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HBO’s late-night hit “Last Week Tonight” dared to ask a question we’ve been thinking about for years: How is the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue still a thing? The swimsuit issue, which hits newsstands every February and turns 51 this year, was created by SI editors as a way to boost sales in between sports seasons. And boost sales it did: In recent years, the swimsuit issue has sold 10 times as many copies as a regular issue on newsstands.

We live in a time when beach bodies are plastered on the covers of magazines throughout the year (see here and here from this month alone) and anyone with Internet access can find far more tantalizing photos (and videos) of women and men in various states of undress—which makes it all the more surprising that this issue gets so much attention. And while the fact that it’s used as a selling point to attract new subscribers is expected, it's also a bit creepy (not to mention totally out of line with #feminism) for a sports magazine marketed almost exclusively at middle-aged men. We’re just happy Jon Oliver and his team at “Last Week Tonight” have started the conversation.

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