LYH48: How the SI Swimsuit Edition Made Me Wiser [PODCAST]

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You can find the full blog post on this topic at haroldarnold.com/swimsuit

A few weeks ago, the 2015 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition arrived in my mailbox. A beautiful, scantily lady adorned the front of the magazine.  There was definitely a part of me that wanted to open it and scan through the photos. But, there was another voice. It waited for me to answer a single question,  “What does looking mean to you?” There was my dilemma. Which voice do I heed? So, for a few seconds, I just stared at the cover. Uncertain.

Only in retrospect, however, did I realize four choices that I made in that twenty second period. And, I think these four decisions give us clues for being wise in all of life’s decisions.

Decision #1: Do I believe that there is anything inherently wrong with a guy looking at women in very revealing bikinis? My Answer: No

Decision #2: Is the Swimsuit issue really glorified and socially-acceptable pornography? My Answer: Weak No

Decision #3: Does it cast women as sex objects? My Answer: Philosophically, Yes.

Decision #4: Would I look through this magazine in my wife’s presence? My Answer: NO NO NO<

In less than 20 seconds all of this (and probably more) raced through my mind. Do I open it or not?

How the SI Swimsuit Edition Made Me Wiser

I am not a Sports Illustrated subscriber. But, a few weeks ago, the 2015 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition arrived in my mailbox. A beautiful, scantily lady adorned the front of the magazine. Part of me wishes I could say that I immediately tossed it into the recycle bin and went on my merry way. But, that isn’t what happened. I stared at the cover for a few seconds—maybe longer. But, I wasn’t really entranced with the cover photo. No. I was in a battle in my mind. Honestly, I was torn. There was definitely a part of me that wanted to open it and scan through the photos. I wanted those sexy photos to feed that lustful part of me. But, there was another voice. It waited for me to answer a single question,  “What does looking mean to you?” There was my dilemma. Which voice do I heed? So, for a few seconds, I just stared at the cover. Uncertain.

The first Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue was produced by Sports Illustrated in 1964—the year before I was born. The picture that you see here is the cover of that year’s edition. Bikinis have come a long way since then. Or, maybe it is fairer to say that they have gone a long way in fifty years.

Ten years ago, SI’s  swimsuit issue generated $35 million dollars in advertising revenue. Not surprisingly, today it is a billion dollar enterprise. The swimsuit issue sells more than one million copies at newsstands alone. I hope you find this background information interesting.

But, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue isn’t really the point of this post—at least not mostly. This post is about me and you and how we decide what happens in a few seconds.<