Opinion
Grading City Hall: See our report card for L.A. City Council President Herb Wesson
Top of the Ticket
Opinion Top of the Ticket

Sports Illustrated bikini model Kate Upton sparks a debate

Kate Upton, the model splashed across the cover of this year’s Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, is at the center of a hot debate that has nothing to do with birth control, Mitt Romney’s tax returns or how the heck Newt Gingrich persuaded three women to marry him.

Some among the sleek set in the fashion industry think the 19-year-old, self-promoting model is too chubby to be chic -- their definition of hefty encompassing 99% of the nation’s females. The fashion mavens denigrate Upton’s whole look – her too-blond hair, her generic, pouty cheerleader face and her long legs that one critic described as looking as if they belong to a player for the WNBA. The casting director for Victoria’s Secret fashion shows said she’d never allow such a skank to darken her runway. (We all know how Victoria’s Secret is the epitome of haute couture.)

Others look down on the young woman’s tabloid lifestyle, her romantic links to Kanye West and New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez and even the teeny-tiny size of her bikini bottom in the Sports Illustrated cover shot.

Upton's defenders say she has a right to party. To suggest she is fat, they say, is tantamount to promoting anorexia. Her fans insist that Kate’s look is a healthier example for American girls, even if her beach attire indicates she can’t distinguish between panties and a Post-it stuck to a strand of dental floss.

The point here is not to take sides in this debate or even imply it has any importance. The Kate Upton kerfuffle simply lends a little perspective to the current political campaign. Journalists have been covering every twitch and twist of the Republican nomination fight for months now, millions of dollars have been spent on attack ads and robo calls and the candidates have roamed the countryside shaking hands and calling each other names, yet the number of people who have taken part in primaries and caucuses compared with the number of Americans who have stayed away is about the same as the ratio of fabric to bare skin in Kate’s beach shot.

For all the intensity of the presidential race thus far, there are still millions of folks who never bothered to tune in to any of the candidates’ debates. But the YouTube video of Kate Upton dancing the Dougie in the bleachers at a ballgame has attracted more than 3.5 million views. 

We may be in the midst of a titanic struggle for the soul of the country, but, in the land of the free, none of us is required to pay attention.

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
Related Content
  • Political grandstanding on Planned Parenthood

    Political grandstanding on Planned Parenthood

    An effort by Senate Republicans to defund Planned Parenthood failed Monday evening when a procedural measure fell short of the 60 votes needed to proceed. Good. The bill, introduced in the wake of several undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing what the organization does...

  • Does owning a gun maker you safer?

    Does owning a gun maker you safer?

    The United States has the most heavily armed civilian population in the First World; our homes contain enough firearms for every man, woman and child.

  • Why let ex-presidents cash in?

    Why let ex-presidents cash in?

    President Harry Truman once said that he would never lend himself "to any transaction, however respectable, that would commercialize on the prestige and dignity of the office of the presidency." His successors have not held themselves to the same standard.

  • Defunding Planned Parenthood is not the same as repealing the right to abortion

    Defunding Planned Parenthood is not the same as repealing the right to abortion

    The GOP-controlled Congress is taking up the cause, once again, of defunding Planned Parenthood. This latest effort comes in response to macabre hidden-camera videos shot by the Center for Medical Progress of staff at Planned Parenthood talking about the grisly practice of chopping up fetuses for...

  • Treatment, not just jail, for the mentally ill

    Treatment, not just jail, for the mentally ill

    The U.S. Department of Justice and Los Angeles County officials are negotiating the details of a consent decree to govern the treatment of mentally ill inmates in the troubled county jails, following more than a decade of reported abuse and excessive force by sheriff's deputies. The final terms...

  • Obama's Clean Energy Plan doesn't go far enough

    Obama's Clean Energy Plan doesn't go far enough

    The coal industry already has its legal claws honed for a court battle over President Obama's Clean Energy Plan, which was unveiled Monday, claiming that it will cost too much and render people jobless. Certainly, in the short term at least, slowing climate change by reducing carbon emissions won't...

Comments
Loading
68°