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Original Issue


"What a beautiful cover. Good things certainly come in threes."

Swimsuits '94
Thirty years of swimsuit issues is an accomplishment of monumental proportions. This year's cover is the best ever, and the picture of Kathy Ireland by the pool in the photo layout (Everybody into the Pool, Feb. 14) is one of the nicest shots of her I've seen. My wish for next year is that a special section of the magazine be devoted to her.
SCOTT DELEKTA, Barrington, R.I.

What? Only one solo shot of Kathy Ireland, the most beautiful woman in the world?
JAMES RAHN, Warwick, R.I.

Thank you for putting Elle Macpherson on the cover. She is, without question, the Michael Jordan of this Dream Team.

Re your swimsuit cover: More is not necessarily better.

The women on your cover are beautiful, but Kathy Ireland and Rachel Hunter are in awkward poses that are uncomplimentary to their beauty.

Are you sure that isn't underwear the cover models are wearing?
MARY GEIER, Carmel, Ind.

If Kathy Ireland, Elle Macpherson and Rachel Hunter are the Dream Team (and they get my vote), then Vendela, Stacey Williams and Judit Masco are definitely Dream Team II.

I don't care if some little rodent did see his shadow: These pictures definitely indicate that the winter thaw has begun.
B.T. WILLIAMSON, Jones Creek, Texas

We here in Austin had one of our rare snowfalls the week before the arrival of your annual swimsuit issue. The high temperature on the day the magazine arrived was 83. Coincidence? I think not.
CECIL EXUM, Austin, Texas

After shoveling snow for a week here in the East, I sat down to look at the swimsuit issue. The winter is a little more bareable now.
R.T. DOLPH, Stratford, Conn.

Hats off to this year's swimsuit issue, but contrary to what your caption says, Stacey Williams doesn't need a "warm breeze" to dry out her transparent, skintight and oh-so-casually-wet outfit. May I suggest that what is needed is for you to finally take that cold shower.

I think this year's issue is the best ever. But it contains only one picture of Aya Thorgren. Can you please show another?
NUNO RESENDEZ, Somerville, Mass.

I don't believe it. I have just read your 30th-anniversary swimsuit issue cover to cover and can find only (gasp!) one picture of Angie Everhart! The most beautiful woman on the planet, and all you give me is one picture? And you call yourselves journalists. For shame.
JOSEPH C. ATWELL, Live Oak, Fla.

Stop the search! You have found the cover model for the 1995 issue. Please show us more of Patricia Velasquez.
BRIAN GREY, Redwood City, Calif.

I wept openly when Judit Masco did not appear in last year's swimsuit issue. And now, despite her triumphant return to your pages, you feature her in only two photographs. Judit deserves more.
GREG HEERDT, Boulder, Colo.

Even though we don't have the frigid temperatures and paralyzing snowstorms found farther north, we Southern boys still need your help in making it through February and getting motivated for the beach season. So please let us have one more look at Jenny Brunt.
J. STEVEN RODENBERG, Mount Pleasant, S.C.

Your swimsuit issue, like fine wine, gets better with time. How about doing 51 swimsuit issues and one on sports a year? Thank you for chasing away my dreary winter blues.
ROBERT J. MOLSKI, Middletown, Conn.

The day your swimsuit issue arrived, my husband studied it for an hour and said, "How can they charge $106 for a bikini?" Now I'm starting to worry about him.
JEAN MOEDE, Milwaukee

Although SI's swimsuit issue didn't officially begin until 1964, the first swimsuit-clad woman to grace your cover was 20-year-old Pamela Nelson, who appeared a decade earlier, in only your third issue (Aug. 30, 1954). Nelson, the mother of four and a grandmother of three, lives in Mill Valley, Calif., and celebrated her 60th birthday on Feb. 14, the cover date of this year's swimsuit issue. By the way, she still looks sensational in a swimsuit.
HART SPRAGER, San Francisco

Once again the swimsuit issue provided bathing suits, babes and beaches (pools) that few of us will ever see. Come back to reality.
DAVID J. BETZNER, Frederick, Md.

This year's issue should not create the flap it has in previous years. It is so tame, so harmless, there is now way anyone could be offended. The cover over the years has been the highlight of the issue. This year's cover is marginal at best. How can you take three world-class models and come up with this kind of effort? What a waste of $4.95.
JAY COPELAND, Lee's Summit, Mo.

We are a busy family health-care practice, and we keep magazines in our waiting area for our patients. However, we find this issue totally inappropriate. If we wanted pornography, we would order it.
ANN ROBERTS, Sarasota, Fla.

I received your swimsuit issue with my usual combination of irritation and sadness. Obviously you all get a big hoot out of the whole thing, but I do not believe this is appropriate for what is otherwise a magazine that can be enjoyed by families.

It is clear that community standards of decency have slipped in our country. How will we adults teach our children that people have an importance beyond their sex appeal? How can we do what is right when constant titillation is the norm? Too many of the problems our culture faces are made more difficult to deal with by the emphasis on sex divorced from the context that makes it ultimately rich and satisfying. It is time to move in a more constructive direction. I have enjoyed your magazine for years, but it offends me that you would mail this to my home. It saddens me that your otherwise respectable magazine would add to the moral confusion we face today.

You have finally gone too far. The only thing left for you to do is to pose the models nude, carrying the "suits." Those bits of string you call swimsuits are about as good for swimming as a G-string is for ballroom dancing.
DAVID MOORE, Ephrata, Wash.

How can a magazine that upholds the personal achievements of women athletes throughout most of the year turn women into sex objects, depersonalizing and exploiting them? Perhaps my 13-year-old son got it right when he said, "They do what sells, Dad. Sex sells."
WALTER J. HANSS, San Antonio

I'd been told that for the first time, men would also be featured in the swimsuit issue. Wonderful, I thought. I should have known better. When I opened the magazine, I found that the only purpose the men served was to ogle the women. Come on, SI, when will you acknowledge your female readership in this issue?
MARY LEROY, Royal Oak, Mich.

This letter is for all those people who complain that the swimsuit issue is exploitative and denigrating to women. They should read the article describing three days in the life of model Angie Everhart (Supermodel Confidential, Feb. 14). These women have chosen the life they lead. They work very hard, and they make good money as models. Is that not the American Dream, to find something you enjoy doing, to work hard at it and to be successful? These models should be applauded for their dedication, and SI should be commended for allowing the rest of us to enjoy the fruits of that labor.
ANDREW WAXMAN, Wichita, Kans.

Do you mean to tell me that Angie Everhart was able to sneak a dog on board an airplane? If so, it scares me to think that the security agents checking carry-on bags are unable to recognize the X-ray of a dog. And does Everhart realize the potential harm she is subjecting Eddie to by exposing him to X-rays?

•Eddie wasn't X-rayed because he was a stowaway. Some airlines, however, permit small animals in the cabin with prior permission.—ED.

I just finished reading Supermodel Confidential, and words like pampered, immature, rude, arrogant, insensitive, superficial and sad come to mind. Am I missing something?

Beneath the Surface
As a bombardier during World War II, I dropped bombs on the Axis island of Pantelleria from a B-26 Marauder. I'm here to tell you, Pantelleria looks a lot better today than it did 51 years ago, thanks to Rebecca Romijn.

By the way, how was Rebecca able to "levitate" on top of the water?

•We posed Rebecca (below) on a custom-made acrylic platform that looked somewhat like a clear ironing board. The legs were adjustable so that the platform could be used at various depths and would remain flat even if the bottom of the pool wasn't. Stacey Williams posed on the same platform for the picture of her that appeared on pages 106 and 107.—ED.

Yet Another Dream Team
We thought you would like to see our Dream Team, the girls' swim team of Maloney High in Meriden, Conn. The girls competed this season in the suit that Kathy Ireland was pictured wearing on pages 66 and 69 of your swimsuit issue.





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.