Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Racism In Spain? Are You Kidding?

The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit critics at Jezebel also took on the Spanish photoshoot:

But sometimes a half-naked lady standing in front of a gorgeous natural backdrop just isn`t enough. So the photographers used natives as props.

Using people of color as background or extras is a popular fashion trope, whether it`s Nylon magazine, the Free People catalog, British Vogue or J. Crew. But although it`s prevalent, it`s very distasteful.

Matadors

A photo shoot in Spain included matadors. Cliché but not that problematic: Matadors are performers themselves, in a way. (Spain, and by extension, the rest of Europe, was also represented by these carriage drivers.)

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Goes to 7 Continents, Finds Exotic People to Use as Props, Dodai Stewart, February 12, 2013

Excuse me, the reason the matadors aren`t problematic is that they`re white. Spaniards are white—as we`ve often pointed out in connection with Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. Jezebel doesn`t include a picture of the coachmen, but I will. (It`s impressive. but like the other photographs, included to illustrate a sociological point.)

The coachmen driving the carriage that Irina Shayk is posing in are white.  They`re not natives in the sense that tribesmen in Kalahari Desert are. They`re “natives” of Spain in the sense that they were born there, and their jobs haven`t been taken by immigrants.

Irina Shayk