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Sports Illustrated uses people of color as props in swimsuit issue

Perhaps it's naïve to expect cultural smarts from a magazine that tweets things like, "There's nothing better than Swimsuit models wearing Body Paint!" — but still.

Sports Illustrated's latest swimsuit issue used their "seven continents" theme as an occasion to run photos of (mostly) white models posing with people of color as a background that signifies the "exotic" nature of the shoot locations.

In one shot from Guilin, Guangxi (an autonomous region of China), a white model reclines on a raft while a local man uses a pole to mimic chauffeuring her around.

 

 

In another, this time in the southern African Republic of Namibia, a white model poses with a black man holding a spear, wearing indigenous clothing that reveals as much of his body as hers.

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