Sports Illustrated Covers: Pre-Title IX
Before Title IX, representations of women on the cover depicted women as effeminate, dainty creatures. This is how the readers of the magazine, a mainly male audience, would like them to be.
The models’ poses in this photo emphasizes their hourglass figures, concentrating the focus of the photo on their bodes that removes any agency the models may have had.
Similarly, the pose in this photograph draws attention to the female figure privileging the dominant male reader.
Unlike the two previous covers, this portrays the female in a semi-athletic stance. This pose is called into question by her hair, makeup, and body type, playing again to the dominant male hegemony.
The femininity of the athletes allows them to gain no agency through their athletic accomplishments because the photographs leave them subject to the male gaze, specifically a white male gaze.