The Hottest New Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model: Barbie

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1barbie_mainImage: Courtesy Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
We don't want to accuse Sports Illustrated of choosing unrealistic models for its annual Swimsuit Issue, but when "curvy" bombshell Kate Upton is as real as it gets, well...you get the idea. So, we can't say we're all that surprised to hear about the latest celebrity beauty to be recruited as a swimsuit model: Barbie. Think her one-piece will come in our size?

In the spirit of celebrating "swimsuit legends," the issue — hitting newsstands next week — will feature the Mattel doll alongside the likes of Heidi Klum and Christie Brinkley. Barbie will be outfitted in a classic striped black-and-white one-piece dating back to her 1959 debut, with the tagline "unapologetic." Ooh, snap.

"As a legend herself, and under criticism about her body and how she looks, posing in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit gives Barbie and her fellow legends an opportunity to own who they are, celebrate what they have done, and be unapologetic," a Mattel spokeswoman says. Adds Swimsuit Editor M.J. Day, "From its earliest days, Swimsuit has delivered a message of empowerment, strength, and beauty, and we are delighted that Barbie is celebrating those core values in such a unique manner."

No offense to our childhood friend, but we're not sure if empowering is the right word. Then again, we suppose we're not the target audience, are we, boys? (Ad Age)