What's missing in the S.I. Model Search

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Posted by HSG on February 03, 2005 at 06:59:39:

It surely required little effort on the part of the readers of this forum to avoid NBC's latest dreaded "reality show," the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model Search.

However, morbid curiosity compelled yours truly to tune in for a few moments of tonight's episode. And sure enough, it turned out to be just as pathetic a program as anyone could have expected.

The fact that this series bills itself as a "reality show" is particularly absurd. "Reality"? Pray tell, whose "reality" is this? The reality of a handful of fashion photographers and clothing designers, many of whom have little or no interest in womanly beauty to begin with?

But all you readers who are sick to death of "skinny chic," take heart. The media may have spent the past few decades brainwashing viewers into thinking that malnourished waifs are somehow attractive, especially when they showcase the full extent of their emaciation in scanty clothing. However, much to the surprise of its creators, this "reality" program has failed to find any "real" audience.

In fact, the show has widely been branded a "flop," and a "bomb." In an article in the Globe and Mail from January 22nd, Andrew Ryan reported that "NBC's lurid Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model Search is considered a failure by Nielsen ratings standards." More significantly, Ryan also noted that "the show began with nearly seven-million viewers and has dropped since."

Why this precipitous drop? The answer is obvious. In fact, one can pinpoint the precise moment when those seven million viewers began changing channels: it was when they first had a look at the actual contestants in this competition, and realized that instead of curvaceous goddesses in bathing suits, the show would be exhibiting swimwear on walking skeletons.

Therefore, since this festival of famishment turned viewers away in droves, what (one might ask) would have compelled the show’s original audience to tune in on a weekly basis? What would have compelled them to count the days, the hours, the minutes, until the next episode aired, breathless with anticipation?

Lands' End furnished the answer to this question earlier today, when it released a brand-new image of the most gorgeous swimwear model of all time . . . of the model whom modestyle.com once credited as having the "sexiest body on earth" (their words) . . . of that living Classical divinity . . . Barbara Brickner.

And Mrs. Brickner is even more perfectly proportioned today than ever before. Just try to imagine (if you possibly can) a Sports Illustrated swimwear program featuring models with Classical figures such as hers.

It would be a ratings bonanza like none before it. And incidentally, it would change the world as well.

* * *

Lands' End is a notorious tease when it comes to its swimwear imagery. Let's hope that this alluring photograph is merely the first of a series of Barbara Brickner swimwear shots, which will take us all back to the very best days of Mode magazine . . . and perhaps even surpass those legendary accomplishments.

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