Feb 15, · Barbie is stirring up controversy after appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine’s 50th anniversary swimsuit edition. Barbie is on a Sports Illustrated cover and starring in a live-action film – meanwhile her sexualised beauty and unrealistic proportions continue to ignite arguments about feminsim and negative body image, says Eva Wiseman. At 55 years old, Barbie - one of the world's most famous mannequins - is finally gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated's annual Swimsuit Issue. Barbie stars in a special advertorial dreamed up by toy maker Mattel and the editors at Sports Illustrated. It's the doll's first appearance in the.