she and her sisters and their mom had colored dresses on every lady in the magazine.
Does your display of slinky, scantily clad women do a service to the determination, dedication and strength of accomplished athletes such as Debi Thomas, Joan Benoit Samuelson and Jackie Joyner-Kersee, to name a few? Does the swimsuit issue help further women's athletics? Does it help further womankind? I think not.
JENNIFER A. MILLER
Please cancel my subscription. The swimsuit issue has become the issue of the missing swimsuit.
Staten Island, N.Y.
My advice to you would be to tone things down next year or cut this feature out altogether.
Over the past dozen years, my husband and I have tried to teach our children to view men and women equally. We tell them that all people should be treated with respect and that no one should be considered an object to be exploited—sexually or otherwise. Then, once a year, along comes SI, undermining our efforts.
I realize that your swimsuit issue is a surefire money-maker, but I think you're selling both yourselves and your readers short. You have a first-rate magazine, and I don't think you would lose many subscribers if you changed the focus of the issue.
I would like to see you feature water-sports enthusiasts—male and female—modeling swimwear that people can really wear in public. Perhaps you could even draw attention to the swimwear and the sports represented, instead of to the models' bodies and how suggestively you can pose them.
Howard Lake, Minn.
Once again your swimsuit issue was a knockout: great scenery, delectable models and superb photography. However, the best shot in the issue was that breathtaking view of the 16th hole at Cypress Point (Dire Straits).
JAMES A. COX
P.S. I turned 40 last month. Could this be a sign that I'm getting old?
I was thoroughly disgusted that writer E.M. Swift, in his article on Thailand (Sport in the Land of Sanuk), felt that he not only had to report on but also to participate in the barbaric Thai sport offish fighting. Swift seemed to ascend to the loftiest levels of self-righteous "sportsmanship" when he gave his winning fish, Rama I, its freedom while flushing all the surviving losers down the hotel room's toilet.
It is disappointing that a usually conservation-minded publication would lend credibility to such an inhumane act by printing it.
FRANK L. YOUNG
Sport in the Land of Sanuk had the most graphic introduction of any magazine article in history. E.M. Swift deserves extra commendation for following the toughest act since Mantle batted after Maris in 1961. Indeed the sound heard throughout the land the day the swimsuit issue came out was not the voice of the turtle, but the screech of readers halting at page 112 and rustling back through pages 111 to 78.
Still, Swift's fighting-fish tale also made my day.
St. Petersburg, Fla.
You should be ashamed of yourselves—only one shot of Karen Alexander. (The small photo on page 4 doesn't count.) Last year there were two. More, please.
Mount Vernon, N.Y.
•Here's another of Karen (below left), in a two-piece white-and-gold nylon Lycra lamè suit by H[Sub 2]O ($88). The photo was taken at Chom Tian Beach in Pattaya, south of Bangkok.—ED.
Whoever was responsible for publishing only one picture of Cindy Crawford should be made to scrimmage against the pachyderm soccer team.
ROBERT T. PECK
•O.K., O.K. That's Cindy (below right) in a two-piece turquoise nylon satin suit by H[Sub 2]O ($78). This shot was taken at a house on Klong Bangkok Noi.—ED.
Letters to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED should include the name, address and home telephone number of the writer and should be addressed to The Editor, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Time & Life Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020-1393.