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MJ Day Dives Into the Motivation Behind Pay With Change

“Nothing a brand says matters unless it’s backed by action.”
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Screenshot from Cheddar News Interview

Screenshot from Cheddar News Interview

On the 58th anniversary of our first print issue, we announced our new advertising mandate called Pay With Change. Our magazine’s annual edition will now only feature brands that are helping drive gender equality forward, creating a sweeping call to action for the publishing industry. SI Swimsuit editor in chief MJ Day joined Baker Machado on Cheddar News to discuss the goals of the new initiative.

Day starts her interview with bold clarity, stating, “Nothing a brand says matters unless it’s backed by action.” Read on for highlights from the interview below.

Why was now the right time to implement this change?

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“Since the inception of the brand, the Swimsuit Issue has been a launchpad for models and for women…We’ve created industry leaders, as a result of supporting them, highlighting them and celebrating them [on our platforms]. We’ve done that consistently throughout the history of the brand…we’ve been pushing that message consistently, where every component of what it means to be a woman -- different shapes, sizes, ages, walks of life, professions -- that the next evolution of the brand was really to have it represented in a 360 degree way in our ad space and across all of our platforms.”

Is it the hope that more of the publishing issue will follow suit?

“That is exactly what the intentions are.... I truly do believe that we have a responsibility and we have the ability to be both a business and use our power for the power of good. I think so many other brands exist out there that possess that like-mindedness. We are creating an opportunity to shine the light on not just people [who] are doing good, [who] are changemakers, but we are providing an opportunity for brands to also move in that direction which inevitably will only mean better things for all of us.”

How has diversity been at the ethos of what the Swimsuit Issue is?

“I think for the longest time, the brand wasn’t giving itself permission to do what we as humans know is the case, is a fact…There is an infinite amount of beauty in the world. There’s an infinite amount of opinions of subjective ideas of preferences, of ideals. We were put in a lane, we allowed ourselves to be put in a lane, we stayed in that lane and by choosing not [to stay there] about a decade ago, I think we not only liberated ourselves but liberated future generations of women to see themselves differently, to behave differently as a brand.”

View the full interview on Cheddar News.

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