Natalie Gulbis' SI Swimsuit Body Paint Pictures Bring Needed Appeal to LPGA

Brian Mazique@@UniqueMaziqueCorrespondent IIIFebruary 14, 2012

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - JULY 07:  Natalie Gulbis reacts to a missed putt for birdie on the 17th hole during the first round of the 2011 U.S. Women's Open at The Broadmoor on July 7, 2011 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Natalie Gulbis just ensured a few unique visitors to her profile on the LPGA's website with her body paint pictures in the 2012 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. That's not a bad thing, increased attention for the tour is a positive.

A few folks that haven't watched an LPGA tour event in the last 20 years may be looking for more information on the 29-year-old from Lake Las Vegas, Nevada. You can see her here in her SI glory.

There are quite a few beautiful women on the LPGA tour, but Gulbis is the one that will get the majority of attention for the next month or so. That is a good thing, I always like it when female athletes show their beautiful and feminine sides.

It’s a great balance to the power and competitiveness they display in the field or on the course. Too often we only see the harden exterior of the competitors.

Gulbis was interviewed by Jeff Ritter of She talked about the body painting experience. Ritter probably had one of those “I’m trying to look in your eye right now” smiles on his face as he asked “How long did it take to paint the bikini? She said:

“It took about 13 hours to paint the suit on me. It’s an unbelievable process. It had a golf theme too, and, I mean, it’s art. We didn’t start shooting until 11 at night. When I was done, it all came off in one shower.”

Come on now Nat. 

It’s already body paint, now you wanna talk about washing it off. 

That’s like test driving a car, then having the dealer tell you “why don’t you take it home for a few days.”

Don’t do Jeff like that. 

At another part of the interview, Ritter asks her if she had any reservations about posing naked? Gulbis responded with:

“Not with Sports Illustrated. When you see the pictures, it looks like I have a bathing suit on. It’s pretty incredible. I had seen [body-paint artist] Joanne Gair’s work in the past. One that came to mind was when they body-painted Marisa Miller in the Sacramento Kings jersey. They also shot her in a Rolling Stones t-shirt. I remember thinking how cool that looked. They were works of art.”

It cracks me up to hear models talk about their swimsuit photos, or body paint in this instance, and describe it as art. While I certainly acknowledge the talent it takes to paint a swimsuit on a human and make it look real. 

It’s still funny when you consider such a large percentage of the target market for this issue isn’t thinking about art as they view it’s pages. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone open a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition and say “Oh my, what a wonderful piece of art this is.”

Oh well, whatever floats your boat I guess.

I wonder if any of the other LPGA beauties will follow in Gulbis’ footsteps. If I could have a vote, I’d punch Maria Verchenova. Not literally, I mean in a ballot since, not like strike her, I’d never hit a woman of course.

She is quite the eye-candy…errr…I mean quality artistic figure. Hopefully next year we can hear her artistic spin on her rhinestones and spray-painted suit.

That hasn’t been announced, it’s a suggestion.

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