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Kate Upton Is All Smiles with 'Legend' Christie Brinkley After Tying Her for Three Sports Illustrated Swim Covers

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Kate Upton/Instagram

Kate Upton just landed her third Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover and celebrated the big debut by hanging out with fellow SI veteran – and fellow three-time cover star! – Christie Brinkley. The two spent Wednesday morning together promoting Kate’s cover and Christie’s return to the magazine (with her daughters!) at the Today Show, and of course, they couldn’t pass up the opportunity to snap a cute shot backstage.

The two models represent the magazine’s focus this year to celebrate body diversity and age inclusion. Even though Upton already has two covers under her belt (well, under her chain-link jewelry “bikini”) she was excited to return because of the issue’s very focused mission. “For SI to emphasize every different type of perfect is really inspiring,” Upton tells Sports Illustrated.  “Those are the campaigns I want to do and the career I want to have — to inspire women to love themselves.”

Which is why Upton calls Brinkley “an inspiration” in her Instagram caption, writing that she “loved” spending the morning alongside the SI legend. The 63-year-old returned to the SI pages this year, posing alongside her two daughters and proving she hasn’t aged a day since her cover modeling in the early ’80s.

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Brinkley thought her bikini days were over once she turned 30, but now is hoping to influence a change in the stigma around aging. “In a country that’s very ageist, people love to put you in little boxes,” she says. “Women feel very limited by their numbers. On a personal level, I thought, if I can pull this off, I think it will help redefine those numbers and remove some of the fear of aging.”

She’s been celebrating all week with plenty of throwback pics and behind-the-scenes snaps from set, including this pic of her striking a pose behind a straw hat, masterfully captioning her pic, “The photos of my babies make this mama bristle with pride.”

What do you think of this year’s SI Swimsuit issue?