Music blog Stereogum reports, and Si.com confirms, that Beyoncé Knowles will be the first non-model, non-athlete featured on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.
At great personal sacrifice, I carefully examined Beyoncé's photo set. (Readers can award me a medal for courage later. I only did my duty.)
It should suffice to say that the lady looks fantastic. I don't know what she has to do with sports, but I'm glad that she's in a swimsuit here, and not in, say, FHM. Sports Illustrated always gets great models and photographers, and her set is no exception. It's classy, fun, and seems celebratory rather than spank-inducing.
There are a few shots where things don't quite fit right. I can't tell if it's because Beyoncé's body is slightly different from a typical swimsuit model's, or if it really is just a matter of fit. BK says that her mom designed some of her swimsuits, so I'm guessing it's the latter.
In most of her shots, though, she fits right in, with one important difference. Where models mostly strip themselves of personality to sell the goods, Beyoncé doesn't have to do that. If she's selling anything, it's herself, her movies, and her music. So in her best shots -- and I've posted my three favorites here -- her personality rips right through the camera lens.
In these, she's not artfully posed or facially controlled -- they look like photos you've snapped of your wife or girlfriend, on an especially fun day at the beach. It's weird, because more than anything, they made me think of my wife, and our memories together, and how much I love her. This is an unusual feeling to have while looking at pictures of another beautiful woman. But it's a welcome one all the same.