I loved the swimsuit issue (Feb. 22). Not only were the photos of high quality, but so were the articles and photo locations. It's about time some of America's most beautiful places were highlighted by some of its most beautiful women.
If any irate mothers, concerned librarians, jealous girlfriends or offended feminists return their swimsuit issues to you in protest, please forward their magazines to mc. I will be happy to distribute them to my friends who keep dropping by to sec my copy.
The only thing I found obscene about the issue was the enormously high prices for these simple suits, many requiring little material.
To those who are so deeply offended by the swimsuit edition, I say calm down. All you have to do is leave the issue untouched on the kitchen counter or throw it out. Please don't write a letter saying that it's going to cause great harm to your family or how pornographic you think it is. If you are offended, don't look at it. But please don't make us read that you are going to cancel your subscription.
I am returning my swimsuit issue unread. I continue to be disappointed that you stoop to a kind of cheesecake that diminishes your usual thoughtfulness and quality. It bewilders me that the magazine with the grace and sensitivity to honor Arthur Ashe, the magazine that attacks those in sport who practice greed, racism and sexism, will turn around and spread women out in bikinis for no reason other than to titillate. The issue is beneath the standards you set for others, and it is beneath your standards.
I want my three sons to sec males and females as equals. As you well know, sport is one area in which equal treatment still is more a wish than a reality. I would expect SI to further that cause, not set it back once every year. Please stop.
I'm not worried that my young son will get ahold of the issue, but I'm terrified that my daughter will. It's ironic that SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, which tirelessly trumpets the dangers of steroid use, would feature high-fashion models in its swimsuit issue. These women are held up as ideals of feminine beauty, but they are not ideals of feminine health. American women, especially teenagers, are plagued by an epidemic of eating disorders that are every bit as deadly as steroids. The desire to have an unrealistically proportioned body helps fuel this epidemic.
SI, whose coverage of women's sports is often as skimpy as the swimsuits it features, would better serve young women by featuring not models but role models.
Your swimsuit issue has no place in my high school library. The Playboy philosophy of these pictures should no longer be tolerated as innocent fun.
FR. RICHARD KENNEDY
St. Peter's High
Our library was founded in 1990 to be the library of the first Hungarian private university. I have a request. Please send a free sample of your publication, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (swimsuit edition only).
Thank you for your help.
Arts Department Society of Miskolc
What I most liked in the issue was Leigh Montville's Completing a Cycle, about bicycling around Martha's Vineyard with his daughter. As Montville's tour shows, some of the best sights in the country still can't outshine love.
Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich.
Having moved to New York City three years ago after living in Honolulu for 17 years and participating in outrigger canoe racing for 10 of those years, I read your article on the Molokai-to-Oahu race with nostalgia (Digging to Diamond Head). Kenny Moore captured the physicality and camaraderie of the race and the paddlers' love and respect for the ocean. I participated in four Molokai crossings and competed for two of the clubs you mentioned, Outrigger and Anuenue (steered by Nappy Napoleon). Now, living 5,000 miles away, I still take my folding kayak on the plane with me on business trips and fantasize about returning to enter another Molokai-to-Oahu race.
New York City
A Different Look?
After reading my swimsuit issue, several questions came to mind. Am I correct in seeing a different approach to the issue? Are those actually in-depth articles accompanying the bathing beauties? Have you succumbed to the politically correct? Say it ain't so. But my biggest disappointment was that you ran only one picture of Rachel Hunter. May we have another, please?
MARK A. NOLL
Coconut Creek, Fla.
•Here is Rachel with a friend in the Florida Keys.—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.