UPDATE 2/25: Robin Hanson's blog offers a defense of the Swimsuit Issue. (Strangely it fails to mention this post although it uses the same "Top 10" link as below. Maybe Professor Hanson regularly surfs feminist blogs.) This is a teaching moment for economists -- does the relentless marketing of a "swimsuit" young female body type as sex object create a negative externality for women in general? (only economists use the words "externality," "sex" and "swimsuit" in the same sentence). I would say yes, Robin apparently says no. I think the explosion of such marketing has been a negative trend since the 1960s, inducing more women to be treated disrespectfully or harassed, partially offsetting other gains in women's rights. If you believe individual rights are a key to development, then I think this is an important development discussion (in case you were very justifiably wondering?!)
Original post is below:
see lucid discussion Top 10 Ways Sports Illustrated Disrespects Women
a bit more jargon here
comments from my own sources:
"nobody really could have bust measurement that large and a waist size that small";
"so the ideal is a half-starved 20-year-old Eastern European with implants?"