Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue model defends cover

Seth Wenig/AP PhotoSport Illustrated swimsuit model Hannah Davis holds her an issue featuring herself on the cover at an event in New York

Seth Wenig/AP PhotoSport Illustrated swimsuit model Hannah Davis holds her an issue featuring herself on the cover at an event in New York

NASHVILLE — If Nashville fans thought they'd be rubbing elbows with models clad in bikinis at Wednesday's celebration of the 2015 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, they were disappointed, as all the models were fully clothed.

But the issue's cover model — Hannah Davis — did address the backlash about her provocative photo, in which she's pulling her bikini bottom down — a pose some critics have suggested is, well, overly suggestive.

“There's controversy every year, so I think it's kind of just silly that they're making it out to be the big thing; I mean it's the swimsuit issue,” Davis said. “There are far more scandalous pictures in the magazine if you open it up. It's a girl in a bikini, and I think it's empowering; I've been hearing it's degrading. I think the people who are saying that aren't feminists, because I think when you're a woman and you look at that picture and if you overanalyze it as anything more than just a full picture, it's just silly to me.”

Fellow model and Nashville resident Lily Aldridge spoke up for her friend.

“I think people are totally overreacting over the cover,” said Aldridge. “It's a beautiful picture. Her bikini bottoms are in the perfectly placed position. It's fine. It's sexy and that's what Sports Illustrated is.”

Hannah DavisOther SportsSports Illustrated

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