Since 1964, Sports Illustrated magazine has delighted, ah, sports fans everywhere with their annual Swimsuit issue. Originally designed as a filler during the quiet winter months, the issue quickly grew into something much bigger than that, having an uncanny knack for picking the careers of major supermodels. Cindy Crawford, Elle Macpherson, Heidi Klum, Rachel Taylor, Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks (the first black model to appear on their cover in 1996) all appeared in the magazine relatively early on in their careers.
Of course it is almost constantly a subject of concern for people who believe that it reduces the female body to an object to be consumed, that swimwear isn't a 'sport', and that it lowers the tone of the magazine (subscribers have the option of skipping the issue). But it's also interesting to see how the media's portrayal of beauty has changed: what ever happened to high cut swimsuits?
More at sportsillustrated.cnn.com.