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I have been mulling the issue for some time.  Sex usually sells.  But I now must wonder if this will top the attention of my support for Bill Janis for state senate!  I guess we’ll find out!

This all started with an attempt to remove the topless woman photograph that apparently is on page 3 of the Sun tabloid newspaper published in the UK.  Now I like the Sun’s editorial page positions of the EU but I genuinely did not know (I have never seen a print copy of the Sun newspaper; one of my detractors in the 12th might send me one now since I won’t stay in my lane!) there was a topless young lady on page 3.  I should be thankful it was not on page 1 I suppose.  I am sure she is very attractive but I certainly do not look for these things, not because I do not want to, but because it leads to unholiness.

Then the SI swimsuit issue came out.  I always felt considering the editorial line of SI that the swimsuit issue was a triumph of the free market over liberalism.  That is a good thing.  But I think sometimes some of the photographs that I read about in the media or end up seeing at the Wal-Mart check out counter were a bit too showy for a general circulation magazine.

The issue at SI this year was the reputed “plus-sized” model(s).  I think one is a size 12 (There’s that 12 number again; what’s up that that today!  Well, there were 12 Apostles until Judas decided to break bad but he was replaced by Matthias.) and another is undetermined size and I refused to take a closer look to find out.  I am not sure I would characterize size 12 as “plus-size”, certainly not Catherine’s or Lane Bryant would, they could not sell anything that fits to a size 12 woman.  She is simply too tiny.  But for the modeling would, size 12 is probably huge.

What should a follower of Christ’s attitude be toward all this?

First my observations:  The female human body form is a beautiful thing and it was created by God along with the male form (remember the Leonardo di Vinci image now on the back or is it front of the Italian One euro coin?) to be right.  Many art works have a female form in it – sometimes sans clothes.  When I went to the art museum in DC with my teen daughter who likes art I was a bit embarrassed because I was (foolishly perhaps) not expecting nudes in the art museum.  I should have known better.  We were looking first for the di Vinci – the only one in North America I am told – and then other famous artists – including Pablo Picasso.  I had always wanted to see a Picasso.  We were looking for the Picasso (we found it:  The painting was ugly and resembled a crude depiction of a minor child in an inappropriate and sexual manner) and we’ll let’s just say on our way out of the Picasso section there was a plus-sized nude (tastefully drawn of course) and I mean a life sized very well-endowed girl with nary a stitch of clothes!  And that’s not the only one in the National Gallery of Art! (That traffic jam in DC you’ll hear about tomorrow is all my male readers getting IN their lanes and heading up to the NGA!)

But there is an issue with all this and this is why Christians have to be against some aspects of the scanty-clad woman issue.

Yes, it does objectify women. It certainly can. The artist who drew the Goyaesque nude now in the NGA was probably not trying to objectify a woman.  Maybe he was trying to say:  A woman does not have to fit into a certain standard of beauty to be beautiful.  I agree wholeheartedly with that.  My hero, the abolitionist Garrison said this in regard to how all men, regardless of color of skin are beautiful (and ought to be equal before the law and in the heart, too):

 “Garrison countered such prejudice with poetic vision.  ‘I rejoice that God has made one star to differ from another star in glory,’ he wrote, “and that He presents to the eye every conceivable shape, and aspect, and color, in the gorgeous and multifarious productions of Nature.’  All God’s creatures can dwell ‘in harmony together….Of this I am sure.”  [From All On Fire, p. 137]

I wish most Americans had taken Garrison’s vision (he said this in the 1830s!) of a multiracial harmony in society to heart!  But I am using it to say there is more than one kind of beauty and that page 3 and the SI Sports Illustrated will never confess that.  They both promote the Barbie look if you would – although admittedly the Sun newspaper did recently have a plus-sized contest for something to the effect of “women with real curves” and maybe a few of those will make page 3.  But I would be fairly certain that very few if any tiny-featured women will be likely to end up on page 3.  There was a time (remember Cheryl Tiegs?) when the swimsuit issue was closer to a old-fashioned American apple pie girl next door aspect about it and there was some taste and even charm about it.  Now no more.  One kind of beauty is placed up as best and that causes many young girls to feel inadequate.

Christians are not prudes!  (Some are of course.  But read on!)  The Bible is surprisingly frank on sex:

“How beautiful are thy feet with shoes, O prince’s daughter!  * * * Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins.  *  *  *  Thine head upon thee is like Carmel, and the hair of thy head like purple; the king is held in the galleries.  How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights.  This thy statute is like to a palm tree, and thy breasts to clusters of grapes…”


“Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.  Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times and be thou ravished with her love.  And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger?”


“What? know ye not that he who was joined to a harlot is one body?” for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.”


“Now concerning the things whereof you wrote to me:  It is good for a man not to touch a woman.  Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.  Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.  The wife hath not power of her own body but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.  Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.”

I know.  I had to cool off for a second after my proofreading of those first two passages!  Whew!  Yes all four are in the Bible!  The first one is in Song of Solomon chapter 6, the second Proverbs 5, the third I Corinthians 6: 16 and the final one is I Corinthians 7:1-5!  All in the King James Bible.  Really.  Look ’em up.  A solid modern translation might be better – New American Standard and the old NIV are both solid.

Now there’ll be a run on the Bible!  Well, if it gets people back in the Word it is not all bad.  (Please continue to read the Word:  Start with John chapter 3!)  Of course, none of these verses encourage sex outside of marriage.  The Proverbs verse says – be true to your wife and be attracted to her!  The I Corinthians 6 verse says – sex is not just physical but spiritual.  When you have sex, you join with him/her spiritually as well as physically.  Consider that when you ponder Fifty Shades of Gray.

Before you think I am off my nut – and I could be, but the Bible endures forever as God’s Word – consider the popular movie Fatal Attraction.  The male lead has a casual affair with another women and the mistress’s jealousy and rage at being rejected just about gets his wife murdered.  Why did that movie attract – and scare – so many people?  Because we know it to ring true.  Sex is not just physical, it’s spiritual.  Many crimes of “passion” give witness to this, too.  Sex is spiritual not just physical.  That’s why people should wait until marriage.

Now technically, the depiction of the naked human body is not a sin.  But it will be almost always a temptation to lust.  Lust (in this context) is simply this:  If I look at or think about a woman not my spouse and I want to have sex with her, I have lusted after her and that is sin.  Jesus says it:

“But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”  Matthew 5:28 (KJV)

Granted, you do not have to have page 3 or a SI swimsuit issue to lust after someone.  They can be fully clothed.  But due to our bent toward sin, and the Bible is clear:  we are bent toward sin, (“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered the world,…” Romans 5:12 [KJV]) thus people, especially men should stay away from such temptations.  The reason why some campaign against page 3 and the SI swimsuit issue is to fight lust and temptation.  I personally as a libertarian would not want the government to decide that issue.  Perhaps the government can take steps to make sure things like this are not seen by minors and by those who are offended which is probably why the Sun places it on page 3 instead of page 1.  But the cover girl on the SI issue is on, well, the cover, and it cannot be avoided.  It is in almost every grocery store and similar business throughout the nation.  Not much left to imagine about her.

The goal of God is to have and raise a holy people.  Jesus had to die on the cross for our sins so we could be acceptable to a holy God.  God sends His Spirit to convict and teach us to be more and more holy.  Let’s be a holy people and avoid things like page 3 and the SI swimsuit issue.  If the owners of the Sun and SI were socially responsible, they would voluntarily drop the thing.  But they will not – the money’s too good.  But that filthy lucre will be a canker and will testify against them at the Day of Judgment (See James 5:3) and none of us will escape that:

“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” Hebrews 9:27 (KJV)

If you want to know more about how to become holy, go here for details.



About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

3 Responses to “WHAT to MAKE of PLUS-SIZED MODELS, PAGE 3 of the SUN (UK) and the SI SWIMSUIT ISSUE”

  1. Anita Hile

    Now this I can get on board with! Good article Sandy! (and I just reread your Bio and love that you brought Curling to Virginia, one of my favorite Winter Olympic sports to watch, fascinating.)

    • Sandy Sanders

      Anita, to paraphrase The Bard of Avon, I am glad to see I am without even one horn! Thanks for your kind words. Glad you like curling – you can go to the Curling Club of Va website and find out when you can actually DO curling right here in the RVA area!



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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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