The new 2017 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue is getting extra attention since their February 16 NYC launch because of a continued focus on body paint that is now featured in a unique way for an iPhone app.
Among the participants in this year’s inside edition for Sports Illustrated‘s swimsuit photo focus are Kate Upton, Hunter McGrady, Denise Bidot, Christie Brinkley, and Eugenie Bouchard.
In the past couple of years, Sports Illustrated has decided to expand the body types of their swimsuit edition photoshoot to include more than the average measurements women typically have when they work in the fashion runway industry.
Although this has been the pattern for several decades, recently Sports Illustrated decided in the past few years to have models for their swimsuit issue that included larger, plus-size, and maternal body types as well as the defined builds found in top female athletes.
While there was some debate about top athletes wearing next to nothing in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, it made a lot of sense to other fans that female athletes would be a priority for a sports-related magazine.
For the 2017 edition, all of the models for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue are wearing bathing suits, but more than ever decided to go ahead with the experiment of wearing body paint instead of a swimsuit.
In some cases, it is difficult to tell that the women are wearing body paint instead of swimsuits, and the long-time body paint artist working with Sports Illustrated‘s inside edition is named Joanne Gair AKA Kiwi Jo.
There are currently many photos online of Caroline Wozniacki, Hunter McGrady, and Hannah Ferguson modeling in body paint, but Sports Illustrated also has an iPhone app that shows a 360-degree view of the painted body art for each woman that chose to participate in the experiment, according to Reuters.
Although many of the body-painted models are imitating bikinis, video of Ronda Rousey from the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue shows she is wearing what appears to be a full-body white tiger printed bathing suit.
Body paint as a swimming suit is definitely an upgrade from the recent focus on monokinis like the ones Eugenie Bouchard is famous for modeling. Interestingly, one 2017 Sports Illustrated model that will not be wearing a body paint swimsuit is Denise Bidot.
In contrast, Denise Bidot had a modeling campaign in 2014 that involved wearing nothing but body paint for body image awareness, according to Cosmopolitan.
Instead, according to People, Denise Bidot decided to specifically not wear any covering paint in 2017 and avoided re-touching photos for her photoshoot with Sports Illustrated in order to raise awareness to her stretch marks.
On top of Sports Illustrated making their new swimsuit edition about body paint, the trend has been growing outside of the swimsuit world since November 2016 and will likely continue.
For example, for the November Trotting Cup Day horse racing event in Christchurch, New Zealand, body painting instead of fancy derby fashion was heavily demonstrated and photographed. Body paint artists at the event included Angela Pethig.
In November 2016, Kylie Jenner stunned fans with a photoshoot with Sasha Samsonova where she wore a dark royal blue body paint that looked like a freshly painted car.
Also in November 2016, celebrity music group The Veronicas told Daily Mail that their unique stage look for the ARIA Awards in London was due to their use of latex, prosthetic breasts, and body paint. Their look was created by Australian body paint champion Jess Watson Miller.
Anyone that wants to try their luck at being the next Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue model can apply at their annual casting calls. Typically held each July, the open audition details and casting calls for swimsuit models is announced on the Sports Illustrated website.
[Featured Image by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated]