‘Sorry. Not Beautiful’: Jordan Peterson Blasts Sports Illustrated Over Plus-Sized Swimsuit Issue Cover Model

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Dr. Jordan Peterson blasted Sports Illustrated Monday for featuring a plus-sized model on the cover of its annual Swimsuit Issue.

“Sorry. Not beautiful,” Peterson remarked on Twitter in response to a New York Post headline about Yumi Nu, who was announced as the cover model for Sports Illustrated’s 2022 Swimsuit Issue. “And no amount of authoritarian tolerance is going to change that.”

Peterson illustrated his objection in response to a Twitter user who criticized him. “It’s a conscious progressive attempt to manipulate & retool the notion of beauty, reliant on the idiot philosophy that such preferences are learned & properly changed by those who know better … but don’t let the facts stop you,” Peterson fired back at the user.

Peterson also included links to two scientific studies in his reply: the first one, published in the journal Infant Behavior and Development in 1998, showed that babies spent more time looking at faces judged to be attractive by adults; the second, a 2009 study published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior, found that more attractive women had more children than their less attractive counterparts, while the least attractive men had less children than every other group of men, who had roughly the same number of children, indicating that physical attractiveness may be related to reproductive success rates.

Peterson’s tweet came in response to a New York Post interview with Nu, who will appear as one of the cover models of the 2022 Swimsuit Issue, along with model, socialite, and television personality Kim Kardashian, model and singer Ciara, and model Maye Musk, the mother of Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. The 25-year-old Nu is of Dutch and Japanese ancestry. She is the granddaughter of Rocky Aoki, the founder of the Benihana chain of restaurants, and the niece of DJ Steve Aoki.

In the interview, Nu expressed her excitement at the opportunity and described herself as a champion of body and race diversity. “It’s amazing. I’m on cloud nine,” she told the Post. “This is nothing I could prepare for. It’s unexpected. I feel like we’re in a place right now where people are making space for more diversity on magazine covers. It’s a big time for Asian-American people in media. I know I play a big role in representation in body diversity and race diversity, and I love to be a role model and representative of the plus-size Asian community.”

The 2022 Swimsuit Issue is Nu’s first appearance on the cover, but not her first in the issue itself, as she was previously featured in last year’s issue. She is also the first Asian plus-sized model to appear on the cover. Sports Illustrated drew controversy when it featured plus-sized model Ashley Graham on the cover of the issue in 2016. Graham’s appearance has since become a trend. Plus-sized model Hunter McGrady, dubbed the “curviest model ever,” appeared on the cover in 2020. In the Post interview, Nu said that both Graham and McGrady were inspirations for her.

The swimsuit issue also includes a number of race and body diversity firsts, including the first breast cancer survivor to appear in the issue, the first indigenous woman, and a NASA physicist, as well as the first woman to reveal a C-section scar in her photo for the issue.

 


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