Last year, Kate Upton rose to fame by wearing red labia floss on the cover of the SI swimsuit issue. I thought I’d written about it on this site but I can’t find it. In a nutshell, she has creepy drunkface and looks so retouched that she’s like one of those movie posters where from afar you can’t tell if it’s a photograph or a drawing. I hated it. And not even for the nudity issue, although that was weird too, just practically speaking. I can’t think of many things that look as uncomfortable as that bikini bottom. So much hot wax was harmed in the making of that cover.

And now Upton — who looked LOVELY on Today yesterday morning — is on the SI cover again, the first time that’s happened since Tyra Banks did it in the ’90s. And it’s… still not great.

It’s definitely better, to me, but it’s also awkward. She’s gone from drunkface to dead eyes. Her face is saying to me, “HOLY CRAP IT’S COLD… ten more seconds… try not to die…” I am going to guess that they picked it because they went with this ALL SEVEN CONTINENTS theme, and really, of all seven continents, Antarctica is the only one about which you’d be even remotely curious about the art direction. It’s probably the only one that would make people intrigued enough to buy the issue, or pick it up, if they weren’t otherwise going to bother. We can all imagine what a lady looks like frolicking in a bikini in Australia, or Africa, or Europe, or North America. But Antarctica is all kinds of drama, so Kate Upton gets the cover, even if maybe Kate Upton’s photos were not that tremendous, because Kate Upton is who they brought. I read an article about this and basically the guy said they needed someone with curves that wouldn’t get lost under a parka, or — GASP — a one-piece. Which is actually really smart of him, because he’s probably right, and I LOVE that they put someone on the cover who is not Gisele-sized — she’s still beautiful without being exactly the same as every other model out there. But the picture itself is totally mediocre, and while I know that’s beside the point in the swimsuit issue (I am not dumb; I know I am not the subscriber they are targeting here) I do feel like the magazine is actually known, deservedly, for great photography, and some of their swimsuit pictures are fabulous. This one isn’t, particularly, to me. It’s checked-out and pained. Not that I blame her. In her place, I would be checked-out and ragey. And flabby. Which is why I’m not in her place.

Also: Brent Musberger is the best thing that’s ever happened to Katherine Webb. She should give him a ten percent cut.