Another year, another young half-naked model on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. It's a time-honored tradition, after all. So of course the annual build-up of expectation and and intrigue over which half-naked model would make the cover was no less intense this year than any other, and the big announcement -- Kate Upton -- has been met with no less fanfare than when Irina Shayk was named 2011 Cover Girl or when Brooklyn Decker got the gig in 2010.
But how does Upton measure up against her predecessors?
Let's take a look, shall we?
One thing before we get started: We're judging the quality of the photograph overall, okay? I don't want to hear any body part comparisons or other, equally adolescent/degrading critiques, you hear?
All right. So, here we have 2011 cover girl Irina Shayk.
I have to say, I prefer the color scheme of Shayk's cover -- the contrast between the sand, her bikin and the water is lively and engaging. Whereas Upton's swimsuit is kind of dull, don'tcha think?
Then there's Brooklyn Decker's 2010 cover ...
See, I like how bright and sunny this one is, too. And there's the classic itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny-yellow-polka-dot-bikini thing. Though the peace sign necklace isn't what I'd call classy.
Next up: Bar Rafaeli. Gorgeous shot, but why is it my least favorite? Hmm ... is it because she looks like she's going to sneak a quick pee in the ocean?
So, let's review. Kate Upton can definitely hold her own as a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover model, even with that boring bikini (or lack thereof). Am I right? Would you have chosen a different swimsuit?
More from The Stir:
Who is your favorite Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover model of recent years?
Images via Sports Illustrated