Racist, Artistic, or Unworthy?

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The 2013 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition was just released, and this year, the objective for the photo shoots was to capture the SI Beauties on all 7 continents.  Not only do you have the opportunity to see scantily clad beach babes, but scantily clad beach babes in exotic locations around the world.  The hot topic this year, aside from Kate Upton’s vision and hearing loss from hypothermia, is the artistic license taken by some of the photographers to include locals in some of the pictures.  The accusation is that it is racist to include images of locals with the SI models because the locals are being used as  ‘backdrops’ in the pictures, and it is an example of human exploitation.

Perhaps it is just me, but I would think it is presumptuous to assume that the intent of using a local person indigenous to an area in a picture is motivated by racism.  I would imagine they were not forced into having their picture taken, and they were likely monetarily compensated, probably more so than the penguins used for the Antarctic shoot, although they did get to meet Kate.  I doubt the penguins signed a contract and agreed to have their images used, and yet, I haven’t heard anyone from PETA voicing concern about their exploitation.

It isn’t as though every picture included human backdrops.  Being a photographer on a photo shoot incorporates many elements.  The picture is a scene that tells a story.  You will notice that the models wear fabric prints native to the countries they are visiting, which reaffirms and complements their surroundings.  It would seem that if anything would appear offensive, it would be that some of the areas for these photo shoots might be considered sacred and that bikinis are not exactly proper attire.

What do you think, racist or artistic, or unworthy of discussion?

 

Pictures graciously provided by www.hotnessrater.com

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