Kate Upton just landed her third Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue cover and posed for not one, not two but three different cover images. And she’s not wearing a bikini in any of them. From a glittery embellished biker jacket to jewelry to a crochet “onepiece” that leaves little to the imagination, Upton’s signature swimsuit pose doesn’t really involve swimsuits!
The 24-year-old landed her first cover when she was 19 in 2012, went to Antarctica in 2013 for her second and is now joining the ranks of other industry legends like Christie Brinkley with her three-time cover record. But besides landing three SI Swim covers, we really think she’s a true bikini modeling pro because she’s rarely given any bikinis to pose in! We gathered some past and present shoots that show that she’s a “hand bra” pro.
One reason Upton was so excited to return to SI is because the focus of this year’s issue is all about body diversity. “To have an issue that focuses on that is really an amazing moment for me because I think it’s important for everyone to be the best they can be, but not to strive to be a company or industry’s idea of perfect,” Upton tells Sports Illustrated. “For SI to emphasize every different type of perfect is really inspiring. Those are the campaigns I want to do and the career I want to have — to inspire women to love themselves.”
Even Sports Illustrated‘s Swimsuit issue director, MJ Day, is getting into the spirit of things. She posted a video on Instagram to promote body confidence while posing in a bikini. “I’ve been producing the annual Swimsuit issue for 19 years, but today I’m the one in a bathing suit, and here’s why,” she says. “This year’s issue will showcase the widest diversity of women in SI history. Women of all ages, and shapes, and from many different backgrounds.”
Day is encouraging women to love their bodies and post their own bikini videos on Instagram through their partnership with @WomenIRL.
What do you think of this year’s issue?