We want what we secretly least expect of ourselves, or what we think the gods, or genes, have cruelly conspired to deny us: As Jewish boys long to find Jewish super-jocks, it’s a secret hope for Jewish girls to find arrogant, long-legged (that leg part is very important) Jewish drop-dead beauties. And so, having just inaugurated an African American president, what lovely symmetry that we have this asterisk — this grace note, this sidekick — of a milestone.
Wait, what? We secretly want to embrace and become gender stereotypes? We’re comparing Obama’s victory and historic significance to the first Israeli-born cover model on the Sports Illustrated bathing suit issue? You have got to be kidding me!
Every so often a piece of media-touted but exceedingly silly news sends a thrill through one’s soul. It’s what’s unsaid — but clearly indicated — about that piece of news that makes one’s heart go pitter-pat. […] And so: Yesterday was this kind of day for me. And, like James Brown, I’m saying it loud and proud: We now have our first Jewish Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover girl!
Come on, girls — even those of you with double PhDs; even those of you on boards of major feminist institutions: Even furtively, even in the privacy of our own bathroom mirrors, let’s not let this occasion go by without raising a champagne glass.
I know I should have more insight, something witty to say. But seriously, Sheila Weller? This isn’t a big deal. This isn’t a victory against the quota system or a jab at anti-Semitism. This is yet another woman wearing next-to-nothing so that a magazine can sell more copies. No one looks at her and thinks “Jewish” – it’s irrelevant. Her religion does not prevent her from being just as photoshopped and airbrushed as any other model.
Full article here.