Barbie's Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Debut Sparks Hot Debate 34059

After 55 years of debate over her too-tiny waist, sky-high legs, and general measurements of impossible perfection, Barbie is done defending herself to her critics.

In all her plastic glory, Barbie is set to strike a cheeky, swimsuit-clad pose on a wrap cover of 1,000 special-edition copies of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit for its 50th anniversary, with the headline, "The doll that started it all." The Barbie campaign has been named "#Unapologetic," asking fans to share via Twitter and Instagram the qualities that make them unique and proud.

Why the partnership? Lisa McKnight, senior vice president of marketing at Mattel, tells Parents, "The theme of this year's swimsuit issue is 'legends,' which is about women who, like Barbie, have launched their careers in swimsuits. She's a fantastic girl's toy and major pop-culture icon, and we want to get fans and consumers to celebrate who they are."

The pairing includes a four-page spread in the magazine, a billboard in Times Square, video clips, and Sports Illustrated collector Barbie.

The issue hits stands today, but the internet has already exploded in heated arguments. Some are critical of Barbie's swim-issue debut, calling it "insulting to women," while others say Barbie and her supermodel counterparts are the least of our worries.

What do you think of the Barbie swimsuit controversy? Tell us below!

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